(Published in The College of Westchester’s Newsletter, April 2014)
Everybody knows that universities across the country are allocating more time and money to having university open houses, engaging with students on social media, improving their prospectuses, and developing their university websites. I feel CW is doing a great effort in this area, and the feedback from our students has been fantastic.
However, in order to make a bigger and more significant impact on our students, I think we all should embrace new technologies and join Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. One of my daily responsibilities is to monitor our performance in social media through a social media management tool called Sprout Social. I’ve noticed in many occasions that whenever there’s an activity where faculty is involved, we see a significant increase in our activity and as a consequence, we gain more exposure, followers, and fans.
During the past snow storms where we needed to close our facilities, we had over 300 views of a post on Facebook asking students to connect via Moodle for classes. They all received an email and a text, but students preferred to check Facebook first. Social media is a great marketing tool for recruiting students, but it is also ideal for maintaining contact with the student body, as well. I think we all can make a difference if we use social media as a tool to engage with our students. We all should be able to provoke that engagement.
I’d be more than happy to assist you if you need help to open a basic Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account and how to use them effectively. If you already have a Facebook or Twitter account, having a work related account is a way to maintain your personal privacy if you prefer. Let’s reach to prospect students, talk to current ones and engage with your class. They’re only a “follow” and “like” away.