From Snapchat to Instagram stories, this year we’re likely to see universities making even more use of social media in the run-up to the big day.
Emma Leech, director of marketing at Loughborough University, says that although a small number of universities make offers through social media, most tend to use it ahead of clearing day to engage and inform students through web chats, Instagram stories or live Q&As.
Students can also use Facebook, WhatsApp groups and the Student Room to talk to current students and to ask questions. “You can connect with people and talk about any worries,” Leech says.
Alix Delany, head of admissions at the University of East Anglia (UEA), says this year her university will have a special team dedicated to social media during clearing. “So students can communicate with us in whatever way they want to.”
How does Delany recommend you talk to university staff on social media? “Use really simple and clear language,” she says. “It can be a quickfire conversation, so by no means do you have to prepare an essay. Don’t tell your A-level results through the power of emoji. Having said that, if an emoji comes our way, some of the team may send one back,” she says.
Lewis Haynes, a student at De Montfort University, found it helpful messaging unis over WhatsApp during clearing. Numbers can be found on university websites. “It’s good to text as many people as you can at different universities because the more options you get the more choices you have,” he says.
Even though it’s good to use social media to get support and extra information, it’s helpful to pick up the phone and speak to people, Leech says. Delany warns against using too many social media channels and overloading yourself. “Just use whatever you feel most comfortable and familiar with,” she says.
Social media tips
Here’s how to use apps during clearing
1 Do your research
“Don’t leave it until the last minute, because that will just give you added pressure and stress,” says Emma Leech, director of marketing at Loughborough University. “Use social to do your research and connect with student groups and institutions.”
2 Make sure you have everything you need
“Have your Ucas personal identification ready and a note of your qualification results,” says Alix Delany, head of admissions at UEA.
3 Look at what people are sharing on social media
Universities may post information and advice on social media throughout the day, so keep an eye on it.
4 Social media offers are like those made by phone
“Online we’ll say: ‘We’d love to give you a form.’ Then within two hours of them filling it out we will have sent a written offer,” says Delany.
5 Take your time
You don’t need to take the first thing that’s offered, Leech says. “Ignore some of the pressure tactics some institutions have started to use, such as rushing you into making a decision.” Use social media to see what others are doing, but don’t let that put you off, she says. “It’s your day, decision and future. Don’t feel the need to copy what everyone else is doing – it has to be right for you.” AY-P