When it comes to making a decision about what to eat, where to go on holiday, what film to watch we trust recommendations more than we trust adverts, brochures, posters or websites.
It’s a simple premise, and the basis of businesses like TripAdvisor, that we can all identify with in our day-to-day life.
So, it’s no surprise that when students are deciding where to go to university, they want to hear from those that are already there – or those that have already completed it.
Whether you make those peer connections available or not, students will find peer connections and recommendations!
Yahya was a High School student in Jordan, considering university in Canada and found one he seemed to like. But not knowing anyone, he wasn’t really sure.
“I really needed clarity and a sense of reassurance,” said Yahya, “and so I found Yousef on a Facebook group – I wasn’t really supposed to be part of it, it was closed for current students. I snuck in because I was quite desperate. I messaged him, and we ended up exchanging around a thousand messages.”
Yahya ended up joining the team here at Unibuddy, so students could benefit from this sort of connection without risking a ban on Facebook.
So, students want to hear from other students before they make a decision – and they will find them. By making those students available online, you can benefit greatly from generating leads, gaining insights and ensuring the student ambassadors representing your institution are well-trained and good sources of information.
The role of alumni ambassadors
Alumni ambassadors are just as valuable as student ambassadors. Not only do they provide a holistic view of the university experience – having completed it in entirety – but they can also advise on what comes next.
Postgraduate students, for example, are 62% more likely to ask questions about the careers they can get after their degree. An alumni is well placed to answer a question about that, sharing their personal experience.
So, how do you connect your prospective students with your alumni, in a way that is safe, managed and beneficial to your institution?
The answer is with Unibuddy.
Of all those conversations taking place about your school on LinkedIn, or Instagram, or Twitter – how much do you know about what is being said?
Social listening tools are becoming an increasingly popular way to get a perspective on what people are saying about a brand or company, but it only shows us what they are saying publicly.
Unibuddy’s Conversational Insights tool is a first-of-its-kind, AI-powered tool that allows you to get to the heart of what your prospective students care about.
Those students that are your best advocates and your ambassadors can be Unibuddies for your prospective students – and with Unibuddy you get the right tools to manage them.
You can support their busy schedules by controlling when they receive messages – so you can temporarily hide them during their busy exam seasons.
You can also see stats on how many hours they’ve spent responding to messages, you can keep an eye on their response times and more.
Your students are talking – you know that. Prospective students are messaging current students through LinkedIn, your current students are creating vlogs about their experience on YouTube, your alumni are giving recommendations to their network.
So why not take control of those student connections? Gather the data that can inform your strategy and collect the leads of students who are engaging. Using Unibuddy lets you do all this – and more.
Our mission is to connect peers to make better decisions. Each choice we make throughout our lives shapes our future profoundly. Students thinking about uprooting their lives and attending your graduate program should do so with the confidence that it is the right program for them.