3 steps to attract adult students to your college through LinkedIn
Higher Education Marketing

3 steps to attract adult students to your college through LinkedIn

Date posted: September 28, 2012

It is not enough for your school to simply be present on social media. What is crucial is being present on the platforms that your current and prospective students also use. Schools with a considerable adult student body should keep in mind that adult students do not spend as much time on Facebook and other social media platforms that are typically more popular with high school and college students. If your school offers second-career or professional development programs, or if a significant percentage of your school’s student population is made up of adults, you need to meet your students where they are: LinkedIn.

Here are 3 quick steps to attract students’ attention on LinkedIn.

1.       Create and optimize your college’s Company page

– Create a simple Company page for your school that includes a picture, URL and description.

–  Have the Services section filled to feature your school’s best attributes. This section is rarely filled out by schools, but it is a great way to promote your key programs and initiatives and, most importantly, to request recommendations for your programs. Here what Imperial College London does on its Company page.

–  Link to a video that goes beyond of the typical campus tour. A way to make videos more engaging is to feature the services adult students truly care about:

  • Counselor/tutoring options
  • Available financial solutions
  • Evening and weekend hours
  • Past experience and credit policy
  • Day-care facilities nearby
  • Support services for their unique needs

–  Don’t be idle. Actively update this page frequently; with blog posts or links with industries your school focuses on. More tips to optimize your school’s Company on LinkedIn. 

2.       Create an Alumni group for your school

An alumni group is a great way for your school to show off the network it offers its students. For professionals looking to create more opportunities for themselves by going back to school, it is also a promise of a value beyond the benefit of their time at your school.

–  Decide on what you would like your group to be about: Do you want to offer  a social platform for students to connect? Or do you want to focus on offering a database to hear about jobs and insights about the industry?

–  Decide who should be members of the groups: current students or alumni only? Should faculty be members as well?

–  Should the group be open? An open group will be referenced on search engines, which will make it easier for prospects to find, but private group conversations will make your students more comfortable with sharing insights.

–  Draft a LinkedIn policy for students and faculty to clarify your decisions about the Company page and the group. Who will be in charge of both the page and the group? Should the entire school faculty be members? What will be their role? This may require some coordination with your Alumni Services.

–  Depending on whether it is open or not, promote your group in all of your communication efforts.

–  Invite former students to tell their story. –  Interact with your students and alumni by feeding discussions from which they will all gain insights.

3.       Be a connector

  • Have your admission advisors answer questions on groups

–   Research some of the professional groups where your target students are most active and make it a goal to answer several questions a week.

  • Create links between prospects and students

–  Help your students connect with other alumni in their region –  Connect prospects with new grads to answer their questions

  • Create links between students and your industry

– Through your personal page, follow potential employers and keep up with what they are doing, share it on your school’s company page or the group.

– Use your Company page or your group to share employment info (internships, job offers, etc.) with your group followers

–  Ask your instructors to become members of groups and to interact with prospective employers and students.

– Help your students promote themselves on LinkedIn: why not turn your LinkedIn Alumni page into a reference center for your students to receive recommendations from their college?

–  Take it out of the Internet: Do not forget that networks are really built in person. Help your students do just that by organizing occasions where students can meet mentors to discuss their career choices. One option is to create a mentorship program matching students with a successful alumnus over a dinner. Don’t forget to track your results using Page Insights and Group statistics to see the evolution of your network on LinkedIn!