With a strategic social media plan, recruiting undergraduate students would be more targeted and effective. A strong, integrated online presence would not only provide information to help high school students find the right school and program, it could increase awareness of the McMaster brand. A plan that would find the social media communities who are eager to connect and get responses from the University admissions staff would benefit both sides of the conversation.
To effectively engage the Ontario high school prospects through the use of social media tools. Through strategic and entertaining use of Facebook and Twitter, McMaster University admissions staff will build trust and reputation earned through the good will possible in these forums. This will create two-way communication between students with questions about the University and the people that can help them with the answers.
Bridging the GAP
One of the risks of creating an online presence that is not maintained is that a space is created where a conversation can occur, but the visitors may find no one ‘home’. Having no answer to an inquiry is sure to cause frustration.
Or getting a delayed answer which isn’t an answer would too.
This question was posted more than once to more than one McMaster Twitter account. The next day there was a response…but if you click the link, it takes you to a page where you submit a question to a form that generates the best matching FAQ. There is no ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ account anymore but if a user is patient and clicks their way through to AskMcMaster they may find someone who sees their submitted question and responds by email.
Maybe this question could have been answered on Twitter in minutes. We’ll never know. It was just a referral service in this instance.
While it may sound like a criticism, it’s actually a chance for Mac to meet a communication need in a new way. If the University can build upon its existing success on YouTube with McMasterUTV, there may be a strategic, yet entertaining way to connect with and respond to the high school students who are looking for their future path. Using Facebook and Twitter to encourage two-way communication between prospects and the University can build trust and brand reputation. It’s a matter of listening to our desired demographic and giving them what they want and need to make the life choices that are right for them. And this can be accomplished within a fun, engaging context.