Sign up

Have some pie!

Social media survey: 1/4 of unis disappoint

Over a quarter of universities contacted in a ‘mystery shopper’ social media survey failed to respond to enquiries from a prospective student, with particularly dismal performances from US and Canadian universities.

US institution response rates. Infographic: Intead.

“When making the investment in social media as a marketing channel, a minimal effort simply won’t help you win against your competitors”

The survey, conducted by strategy and research firm International Education Advantage (Intead), monitored how universities responded when contacted via Facebook and Twitter using a profile appearing as a 22 year old Indian resident interested in studying abroad.

“For most institutions, not responding to a student query will quickly disqualify you from a student’s consideration set”

Of the 80 institutions surveyed – 50 in the US, 15 in Canada, 10 in Australia and five in New Zealand – a surprising 29% of the institutions surveyed did not respond on either platform.

The study, as in previous years, showed universities in Australia and New Zealand to be “generally more capable than the average US university” when marketing to international students, Intead’s CEO, Michael Waxman-Lenz, told The PIE News.

Australasian universities took an average of 2.04 hours to respond to enquiries, compared with 4.58 hours for Canadian and 22.15 hours for US institutions.

Despite faring well in Intead’s two previous surveys, a third of Canadian universities failed to respond to either message.

Overall institutions responded more quickly to enquiries made via Twitter than Facebook – in 4.22 hours, compared with 11.18 hours – suggesting a tendency to monitor Twitter more closely.

Intead COO Waxman noted a “clear lack of understanding” of how to use Facebook effectively, with many universities treating their pages as “a one-way communication channel”.

“Money and energy are being wasted,” he said.

Universities that impressed in the survey responded not only quickly but engagingly.

masseyMassey University in New Zealand, for example, shared a link to its international student site with a compelling image. On Twitter it accompanied the link with a smiley face, followed “Aahana Bahl” and asked her area of interest within 5 minutes.

Australia’s University of Melbourne, Canada’s University of Winnipeg and Simon Fraser University, and Case Western Reserve University, University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign and Fontbonne University in the US were all described as “exemplary”.

“For most institutions, not responding to a student query will quickly disqualify you from a student’s consideration set,” commented Waxman-Lenz. “When making the investment in social media as a marketing channel, a minimal effort simply won’t help you win against your competitors. Staff it or don’t waste your time.”

Related articles

Still looking? Find by category:

Add your comment

8 Responses to Social media survey: 1/4 of unis disappoint

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: All user contributions posted on this site are those of the user ONLY and NOT those of The PIE Ltd or its associated trademarks, websites and services. The PIE Ltd does not necessarily endorse, support, sanction, encourage, verify or agree with any comments, opinions or statements or other content provided by users.
PIE Review

The latest issue of the PIE Review is out now! To view now, please

Click here