Date of Defense

5-25-2012

Date of Graduation

4-28-2012

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Jessica M. Brooks, Office of Admissions

Second Advisor

Scott P. Hennessy, Office of Admissions

Third Advisor

Nina L. Laney, Office of Admissions

Abstract

Social media technology is a rapidly growing communication phenomenon that digital natives, the generation of current 18-29 years old have embraced and revolutionized daily interactions. Social media technology is defined as “web-based and mobile applications that allow individuals and organizations to create, engage, and share new user-generated or existing content, in digital environment through multi-way communication” (Davis, Deil-Amen, Rios-Aguilar, & Gonzalez Canche, 2011). Emerging social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter allow users to create and maintain relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and organizations. The “always connected” generation of digital natives expects constant communication and instantaneous access to information that social media technology offers to users. Growing up in such a connected world, digital natives expect the same level of connectedness from business, organizations, and specifically higher education institutions. Higher education institutions have within the last 5 years embraced social media technology in order to maintain a relationship with prospective students of the Millennial generation. It is important to note that social media technology does not replace the significant of the higher education institutions’ webpage or printed publication. This emerging marketing strategy requires research, planning and set goals in order to become a successful in attracting prospective students. This document reviews current research literature on college admissions use of social media technology in recruitment marketing as well as offers a strategic plan for Western Michigan University’s Office of Admissions.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

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