When I was in college, the concept of social media was rapidly evolving. Facebook, specifically, had already been ingrained into our everyday lives. Whether it was connecting with buddies from high school, listening to music on Spotify, or posting embarrassing pics to my friends’ profiles, Facebook was truly the digital footprint of my life.

Today’s college kids have grown up alongside social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. In more recent years, Instagram and Snapchat have been added to the menu. Most students couldn’t imagine a world without Facebook, especially when it comes to the college experience. From researching schools to tracking football scores to messaging friends back home, Facebook is a one-stop platform for everyone and everything.

You Heard Facebook was Dying? The Stats Show Otherwise

If you’ve heard the rumors that Facebook is lame or on its last leg, ignore them. Here are a few recent statistics to change your mind.

  • Facebook’s CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, recently celebrated his 34th birthday. For every day he’s been alive, he’s made an average of $6 million. That certainly doesn’t come from people NOT using the site.

  • Over 2.2 billion people use Facebook monthly. In 2017, Facebook saw an 18 percent increase year over year. Not too bad for a platform that’s “dying.”

  • A large chunk of the 2 billion people using Facebook are Generation Z (up-and-coming students), millennials (recent graduates), and Generation X (alumni). Hey, aren’t these your audiences?

  • 87 percent of online users between the ages of 18-29 are on Facebook. That’s not too shabby. Plus, 74 percent of college graduates are on the social network, making it a great place to connect with alums.

For Now, Facebook IS the Leader

In order to succeed with your higher education marketing strategy, you cannot ignore the role that Facebook plays. Even though college students use Facebook differently than in years past, they are still active on the channel. This means that your ads are getting seen. As a matter of fact, Inside Higher Ed named Facebook the primary social network for higher education.

Here are a few points the article made that I agree with.

  • Facebook will continue to be the most important social platform for higher institutions. All age groups are comfortable using it – students, parents, staff, and alumni. It’s also a “safe” and familiar platform.

  • High quality content is essential to your higher institution’s presence. Colleges and universities need content to build their credibility and engage their audiences, so don’t slack. Be prepared to recruit students with great social content, images, videos, and blog posts.

  • Expect to spend more money on Facebook advertising. I mean, why not? The price of everything goes up. But in all honesty, Facebook advertising is effective and the tools available let you target very specific groups. It’s money well spent.

When creating a higher education marketing strategy, remember that Facebook is a leader. Rely on this channel to get your ads in front of the right people without wasting precious dollars. Even with the rise of other social platforms, Facebook remains a constant – the foundation of social media, so to speak. Don’t ignore it.