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This post is written by Xan Wynne-Jones, Advocacy Analyst at SocialHP.

When it comes to Student Advocacy, the formula is easy:
engaged students = increased enrollment

If you’re involved in student recruitment in any way, you know that you want to be involved in the college decision-making process from the very beginning. When someone asks a student, “Hey, what college are you going to next year?” — you need a seat at the table.

According to Chegg.com and Uversity.com now more than ever, that conversation is happening on social media. Nearly 70% of the time.

How do you reach those undecided students at this extremely critical moment? Leverage the assets you have at hand: students!

The average college or university has 4,224 students not including alumni, faculty or staff.

With a Student Advocacy program, you can reach undecided students on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn using a voice they know and trust, at the exact moment when they were considering their scholastic future.

WHAT IS A STUDENT ADVOCACY PROGRAM?

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“Student Advocacy” is a term used to describe the exposure that students generate for their school using their own online assets. It’s empowering your students to support the goals of your institution through their own social networks. While social media is often the main medium for Student Advocacy, other options include email, chat, forums, discussion boards and more.

Seven steps to create your own Student Advocacy program.

WHY WOULD STUDENTS PARTICIPATE?

They want to (yes, really!). A recent Uversity.com and Chegg.com report showed that 60% of students surveyed would join a social media initiative to help get the word out about their school.

It worked for Pinnacle Career Institute. They gathered a group of students, staff, alumni — even faculty — from across the college who were passionate about their experience and education. They began to share the school’s blog posts, news, and updates with each student’s own social network. Read the Pinnacle Career Institute case study.

The average person has 338 Facebook friends, 208 Twitter followers and 393 LinkedIn connections.

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT AND ADVOCACY — WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?

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The answer is Inbound Marketing. Promoting yourself through content marketing such as blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, e-newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing.

The key word here is “content.” It all starts with great content. I’ve gone ahead and sprinkled some examples throughout this article to give you an idea of exactly what I’m talking about.

According to HubSpot, Inbound Marketing is especially effective for businesses that deal with high dollar values, long research cycles, and knowledge-based products.

Are you a student recruiter who’s wondering if a Student Advocacy program is right for you?

Check out SocialHP and let’s chat!

 

Still not sure if student engagement and advocacy is right for you? Take this 30 second quiz to see how it might work for you!

 

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