Student life online
Higher education is still finding its feet in digital, but as exciting new areas continue to emerge—such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)—British education providers are starting to understand the need to provide an online-focused learning experience. Mix in the inexorable rise of social media marketing and it's easy to see why platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and even Facebook have become indispensable to not only reach potential students but also enable current students and alumni to interact with one another in the right environment.
In short, marketing campaigns have to be specifically designed for the spaces these users already occupy. The traditional "build it and they will come" approach has become outmoded as educators abandon owned forum pages in favour of earned social audiences. LinkedIn has been particularly proactive in this regard, creating education-focused features including University Pages, Decision Boards, and Program Selectors that adapt according to alumni career profiles.
Facebook Pages are a little less on-the-nose, but frequently form a crucial component in a prospect's decision-making process. You could even argue that they're just as important as the company or institution's own website: queries and discussions are often directed to admin managers, and play out in a public forum where other community members are able to comment and add insight. It's another milestone on higher education's long and continuing journey into the digital realm—and a timely reminder that your digital roadmap needs to be fit for purpose.