Developing a Positive Web Presence

After discussing what to keep off social media in “How’s Your Social Media Presence?”, hopefully you’ve gone through your various channels, done an audit, clean up and you’re ready to post away, the right way!
As we discussed before, colleges are facing a difficult challenge; they are receiving record numbers of applications, and record number of quality candidates. Their system of looking at GPA’s and standardized test scores (ACT/SAT) are simply not enough for them to determine whom to accept or deny admission. Students are applying with comparable statistics, and many look great on paper.
How will schools determine who their next freshman class will be? They do what the rest of us do when we need a fast answer: They Google it [you]. Roughly 35% of admissions officers searched students’ social media, in order to help make admission decisions. It is estimated by 2018, 60% of admissions officers will review applicants’ social media.
There are two ways of looking at these statistics: we can be afraid, and feel as though colleges are voyeurs to something we never thought they would see, or we can accept it and see the positive benefits of their searches. Colleges want to take a deeper look into their applicants, beyond the questions on applications. What makes you an interesting candidate? What activities do you partake in during your free time? Social media has now become a way for you to compliment your college applications, and the best part it is a task that you are very much accustomed to doing already–posting!
What are you passionate about? Put it on social media. How have you volunteered and helped out with a club or organization? Post it! What about the award you received for being “most-spirited” or “most outgoing”? Take a photo and log-in! These types of activities and accomplishment are what set you apart which from other candidates and otherwise may not be conveyed on typical college applications. Let the words, actions and images speak to your personality and drive. Your posts will take on a whole new meaning; building a timeline and conveying a story.
Social media can be a way you can get colleges to notice you. When you Follow, Tweet, and Like colleges and universities they you are interested in – they will see you. You have now shown them you are interested in them, and those are the students they want; students who want to attend their institution and are thoroughly interested in their school. Just remember to practice good social media etiquette and refrain from over posting, commenting or stalking.
Think of your social feeds as another way showcase yourself to your dream school. If your social presence portrays you as a well-rounded individual, who is mature and has a zest for life and interesting passions – your application just may be bumped ahead of the rest.