3 Ways You Should Be Getting Prospective Students' Attention

Three ways higher education marketers can use social media networks to reach prospective students. Hint: Facebook isn't one of them.

Facebook is so, like, yesterday. At least that’s what all the kids are saying. Yes, Twitter is still cool, but it’s crowded out there, prompting the rise in popularity of tools to cut down on the noise. That leaves higher education marketers scrambling for creative new ways to reach prospective students with social media savvy.

Luckily, there are so many other avenues colleges and universities can use to get the attention of prospective students. But better get a jump on these because, as we’ve come to learn, the kids will be moving on to the next cool thing before we know it.


While lots of higher education marketers are already using YouTube to post videos about their campus, there is still plenty of opportunity to stand out from the crowd. Creating videos that engage prospective students in unique ways may be easier than you think.

You can turn to alumni for help or you can feature one of your best ambassadors – a current student – like SUNY Oswego. Their Alyssa Explains It All web video series features student blogger Alyssa Levenberg sharing advice, answering questions, and showing student life at the university to prospective students. Student storytelling through video can help you reach and engage your target audience more effectively than that photo on your website of students sitting around a tree in the quad.


As usage of this popular photo-sharing app among teens has skyrocketed, higher education marketers have found creative ways to work it into their marketing mix. Not only does it provide a great way for a school to show off a beautiful campus and thriving student life, but it also offers the entire community a chance to get in on the action using hashtags to which they can upload their “grams.”

By sourcing content from students, alumni, and other members of the campus community, prospective students can get a more authentic and less filtered view of what type of experience they can expect at your institution then they can from your website.

Streaming Radio

It might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but with research showing 75% of Americans 12-24 listen to online radio, it just may be exactly where you want to be. Some higher ed institutions have allocated advertising dollars toward online radio services and saw positive outcomes. For instance, Cleveland State University ran an online radio ad campaign and loved having trackable, measurable data, and the ability to test ad content and offer positioning.

Finding new ways to engage prospective students is always top priority for higher education marketers, but by staying on top of which social network is hot and what type of content prospective students are most interested in, reaching your target audience is easier than you think.