Hot Topics in Enrollment Marketing: Janet’s Predictions for 2014 (Part One)

When it comes to improving enrollment marketing outcomes, what will the hot topics be in 2014?

Based on common threads from my formal interactions, as well as my casual cocktail conversations at conferences in 2013, I predict that there will be more attention paid to the following enrollment marketing topics:

  1. Social Media
  2. The Sales Role of the Admissions Counselor
  3. Higher Education’s Value Proposition

Social Media and Enrollment Marketing 

We have entered the second decade of social media. With over 1 billion online users on Facebook alone, social media has grown into a business changer.  Yet best practice formulas for using social media for enrollment growth purposes are enigmatic.  A week does not go by without someone asking me how social media should be used for recruiting, or whether they should be using this social site vs. another one. There is general insecurity in higher ed marketing about social media and how to do it right. One thing for sure is that figuring it out takes a lot of time from our already busy schedules.

The time consuming vortex of social media plus its mystique has led many colleges to the indubitable good practice of having a dedicated staff person, usually a millennial, focusing on social media part-time, if not full-time.

At Paskill Stapleton and Lord we are pro-social media of course, but do not prescribe to any one magic bullet, because there is none. Just like other marketing decisions affecting brand, recruitment, development, and retention, it’s prudent to weigh options, develop a social media strategy and measure the activity.  We support the idea of having a dedicated person within the marketing team who is responsible for managing social media.  Equally important is staying flexible because one thing that remains constant in social media is change.

According to Techcrunch.com, most social media activity is mobile. That was not the case 5 years ago.  The fact that social media and mobile usage are so closely connected will impact the direction that colleges will take with their website strategy.

So it is safe to say that social media and recruiting should marry well in some way, but there is no one size fits all.

We would love to hear about success stories in social media related to recruitment.  So not to be limited to 140 characters, please contact me at 412-904-3133.  We can turn off the WIFI and chat.

For a good review and info graphic about social media in 2013, click here.

Part Two of my 2014 predications  . .   to be continued.


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Janet Sieff,

Over 30 years of experience in higher education marketing, admissions, and financial aid. Fifteen of those years spent on a campus managing the high school recruitment operations and negotiating articulation agreements. Off-campus experience includes consulting for college cost affordability, tuition payment plan implementation, online media campaign sales, lead generation, college prep content sales, and strategic planning for national branding.