Social media can get a bad rap. With everything we see in the news around bullying and trolls, it's no wonder. But social media can also be used to promote your academic and even athletic careers in a positive way - especially when it comes to colleges.
Here are 5 ways you can use social media today to attract colleges:
If you're not on Twitter you may be missing out on an easy way to target colleges, recruiters, counsellors, coaches, and more. These institutions and individuals leverage Twitter to research and meet potential college and university recruits and students. By simply tagging a school or specific coach, you can easily send them information on your sports highlights, extracurricular activities, and more. With these professionals receiving dozens of emails a day, this can be a new way to break through the clutter and get recognized.
Imagine having your own YouTube channel that spotlights your life from middle school through high school and into college. Pretty impressive way to chronicle your life, especially all the exceptional things you may do for activities, being a good citizen and showcasing why a college or university would want to have you as a student. Athletes have seen promising results from using YouTube to post clips of their seasons and highlights. While specific sports video sites exist, it's hard to refute the reach that YouTube has, especially given it's owned by Google, which means better search results.
A favorite for most teens anyways, the visual nature of Instagram can be a huge benefit to promote your work, especially for those artists and designers out there. Showcasing your class work can be an easy way for colleges and universities to easily see a compilation of work in one place. With Instagram's tagging and hashtag features, you can draw direct attention by tagging colleges, professors or counselors you want to notice your work.
Reporters are proficient social media users. Research reporters that might be of interest for your athletic or academic careers. By tagging and spotlighting your work to these individuals, you increase your chances of getting stories written about you and thus greatly increase your profiles reach to colleges, universities, counselors, coaches, and more. Whether it's Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, reporters are always looking for their next stories.
While it's great to target college and university profiles on social media, your message may get lost in the crowd. Professors, departments, and coaches are more and more running their own social media profiles to not only discuss professional but personal updates. With a little research, you can find and engage with these individuals on these accounts. For example, you're really interested in an art program. You've found the college's art professor and commented on several of his pieces of artwork and send him some of your own. You've created a relationship with someone who can give you sound advice about getting into that institution and may even be able to help in the admission process. Another example is with athletes, coaches are very active on social media and a few tweets or links to a YouTube highlight reel can be an easy way to get noticed directly.
In the end, getting into college is a competitive process. Social media can be a tool you leverage in that process. Just don't become a creepy stalker, that won't help.