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Recruiting Intelligence

Peer Check: How Edu Marketers Use Social to Engage

 

Don’t blame Gen Z, but their insatiable appetite for social media can create quite the content grind on the backend. We hear it from our clients. Why must engaging social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, which afford marketers all the playfulness and flexibility you could ever want, require so much time and attention? It’s the lament of the modern marketer. 

Content creation is not time intensive. You can use ChatGPT and crank out reams of it in minutes. (As if!) 

See last week's post for our perspective on the use of ChatGPT for enrollment marketing (or any marketing).

Engaging, authentic, effective content creation is highly time-intensive. 

Our advice: stay calm and scroll on. Sometimes, you just need a little inspiration from others who are playing in your same space.  


Opportunities to Meet In Person 

The Intead team is gearing up for some amazing presentations and we hope you can join us. 

  • 2024 AIEA Annual Conference in DC, Feb 18-21, 2024
  • ICEF North America in Niagara Falls, Canada, May 1-3, 2024
  • NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference and Expo in LA, May 28-31, 2024

Let us know if you’ll come share a cup of coffee and a conversation about all things global and digital (info@intead.com) 


So today, we invite you to pause for a quick competitor looksee. We’re not talking about fast-moving trends – those fleeting fads are here one day and gone the next, literally. Remember Wednesday’s (Jenna Ortega’s) dance on TikTok? 22 billion views in 2023. Loved it, right? Not so much on anyone’s mind today, though. 

You can always check TikTok’s Trending Intelligence for the latest. Instead, let’s focus on more lasting ways to use social media in your digital marketing. And yes, we will be checking on what your peers are up to. 

So, read on to get an edge in your social media strategy and draw inspiration (or perhaps critique) from a few real-world applications.  

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Should Threads Be in Your Edu Marketing Strategy?


Students and digital media, right? TikTok rules! Oh, and Instagram. But, email is dead. Search is dead. Facebook is dead. (Pro tip: these all still have value to you). 

Now entering the social media platform arena: Threads. 

So, the questions on your team’s mind: Is now the right time to add Threads as a tactical element to our student recruiting strategy? How hard could it be? Is there any value here? Is our audience here? 


Opportunities to meet in person:

The Intead team is gearing up for some amazing presentations and we hope you can join us. 

  • CIEE 76th Annual Conference in Paris, Nov 8-10, 2023 
  • PIE News Live in Boston, Nov 13-15, 2023 
  • AIRC Annual Conference – we’ll be offering our full day digital marketing workshop here in Phoenix, Dec 6-9, 2023 
  • ICEF North America Workshop in Miami, Dec 10-13, 2023 

Let us know if you’ll come share a cup of coffee and a conversation about all things global and digital (info@intead.com


The short answer to the Threads question: As of now, fall 2023, the Intead team leans toward the more measured wait-and-see approach. It’s early yet.  

There’s plenty of time to integrate this new platform should it fully take off. And there are more than a few social media users who really hope it does, especially in the midst of the chaos of Twitter, err, we mean X.  

What we know about Threads so far: 

  • It aims to take X head-on, and with the full weight of Meta behind it, we give it a fighting chance. 
  • More than 100 million users joined Threads within the first 5 days of its launch, making it the fastest-growing app in history. Proof that people were waiting for it. And further proof that Meta is a powerful force. 
  • Yet, some wonder if that was a false start. Its user base promptly plummeted by over 80% in less than a month post-launch. And this is something we can’t ignore. 

Still, we know some social media mavens on your team are debating if now is the right time to integrate Threads into your social media arsenal. Is this one of those first-mover advantage things? After all, effective lead generation and brand strategy require you to stay up-to-date and constantly try new approaches. We get it and encourage you to read on to better understand if Threads is something your student marketing strategy needs right now. 

