How Can Social Media Boost Graduate Recruitment?

How should graduate recruitment professionals use social media and e-marketing to assist in their important work? This is the question tackled in the recent Capture Higher Ed webinar, Social Media and Digital Marketing: Tips to Boost Your Graduate Recruitment.

For the presentation, Jack Klett, Capture’s director of online and graduate initiatives, was joined by Dr. Stanley Kania, enrollment manager and recruiter for the Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Kania shared results from his study on the topic, which he recently published in NAGAP’s Perspectives journal and presented at the Pennsylvania Association of Graduate Admission Professional’s (PAGAP) annual meeting.

During the webinar, Klett and Kania unpack the study’s findings and provide meaningful insights to help drive the work of Graduate Enrollment Management (GEM) professionals.

“This is a pretty interesting topic, in part, because there are a lot of us who tend to think about social media marketing as if it has been around forever,” Klett says. “When, in fact, we really only witnessed its birth about a decade ago. I distinctly remember my first social media campaign — leveraging social recruitment, social engagement through Facebook — for a new master’s of science in sustainable design at Philadelphia University. This is going back to 2007, 2008.

“And the results were obviously impressive. We scaled it. We expanded it. And then social became a big piece of our recruitment work.”

One of the three main areas of Kania’s research into social media for GEM recruitment focused on the reality of budget constraints. Admissions offices across the country are being asked constantly to do more with less.

“That’s become very difficult for us as higher ed professionals and practitioners because we know that students are working smarter not harder when it comes to finding an institution that is the best fit for them,” Kania says. “They are using different modalities to conduct their research for finding that perfect graduate school. Whether they’re looking at your traditional website or using social media to engage with institutions.”

“The whole purpose of this presentation is to not only highlight what we can do as practitioners to increase our social media and e-marketing recruitment tactics but also to use these best results and best practices as a way to justify to our VPs and directors of enrollment management to say, ‘Yes, not only can I recruit you more students, I can do it if you give me the appropriate budget. And here are the justifications … of how that money will be used to our best ability to recruit those students and effectively help us gain a positive ROI for the institution.”

Do you need to understand the role of budget in determining what may be most effective given your potential spend? Do you want to discover which social media and e-marketing strategies are showing the greatest promise?

Check out a recording of Klett and Kania’s webinar here.