The answer is yes – social media is everywhere these days. Take a look at the statistics KISSmetrics is reporting:
- 96% of 18-35 year olds are on a social network.
- 1 in 5 Americans age 18-35 use @twitter. Twitter is adding 300,000 users a day and 80% of Twitter usage is on mobile devices.
- Facebook usage is up 40% since last year, and 65 million Facebook users access the site through their mobile phones.
Also, did you know that Facebook surpassed Google last year in terms of the number of visitors? According to BusinessInsider, “New statistics from Experian Hitwise show that Facebook.com was the most-visited Web page in the U.S. from January to November 2010, passing Google’s search page for the first time.”
While we at Datamark don’t view social media as a tried and true lead generation medium for schools, the use of social media is exploding and potential students will expect to find your school on these sites. Colleges and universities should consider the following:
- Have a presence – Chances are that a student or affiliate of a school will start a Facebook page if one doesn’t already exist. Schools can maintain more control by creating their own presence.
- Hire a staff member to manage social media activity – Maintaining activity is time consuming and requires a full-time employee, which also allows for a rapid response to anything and everything, good or bad, that may need to be addressed.
- Be active – Don’t just set something up and let it sit. Be sure to update your site with content on a regular basis.
As more people understand, use, and in some cases, even rely on social media, don’t let your school be left behind. Expect your students to be on these sites, just as they expect you to be.