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TERMINALFOUR's Global Higher Education Survey finds Facebook still dominant in higher education

Release Date:

Boston, 8 September 2015: TERMINALFOUR today announced results of its Global Higher Education Survey.The results revealed insights into the social media priorities of higher education with 71% believing that Facebook is the social media platform most responsible for driving conversion on the website.

• 71% of respondents believe that Facebook is the social media account most responsible for driving conversion to the website
• 44% assert that Facebook will still be the most important social media account in 12 months’ time. Closely followed by Twitter (29%) and Instagram (11%)
• 87% of respondents working in marketing, web or leadership roles in higher education today believe that traditional marketing still plays either an important or very important role
• 38% of survey respondents in Higher Education have never heard of controversial social media platform Yik Yak

The survey of 257 marketing, web and leadership professionals in higher education revealed that 44% believe that Facebook will still be the most important social media account in 12 months’ time. This is closely followed by Twitter at 29% and Instagram at 11%.  Vine, Snapchat and Pinterest were the lowest concern for institutions surveyed, receiving <1% each.

Piero Tintori, CEO and founder, TERMINALFOUR, said, “There’ve been lots of rumblings about Facebook losing its appeal among the millennial generation in favour of newer platforms.  In fact in our 2014 survey, 27% of respondents stated that Facebook was less effective today than it was 12 months ago. But the reality is that in terms of pure performance and meaningful metrics no other platform has quite stepped up to the plate.”

 “Facebook is clearly resonating with students and therefore higher education is responding accordingly.  The challenge for other platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn, is to transcend beyond creating awareness towards driving action.  As these platforms continually improve their analytics I believe they’ll become more prominent in terms of university marketing budgets but today Facebook is still proving its worth in terms of supporting student recruitment efforts,” Tintori continued.

The survey also uncovered prevailing attitudes to traditional marketing efforts (i.e. print advertising, billboards, TV/radio).  Of higher education respondents, 63% recognised that traditional marketing is still ‘fairly important’ to their institution. Almost a quarter (24%) cited traditional marketing as being very important, 5% believed they were as important as online marketing efforts and just 8% believed they were no longer important.

Commenting on these findings, Piero Tintori, CEO, TERMINALFOUR, said, “As web and social strategies continue to usurp the marketing budget there’s definitely more conversation about cutting the traditional marketing budget in favour of more measurable and cost effective online activities.  Our survey highlights what a battle this might be, as there is still a huge commitment and belief in offline.  If, when and how people take that final leap will be something we’ll be watching over the next few years.”

Of the survey respondents, 78% stated that Yik Yak, the controversial ‘anonymous’ social media site that has been associated with bullying on college campuses, has no place in their institution’s marketing strategy.  Furthermore, 12% believe it should be banned altogether, while 38% of respondents had never heard of it.

 “Yik Yak is relatively untested in terms of influence.  Outside of the US it has little or none of the brand awareness of the other social platforms and it’s seemingly mired in controversy and speculation.  It’ll be interesting to see its progression in higher education in the face of such public and media scrutiny,” he concluded.        

The full TERMINALFOUR Higher Education Web Survey is available for download from: www.terminalfour.com/survey2015/