Malleable Musings

December 22, 2008

Student conversion and the role of social web

Filed under: International Student Recruitment, Social Media — Tags: , — Brendan @ 10:44 pm

I’ve read a few recent posts that have got me thinking about the role that different tools can play in the student conversion process. My starting point is the conversion funnel and the belief that I personally am not in control of how and where conversion conversations take place, nor what is said. All I can do is to try and influence the conversion to happen. To help me do this I have a range of tools at my disposal, including social web tools that can be deployed either on our site (to create a gated community of advocates) or on external sites (to create buzz).

Thinking in this way the issue becomes one of applying the right tools in the right ways at the right times to help shape the conversion funnel in the way I would like.

In doing this I think that there are two distinct purposes:

1) to recruit directly
2) to reinforce brand values with advocates

Different tools are obviously suited for different purposes. However I’d expect the conversations for potential students to mainly start outside my direct sphere of influence, unless they are actually responding to advertising – rare I know but it does happen!

There may then be some interaction with the University (probably via the website or driven by email marketing) but I’d imagine that potential students will still go elsewhere to verify that what they have been told by the University is correct, until they’ve paid their money and made their choice.

This is why the advocates are so important and why they need to be empowered to spread the brand messages. It’s also why we need to make it easy for them to do this.



  1. My Name is Kate: Are you trapped in a destination mindset? –

    Says the same sort of things but stated far more eloquently than this…..

    Comment by Brendan — January 3, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  2. Funny – on re-reading original post have missed another objective of insight and brand monitoring. P.S. Kudos to Keele for monitoring and responding – within 48 hours –
    their source was (I wish I didn’t need about half a dozen searches to do the same thing.) Further kudos for being the first University to be openly following @DavidLammyMP on Twitter.

    Comment by Brendan — January 15, 2009 @ 11:18 pm

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