A recent survey by DigitalMedia iX has revealed some compelling facts about college/university students and how they interact with digital media. While this was a US based survey, the results should make you think about how you engage with prospective graduate candidates now, and in the future.
So how will tomorrow's leaders want to engage brand?
DigitalMedia iX surveyed over 2000 students to discover what was
important to them. They, unlike us, have grown up with the digital
world, and were googling before they could walk. They're at home in
the digital world and are very particular about which digital media
they use. They pick up options quickly, and discard them just as
fast if they don't live up to expectations. They're also very
susceptible to peer perception - more than any other generation -
because of the tools the digital world has provided. So whether
it's a 'Like' or a 'RT' (retweet) your brand needs to get
They use mutiple devices to access information from their phone, computer, laptop or tablet. They actively engage with company websites, social media sites, video steaming sites and mobile apps. And of course passively through other forms of digital advertising such as emails and adverts.
Understanding the value/importance of all of these options is a challenge, but here are some of the top insights from the research for you to consider.
Top six social networks for students
It should come as no surprise that Facebook comes out on top of
this survey, with 97% of students using it. Facebook has evolved
from supporting people socially to helping them connect with
YouTube and Twitter come in at positions two and three respectively with 60% using them regularly. Twitter fits the student lifestyle perfectly, quickly disseminating thoughts, ideas, and opinions. To ask questions, and get answers straight away.
LinkedIn, though less used, was sited as a key tool for students approaching their final year and preparing for careers.
How students engage with brands
Websites are still the most important way of engaging with
students, while Facebook comes in a close second. Interestingly
though if a student 'Likes' a company page simply to enter a
competition they will generally ignore subsequent communication
from that brand. This proves great content is still key.
Video content is also hugely important whether on your website, Facebook or video streaming site. YouTube again being the main player here - if you don't have a YouTube company channel, now may be the time to create one.
More than one third of students download mobile apps created by brands, but they need to add value or (as we mentioned before) they'll be discarded pretty quickly. Twitter, while bringing up the rear, could actually be the strongest marketing stream of the group, with 'tweeters' typically having more influence over their friends.
With the rise and rise of social media a lot of people have been predicting the demise of the website, but these stats suggest a different story. While social media should not be ignored, a more integrated approach to web strategy is obviously needed - driven by your intended objectives and target audience.
Smart phone usage
If your website isn't responsive, or you don't have a phone-optimised version, you may need to chat to us. The most important thing for a student to carry is a mobile phone, and typically these are all smart phones allowing students to access your website, social media and video content anywhere.
The iPhone dominates the market, suggesting that if you're going to an app that isn't multi-platform-based (works on all smart phones) building it for the iphone (and through association the ipad) would be the wisest choice.
While there are no massive surprises from this survey, it
clearly shows that future talent will be engaging with your
brand across multiple platforms and on multiple devices. Something
we can help you take advantage of.
If you'd like to know more about responsive websites read our blog article on the subject.