By Heather Fabritze
Student Life Editor
Over the summer, the Washington College Admissions Office began to expand their social media presence in a manner that they had never used before – using Instagram Reels and TikToks.
From the first weeks of summer break, Admissions made it a priority to market WC to incoming and potential students in a more easily accessible way. This plan included heavy usage of Instagram Reels and TikToks to introduce students to parts of campus life.
Tours of buildings important to the WC experience, slideshows of campus landscape photos, and introductions to opportunities available to students were featured on social media during the summer.
According to Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing Lorna Hunter, Admissions prioritized “video content, day-to-day campus life coverage, and authentic student takeover communications.” All of this was to increase follower count and engagement by creating accessible content.
Hunter and the Admissions Office collected data from surveys to decide what content would be most exciting to students.
“For example, this year we added three new picture-rich admitted student publications highlighting our location, student life, and outcomes to address a perceived communication deficiency from the admissions team after the admit packets were received by prospective students and their families,” Hunter said on behalf of the Admissions office.
Catering to the needs of students, particularly incoming students, influenced the marketing decisions that Admissions made.
This included interns. Admissions intern and senior Noah Vargas worked directly with other interns to lead the Reels and TikTok initiative.
According to Vargas, making difficult and sometimes tedious information engaging was the largest challenge for the Admissions team this summer.
“Social media is kind of the thing,” Vargas said. “And so it was an initiative to sort of…[figure out], how can we make this more accessible for the campus community.”
The Building on Campus Reels series was one of the largest projects that they worked on. During the summer, interns worked on Reels to introduce various buildings on campus. This included the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts, the Casey Academic Center, the Benjamin A. Johnson Fitness Center, and Cain Athletic Center.
Not only were these Reels marketed toward the incoming class, but previous classes as well.
“Some people don’t know what these buildings look like, or what’s inside, or what they are,” Vargas said. “Or, you know, as a freshman, I rarely went to the Cain Athletic Center. I didn’t know that much… So, we wanted to increase engagement with the incoming freshmen because they might have questions.”
According to the Admissions Office, giving freshmen a platform they feel comfortable with to ask questions will lead to them having a greater understanding of campus before they arrive.
Digital Marketing Specialist Katie Marzerka emphasizes the growing requirement to adapt to the incoming class and what they understand best.
“The bottom line is, prospective students are using social media more than ever,” Marzerka said on behalf of the Admissions Office. “We have to meet them where they are. Increasing our social media presence has facilitated and strengthened our day-to-day communication with prospective students all around the world.” The Admissions Office plans to continue evolving based on data and responses from the student body.