Importance of Social Media in Education

By Sowmya Rao, September 7, 2017

In an age of smart phones and social media, colleges and universities are now tasked to reach their audiences through this new channel in contrast to traditional marketing tactics such as print and in-person advertising. The advent of social media has also opened doors to advanced reputation and escalation management. As social media gains popularity, educational institutions all around the world have begun to establish social media platforms in order to interact with current and prospective students and alumni.  But, in order to fully harness the power of Social Media, and use it to better services, you need a comprehensive Social Media Listening and Analytics tool.

“Ninety-five percent of college admissions offices use at least one form of social media or the other (Barnes & Lescault, 2011).”

Student enrolment and intake is a crucial parameter that determines the popularity of a college, its courses and its facilities. So, how can colleges work towards increasing the intake and ensure a higher enrolment rate? Social media is a great place to engage with students and share important information, have open and free conversations, and create a great brand that will be known for its student focus. Your tool must be able to monitor student sentiments, remove negative perceptions, and engage transparently on social media. Engaging students on social media, where they spend most of their time, is the easiest way to help increase student intake.

Alumni associations support students in a variety of ways – from celebrating their achievements to facilitating mentoring relationships with alumni, creating the perfect platform for students’ growth and learning. The tool must take alumni engagement to the next level, promoting a sense of continuing education by facilitating conversations about work, graduate schools, and work/life balance.

The faculty pool is extremely important for an educational institution. Getting resources / staff who would actually be beneficial to students is a difficult find. Not knowing the emotions of your faculty pool could prove to be folly. The tool should allow you to listen to your faculty’s chatter on Social Media. You’d be able to understand their problems and grievances and address them directly through the tool.

And who are the popular faculty? Faculty members affect the image of an educational institution greatly; in which case, it would be prudent for any such organization to be aware of their faculty members. Your tool must enable you to monitor student sentiment towards faculty members, portraying a picture of faculty impact.

How can you find out potential student dropout ratio? Even though school completion rates have continually grown, dropouts persist as a problem that interferes with the education system’s efficiency. The tool must help you to determine the reasons behind student drop out based on their response/feedback about the university. It should also have a student tracking feature that displays recent activity of the student along with the student’s record which gives details such as courses enrolled for, activities within the college, attendance, etc., based on which, the tool calculates the dropout probability.

The Education industry has seen increasingly stiff competition in recent years. Schools pop up from time to time and it is essential to understand how, potential and present, students score you against your competitors. The tool must constantly monitor how you rank against other schools and help you identify patterns and trends. This gives you great insight as to how you can improve your business process.

In conclusion, educational institutions might already be aware of the importance of Social Media, however, to take full advantage of it, lies in incorporating the tools & strategies that can help them succeed.

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Sowmya Rao

Currently working as a business analyst with BCT, Sowmya has experience in pre-sales engineering, marketing tools, product launches, and creating sales strategies & developing customer bases. She also plans and executes social media marketing strategies and has a knack to manage Social Media posts and responses, highly impacting Marketing, Sales, and PR. Being a communication expert, she has played a key role in employee hiring and inside sales. Sowmya holds a Masters in Computer Science from California State University, LA. Prior to corporate work, she was a student mentor at an international early learning centre. While she puts her thinking cap on during the daytime, her other interests vary from singing to solving Sudokus. In short, a jack of all trades!

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