Your social media account is not the answer – your website could be!
Recently I’ve been working on a project looking at translating a re brand across digital platforms. This has led to discussions about the look and feel of the social media presence. I totally agree that all platforms should carry the same brand message, but are we placing too much emphasis as higher education institutions on our social media channels and the importance they play in recruiting students?
The student room recently conducted a study that highlighted 65% of students use social media channels throughout the day. Of these students, the vast majority rate universities’ social media presence as less influential and less trustworthy than more traditional sources such as prospectuses, websites or open days.
Fewer than one in five students were influenced by Twitter accounts and fewer than one in four influenced by Facebook accounts. This begs the question, ‘will a Facebook accounts aesthetics be the determining factor in an applicants journey’? It is highly doubtful. The messages and the communications through the channels can be more important than the visuals in the recruitment process.
Given the knowledge we now have, should we be placing our resources into ensuring our websites are fit for purpose ahead of questioning the image in a Facebook or Twitter profile? The majority of recent conversations have surrounded the visuals in our social media presence, but little thought has been offered into how brand messages will communicated or how the tone of voice will change on the website and what attention should be paid to ensuring the brand covers other digital aspects such as video and other online advertising. There seems to be a default setting that changing a banner image will be the answer to all brand questions. Maybe we should be looking at the bigger picture and consider how our identity and content should be used to gain new audiences.