Social media can be a valuable tool for choosing a university

social media decide
Off-purpose technology is causing distractions. Source: Shutterstock

Let’s face it, we’re pretty much all on social media. These online platforms have become an integral part of life for a huge proportion of the global population.

For many, social media is the way we gather information, share opinions, articles and facts, as well as being a direct means of communication for people all over the world. From deciding which phone to buy to which holiday to book; many of our decisions can be swayed by the way we use social media. It’s only the natural progression that students’ decisions on where to study are influenced by the internet.

Last year, the Hobsons International Student Survey (ISS) found social media to have a growing influence on prospective international students.

The findings showed social media campaigns in the UK to greatly impact how prospective students from overseas viewed the country and its universities as potential places of study.

Never before have international students had the opportunity to connect with such a vast network of people who were once in their shoes with such immediate ease.

At the touch of a finger – or the old school click of a mouse –  students have access to a world of information and people who can help them make informed decisions about prospective universities.

Few things are as helpful when deciding on a university as actually being able to speak to people on-campus, both the staff and students, and this has been made increasingly convenient with the impact of social media.

The ISS research found that 83 percent of prospective students use social channels to research universities – a number that is increasing every year.

Pretty helpful though. Source: GIPHY

Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are the most popular platforms being used to discover the perfect university, but other sites are also widely used.

For many, social media is the first exposure and contact a student has with an institution. The ISS survey showed 82 percent of international students used social media to research a university before they decided whether or not to make an inquiry.

That is why an institution’s social media accounts can be so crucial in engaging prospective students. The ISS survey found a positive correlation between the popularity of a university’s social media accounts and its international student intake.

Students who move countries for their studies often have a long list of things they want from their host institution – and understandably so – but what’s often near the top of that list is the knowledge they will receive a warm welcome. In fact, 31 percent of students claimed this was the most important factor, according to the ISS.

The more welcoming, interactive and friendly an institution’s social media accounts, the more likely it seems a student would be tempted to apply there.

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