Switching Your Digital Student Marketing to Digital Student Engagement

David Armano put together this great graphic that sums up one of the main messages I give to college departments trying to ramp up their social media presences.  Social media don’t have to be just a replacement for the flier.  It can be such more.  (And should be.)  Rather than thinking of social media as another broadcast network, it’s better to conceive of it as an engagement platform.  At left, we have our traditional methods of student advertising… where the engagement typically occurs at an offline event and the marketing serves to get them there.  At the right, engagement has shifted.  It doesn’t just occur at physical events.  It also occurs online.  Sometimes it only occurs online.


One of the refrains I frequently repeat about this change in mindset is that colleges and universities are engaging in “culture change.”  They’re building a culture of student engagement that occurs as much online as it does off.  This takes time and resources.  It need not necessarily take more resources, but we need to think about how it fits into our workflow and becomes a part of what we do rather than just an add on.

So some questions for you to ponder:

  • Where does your social media presence fall on this spectrum?
  • What knowledge, skills and resources do you need to move your presence towards engagement?
  • Do you have the institutional support to make this shift?

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