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Time to abandon Facebook when it comes to student recruiting?


by Lauren Hart Piper , Vice President, Product Management and Marketing,

I just read this great blog by Jeff Bullas, a leading blogger, author, and strategist on branding with social media that talks about how Facebook is being dropped by some organizations as a social marketing strategy.

In this blog, Jeff talks about how Facebook is a “leased digital property” and organizations are at the company’s mercy. For example, Facebook acknowledges millions of fake profiles, changes in functionality that eliminated group messaging and the restriction of posts to news feeds. Facebook has also made modifications to their algorithms which research shows has caused a decrease in organic reach.

Looking at these changes, I question how really effective is Facebook when it comes to student recruiting for colleges and universities?

Did you know?

With the changes Facebook has made , the best way to reach your target market on Facebook is with paid advertising and promoted posts. Facebook has made this very easy to do with a few clicks and a credit card.   After all, Facebook is a public company and its main goal is to make money. But these costs can add up and not deliver the results you are looking for.

Of course there are other issues with Facebook that cause concern for institutions such as:

  • The institution’s lack of control with branding.
  • The user experience (especially privacy) being at the discretion of Facebook.
  • No institutional ownership of profiles and content.
  • The additional costs that are now required  to get your Facebook fan pages noticed.

For student recruitment, higher ed needs to rethink their social strategies and look to a layered digital marketing approach to boost admission applications and enrollment rates.

A layered digital marketing strategy combines social media with social business software. Social media can be a channel to reach your target student recruitment population but it will be social business software that connects the student to the institution.  A student recruitment online  community powered by social business software like HiveSocial for Higher Education will:

  • Protect the institution from changes made to Facebook’s business models.
  • Deepen relationships between prospective students and advisors.
  • Enable students, faculty and alumni to exchange information with prospective students in a secure environment.
  • Populate a student profile database that connects and sychronizes with SalesForce or any other CRM.
  • Provide a user experience that is preserved by the institution.
  • Assure students, faculty, staff and alumni of privacy.

HiveSocial for Higher Education is a social business solution that has the familiarity of social media such as Facebook and Twitter that that students expect, easily allows advisors to be in close contact with prospective students and fosters additional connections and knowledge sharing with current students, faculty and alumni.

By employing a layered social strategy that leverages the benefits of social media such as Facebook/Twitter with an institution’s own private student online community your institution can attract new students and increase enrollment rates.

Has your institution deployed a digital layered marketing approach to student recruiting? Drop me a line at and tell me how your institution is using social for student recruiting.


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