ROI may be hard to measure (directly) on social media but numbers aren’t. According to David Burge, associate dean of admissions at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 91% of accepted students who create a profile on his campus’ private (social) network decide to enroll.
Freshman across the country are coming to college already connected with “friends” due to social media and online networking. Private online communities allow you to facilitate connections surrounded by your branding and without the security concerns you have on public sites. According to the Baltimore Sun “In 2008, a company created false Facebook sites for many universities in hopes of grabbing personal information for marketing purposes.” Plus with the ethical questions surrounding admissions reps being friended by prospects (71% of admissions officers said they or a colleague had experienced such requests according to a recent survey from Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions) it’s essential to provide these eager connectors with a place where they can put forth profiles and connect with others, including admissions reps.
Creating a private online community builds connections, establishes relationships and provides reporting features that public sites do not. Capturing data and arriving at the kind of numbers David Burge did is one of the many benefits of a private online community.