College students aren’t the only ones who have to throw the dice when it comes to choosing the best university for their career goals; universities also play a big guessing game in understanding the needs of the modern student. If your university misses the opportunity to connect with prospective students, it’s a long wait until the following enrollment period when college searches are back on the rise.

Fortunately, this is about to change for universities thanks to LinkedIn’s University Pages. University Pages are essentially page profiles for colleges and universities around the world. They allow schools to connect with prospective students, alumni and other important people. The main advantages to University Pages are:

  • Network building

  • Student engagement

  • Better understanding of today’s students

  • Communication with alumni

  • Rapport building with other universities

Perhaps the biggest advantage for marketers is that they can interact with students early in the school search process. Historically, colleges and universities could communicate with students after they had shown interest in the school, such as by attending a local event or filling out a form online. By this time, the university could be one of many options, and without really understanding the student, it’s hard to pull them in.

Now, marketers can start early in the college search process by engaging with students, answering questions and recognizing alumni. Starting September 12, students will also be able to build their own student profiles, and marketers will have a new channel of information at their fingertips. These profiles will be an excellent way to reach out to students on a personal level, highlighting features that will draw them into the school: small class size, campus involvement, commuter benefits and so on.

LinkedIn is also unlike any other social media platform in that it is designed for two-way conversations. There are character limits on Twitter and informal interactions on Facebook. LinkedIn is meant to enhance professional opportunities and network connections, so universities are using the site appropriately when they leverage student information, engage in meaningful conversation and connect with alumni.

If you’ve been stuck on the best way to market to prospective students, the rut is over. University Pages is an effective way to build relationships with students, alumni and your local community, fulfilling marketing objectives like never before.