Higher Education Marketing

Why is LinkedIn important to your College and University student recruiting efforts?

Date posted: June 18, 2012

Here are a couple of very important statistics about students and LinkedIn.

  1. As of October of 2011, approximately 14 million of LinkedIn’s total 161million members were students.
  2. Students and recent college graduates are the fastest growing demographic group on LinkedIn .

So why are students flocking to LinkedIn these days and what are they doing there?

Research indicates that students are using LinkedIn to:

  • research companies
  • check out career paths
  • prepare for interviews
  • get introductions and referrals
  • make business contacts
  • extend their resumes
  • collaborate with college alumni for advice and opportunities
  • find internships and jobs

It seems pretty clear from this kind of activity that your prospect and existing students are using LinkedIn to get ahead in their pursuit of career and job. LinkedIn is of particularly high value to students considering graduate school, Extension or Continuing Education opportunities and generally 3rd and 4th year students, as they get closer to graduation.

Since your audience is spending time there, what kinds of things can you be doing to reach them using LinkedIn as a medium?

1) LinkedIn Advertising:

If you can effectively segment your target audience using LinkedIn’s targeting options, then LinkedIn advertising can be an excellent option for your recruitment campaigns. For example, think age (18-24) in a specific geographic area (New York), with a Bachelors degree, with job function (marketing ) to market your MBA Program to.

Examples of LinkedIn PPC and Display Ads

2) LinkedIn Alumni Groups:

Alumni groups provide a range of opportunities for students to network with other students and alumi from their college. M.I.T. for example, (@MIT_alumni) hosts a LinkedIn alumni group, which allows students to join before they graduate so that they can network with alumni. (For more information about how to set up an alumni group for your school see this link). Having a LinkedIn group for your alumni is an excellent feature on your list of things that prospect students are looking for to assure them that your program will help them find a job upon graduation. You might even consider opening up your alumni group to prospect students so they can reach graduates directly for feedback about your institution.

Example of a LinkedIn Alumni Group

As more students move into LinkedIn it will continue to improve as a channel for higher ed marketers to reach student prospects and an institution’s currently enrolled students.

What’s you experience been using LinkedIn as a higher ed marketing channel?


Scott Duncan has worked in post-secondary educational marketing for over 25 years developing and marketing curriculum materials, marketing educational software, consulting to post-secondary institutions and most recently focusing on developing traditional and e-marketing solutions for student recruitment. He has extensive experience in student recruiting for continuing education and non-credit programs.

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