LinkedIn is mostly known as a channel for individuals to network with like-minded executives, find a job, build a pitch list, or build a Klout score (for the chosen millions few who rank within the top 5% of all LinkedIn users … remember that?). With the new University Pages, LinkedIn plans to change the way students research universities by allowing access to high-schoolers (starting September 12th, 2013), who can learn more about current students and track notable alumni, where they work and what they do.
Up until now, schools had the ability to create a company page for the university, which was a way to brand it as an employer. University Pages are designed for a school to market itself and build a community. They’re a place to showcase what makes the institution special—academically, socially, and culturally. Administrative personnel can have conversations with interested audiences, including alumni, current students, parents, prospective students, and even employers, faculty, or donors.
Christina Allen (Director, Product Management at LinkedIn) announced the launch of University Pages on LinkedIn the other day as “one cornerstone of our strategy to help students at every critical milestone from campus to fulfilling, successful careers.” Sounds great, but what is it, and will it make a difference to higher ed? Or will it be another digital profile that marketers will clamber over school desks to secure that ultimately remains untouched and forgotten over time?
The good news is that I did the research for you. Here are the top reasons why you need to secure a University Page via LinkedIn if you haven’t already:
For prospective students: University Pages will be a valuable source for students making their decision about where to attend college. On September 12th, LinkedIn will be available to high-school students (amending its TOS to reduce the age limit to 14 years old in the US), who can use LinkedIn to explore schools worldwide, expand their understanding of available careers, and get a head start on building a network of family and friends to help guide them at every milestone. Very powerful. University Pages also tracks “notable alumni” to show prospects what types of alumni the school produces and the great things they’ve done since graduation.
For existing students: University Pages will be a source of regular updates about campus news and activities directly from the school. Students will have the ability to engage with the campus community and alumni. For students choosing a major or considering a mid-career shift, they will be able to explore different types of careers based on program-specific graduates of their school. Students will also have the ability to see where graduates now live/work and what they do, along with the skills acquired along the way.
For alumni: Your university will have an efficient means of allowing current alumni to keep in touch with their alma mater and up-to-date with classmates, careers, campus news and job opportunities.
How do you get a University Page?
According to LinkedIn, you must comply with a few requirements, as noted in their FAQ:
- Have a .edu email address added and confirmed on your LinkedIn account.
- Be a current employee of the school with a position listed in the “Experience” section of your profile.
- Your school page does not already have a University Page and is not represented under a different name.
If you satisfy the above requirements, you can contact LinkedIn with the following information:
- Include the URL for your school’s official website.
- List the country where your school is located.
- If you will NOT be the administrator of the page, list the email address for the correct administrator.
- If applicable, list the existing Company Page associated with your school.
- If the school is part of a larger university system, please note any other existing University Pages.
Check out Fathom’s 30-pg. Ultimate Guide to Marketing an Educational Institution with Social Media. It’s full of insightful interviews and illustrative case studies on using Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for marketing a school.