Building online communities for incoming college students has been part of my role at Rochester Institute of Technology for the past five years. What first started as a small group of student bloggers has now grown into multi-media network of students, faculty and staff members spread across no fewer than five social networking sites at any given time of the year – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, and RIT’s private platform, The Loop, to name a few.
Do I believe every admissions office needs to have teams of students and a multi-channel media network to be successful in social media? No. However, I do believe if you are not engaging your new students in an online community, you are doing them a diservice and putting your institution at a competitive disadvantage.
Facebook Groups give colleges and universities access to a free online community platform with an extremely low barrier to entry. Creating a group for the incoming class of 2013 is the least you can do for your students. Groups are versatile, accessible and take very little time to set up.
Ashley Hennigan, Assistant Director & Coordinator of Social Media, RIT
Ma’ayan Plaut, Social Media Coordinator, Oberlin College
Tim Nekritz, Director of Web Communication, SUNY Oswego
Courtney Mallam, Print & New Media Coordinator, York University
Biagio Nigrelli, Admissions Counselor, Northland College