How the University of New Haven is using social media to connect with prospective students

University of New HavenI’ve recently been following #CampusChat, a weekly discussion on Twitter put on by SmartCollegeVisit. The participants are mainly parents and higher ed-related organizations and services, and recently #CampusChat has been inviting schools to be represented in the discussion.

Gil Rogers is the Associate Director of Admissions and Enrollment Technology at the University of New Haven (@unewhaven), and he was a guest for the #CampusChat held on August 11th. He fielded questions and talked about how the University of New Haven uses social media and new technologies to connect with prospective students (full transcript here). Some key takeaways:

– E-mail is not dead: their e-mail read rates have actually increased with the use of smartphones & inclusion of timeline information — upcoming events, etc.

Facebook has been useful for them because of its analytics capabilities and the ease of segmenting their audience (location? age?)

– Texting is a valuable tool for them: U. New Haven encourages prospectives to text their admissions officers.

Publications are offered both in print and electronic versions to cater to preferences

“Social media isn’t about cultivating prospects; it’s about building relationships.”

At BU, BU Admissions’ Facebook page as a customer service outlet comes to mind. Are you using social media to connect with prospective students? How have you seen success?

One Comment

Kelly Queijo posted on August 31, 2010 at 8:26 am

Jenny, during the years I worked in college admissions, we were constantly looking at what our peer institutions were doing and learning from their experiences. It was terrific of Gil to share on #CampusChat so openly how the University of New Haven is achieving success with social media and recruitment. His tweet about the increase in email open rates as a result of text messages sent to opt-in students took me back to mid-90’s when we were thrilled to see increases in response rates to our direct mail (paper mail) campaign which we attributed to using email to let prospective students know a letter had been mailed to them. I find today that as the technologies evolve so do the pioneers of interactive marketing as they/we continue to integrate the new with the “old” and evolve as well. It all makes wonder what we’ll do next!

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