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ICYMI: Getting Started with [New Tech Marketing] Series

It’s a sad day when a good idea dies on the cutting room floor simply because the team didn’t quite know how to pull it off or have the time to implement it. Because who has time to bother learning something new? (Runner-up award for worst higher ed institution tagline!)

Truth is, getting started is more than half the battle, which is why over the past 12+ months we ran the popular “Getting Started With” series. Taken together, these posts become your team’s Social Media Marketing 101 for student recruiting tools.

Today, we offer you a compilation of this newbie knowledge all in one place. Read on to learn how to get started with TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, text message marketing, and more. This is one post you’ll definitely want to share with the members of your team who actually get your stuff done.


As AIEA 2023 wraps up this week, we are looking ahead at our next chance to chat about internationalization with .Edu trustees and presidents in San Diego at the AGB conference in April. Honored to be presenting alongside Brad Farnsworth from Fox Hollow Advisory (former ACE VP) and Dr. Gretchen Bataille from GMB Consulting (former president of the U of North Texas among other amazing higher ed roles). We will be talking all about insights university leaders need to guide internationalization efforts.Reach out if you or others from your team will be there.


Read on for links to our full "Getting Started With..." series — highly sharable with the internal team you rely on to move all the recruitment levers just so. Go forth and produce great marketing things!!!

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Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q3 2022

The relief of entering a more “normal-ish” academic year is met with both new and familiar recruitment and admissions challenges: student housing shortages, diminishing interest in postsecondary education here in the US, eroding confidence in our academic institutions, and increasing competition for students from abroad. Oh, and the looming demographic cliff in the US.

One step forward. Two steps back. (Or was that four? Maybe let’s not count right now.) This from the marketing agency always pushing analytics ; -)

Truth is, we’re not that cynical. But if you are reading the edu literature, the headlines would push anyone in that direction.

Nevertheless, if you follow what IIE has to say, then in-person learning has rebounded, as has in-person study abroad and international applications. We are waiting on concrete industry enrollment numbers to confirm growth, but still, we know what is happening out there. There is progress on many fronts.

There are always cycles. And those who analyze and plan are far more likely to succeed. Too busy to do it well is not an option. Too cynical to fight for success really doesn’t work either. Optimism tied to well-researched targets motivates the team. Motivated, proactive partners can truly move the needle.


COME LEARN WITH US!

Among our colleagues in this field, we see a tremendous thirst for gathering and evaluating our options, with time to really talk it through. The Intead/San Diego State University One-Day Workshop will be a hands-on opportunity to learn from an awe-inspiring international student recruitment faculty.

  • Full-day, hands-on workshop on strategy and execution: Come with questions, leave with a plan.
  • Two luminary keynotes
    • Social Justice Luncheon with Dr. Jewell Winn and Adrienne Fusek
    • Chinese Student Influencers Dinner with Dr. Yingyi Ma and Brad Farnsworth
  • At $200 for the day (inclusive of all meals), this learning opportunity is a steal. (Pricing goes up to $350 on October 24, 2022).

As you take a moment to weigh the opportunities in higher ed today, we offer a recap of the most valuable news from Q3 2022, including insights on China and Africa as well as some practical how-to tips on marketing to the Gen Z digital natives. Read on

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Get Started with Instagram Marketing Strategies to Boost Enrollment

The last time we wrote about Instagram marketing was in 2016. A lot has changed since then. But not everything. It resolutely remains a visual communication tool. But is it still relevant? (It is.) Aren’t kids these days on TikTok? (Yes, that’s true, too.)

Here are the facts: 57% of Americans aged 12 to 17 use Instagram each week, and 63% use TikTok according to Forrester. Just as important are the 48% of 30-49 year-olds and 29% of 50-64 year-olds – many of whom are your prospective parents – who use the platform. Anyone still wondering if it’s relevant for student recruitment and enrollment? Didn’t think so.

