When it comes to Generation Z - who, let’s face it, probably make up a significant chunk of your target audience - they crave hyper-personal experiences. More than that, they want to hear from people they can relate to, and they want to do it on social media.
85% of Gen-Z learn about new products and brands through social media. (Hootsuite)
With that in mind, it’s more important than ever for universities to have vibrant and attractive social media channels. And, spoiler alert, collaborating with your students is one of the most effective ways of doing this!
Instagram and Snapchat takeovers have been popular for a while now, and it’s easy to see why; they’re incredibly personal channels where authentic human content thrives, they work for a variety of subjects - as well as staff and alumni too, and their plethora of fun features like stickers and GIFs make it a doddle to create engaging and interactive content.
Universities have been using social media to help their international recruitment efforts in particular. Digital ambassador schemes - or those similar - have been around in some form since at least 2013, but have really become more powerful in recent years.
Students trust students
Students are sceptical folk. They can smell a marketing message from a mile off and are far more likely to listen to a fellow student than anyone from your marketing or recruitment teams - regardless of how cool you are!
Also, students don’t trust brands; only 15% of consumers trust content created and shared by companies. (Go4Social)
As it happens, 89% of University applicants want to see content created by current students and 80% of them choose their University based on word-of-mouth information. (UCAS Media)
We reckon the case for collaborating with your student content creators is pretty clear; your current students know what prospective students want, so it makes logical sense to work alongside your student community to create the most engaging, interesting and insightful content possible. Your current students also understand the ‘experience’ of being at your university far better than a marketing/recruitment/comms professional ever can. Sure, you work there...but they are living it.