SOCIAL MEDIA AND HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS: USING SOCIAL NETWORKS TO RECRUIT STUDENTS
The number of offers in higher education both in Ukraine and everywhere in the world is quite large, and accordingly the competition for new students is high. Higher education institutions (HEIs) in such conditions must know how to effectively present themselves to target audiences. New digital technologies and social media can help. Social media has become especially important during the quarantine restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Universities have to use the Internet as their main source of communication, both for disseminating information and for recruiting new students. As a result, the use of social media in higher education is growing rapidly, and HEIs are making increasing efforts to establish their online presence. Higher education institutions try to establish contact with their potential students when they study in high school using various media platforms, including social networks and messengers.
This article is devoted to the theoretical analysis and practical research of using social media, in particular social networks, by higher education institutions in Ukraine to recruit students and maintain two-way communication with them.
The study has shown that most freshmen actively used social networks to search for information about a HEI and some of them maintained a dialogue with the university through these social networks before the admission. An important regularity has been defined: the more widely and qualitatively a higher education institution is presented in social networks, the more often entrants and students turn to them in search of the necessary information. However, social networks still remain an auxiliary tool, as the majority of Ukrainian entrants first of all trust the official websites and feedback of graduates when choosing a higher education institution. In any case, the higher education marketing is becoming increasingly digital and this trend doesn’t look to slow down anytime soon.