If your institution is only doing organic posts to Instagram, or your Instagram paid campaigns haven’t reaped the return you’d hoped, read on for a look at how your team can use this platform to boost enrollment. This post will be beneficial for those ideating and managing your campaigns. That means, pass it on to others on your team responsible for this stuff if that's not you.

As with any social platform, there are two ways to work it: the free way or the pay-to-play way. We’ll take a look at both.

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Are Facebook Users Really 3X Smarter Than Instagram Users?

We have another valuable digital marketing tool available to help you with your international student recruitment plans. Some of the statistics might be a little surprising on the surface. And we all know that statistics, on the surface, are not always what they seem.

For instance, did you know that based on Hootsuite user data, 74% of Facebook’s user base has some level of higher education while only 24% of Instagram’s user base claims that? Think about that for a second or two. How could that possibly be the case?

Our conclusion: Instagram users don’t feel the need to report their university level on their profiles. It’s just not that kind of platform. So while the statistic remains accurate, the story the data tells requires a bit more thought. Instagram users are not less intelligent. Seriously, some of our best friends are Instagram users. And we think they are quite smart! (Shhhh, we have to say that. They subscribe to this blog 😉).

With today’s blog, Emily used a Hootsuite report to develop a comparison of some of the global social media platforms by age of users, education level and global location among other key stats. The information is both thought provoking and helpful as you roll out your student recruitment social media/digital marketing strategy in key regions.

Be sure to tune in next week as well. We will share more information on virtual communities focusing on messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, and even SnapChat.

Meet Us in Denver @NAFSA 2016: Learn from our latest research on how current global economic and political events impact students’ plans to study abroad. Schedule a time to chat with us during the conference.

Please read on for the link to our downloadable Virtual Communities Worksheet…

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Advertising to Students with Instagram


Should Instagram be one of your student recruitment tools?

Here's another question more to the point: Are you prepared to ignore the 50% of high school seniors searching for university options via Instagram?

Sure, go ahead and put your marketing budget into those slick mailers that cost $10+ per piece. You do know that they go straight from the mailbox to the recycle bin, right? Trust us, we have 17 year olds at home and watch it happen each week. Sorry, harsh but true.

In last week’s blog post we introduced you to all of the great things Instagram can offer to universities: ease of use, engaging content, targeting younger student groups, providing a glimpse of life on campus. All of these things are great for your digital marketing initiatives. And Instagram is constantly updating and evolving both their phone app and website to make the platform even easier to use.

In addition to those free features Instagram offers its users, the platform recently added advertising options. In this week’s post, Emily will introduce us to the how's and why's of advertising to students on Instagram.

QUICK SIDE NOTE: Can We Meet in Denver? We will be at the NAFSA 2016 Annual Conference in May presenting new data about the impacts of current economic and political events around the world on students’ plans to study abroad. Use this link to schedule a time to meet with us at NAFSA in Denver. We’d love to learn about your recruiting plans and share our latest research with you in person.

Now, on to Emily's take on Instagram...

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Using #Instagram for International Student Recruitment

For your top 2016 international student prospects, using Instagram is second nature. These teens and young adults #instadaily like total pros. But, Instagram isn’t just an entertainment or social networking application. Not really. Not any more.

In September 2015, Instagram opened its doors to advertising for all businesses, big and small. That same month, Instagram hit another milestone when it beat out Twitter in active monthly users. Instagram’s website reports 400 million active monthly users. This is big.

So naturally there are big questions that arise with advertising opening up on Instagram. What is Instagram marketing? Should your university be doing it? Short answer: Yes.

Why? This is where your prospects are spending their time. Your digital marketing needs to adjust to the changing social media landscape. Hard to keep up? Hard to staff it? Of course. Want to beat out your competition? Right, of course, again.

Oh, and this from Higher Education Marketing: 48% of U.S. high school seniors were researching universities via Instagram in 2015. BAM!

No whining about how you can't find a way to do it. Let's get down to how to do it.

This week and next, Emily will share our thoughts and tips on why and how.

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