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Twitter has become a staple part of students celebrating their success. But it's not only smiling selfies; students are contacting universities through social media platforms to confirm or win their place on a course.

And it’s not just Twitter that’s popular. In 2015, Leeds Beckett used Periscope to offer prospective students a virtual interactive campus tour, led by the Students’ Union President, and plans to use Snapchat, Facebook Live and Instagram Stories to communicate this year.

Charlotte Renwick, Associate Director of Customer Marketing, explains our University’s social media strategy for communicating with students around A level results day:

“We’re committed to providing a great customer experience all year round and especially on results day, which we know can be a daunting time for those wishing to gain a place at University. We’ve seen the growth in volume of university chat on social media across the last three years, with our analysis showing that volume of chat on social media referring to universities, clearing and exam results on results day jumped 20% from 2013 to 2105, and we’ll be communicating through channels that our prospective students are engaging with to support our usual offline channels. We will be taking queries via Live Chat and Twitter from 6am on Results Day and we’ve found students who are quite nervous about calling will often reach out to us on social media first.

“Facebook Live broadcasting will be new for this year, allowing prospective students to interact with us and ask questions in real time, as well as being able to see and direct tours of our campus. We also have a new virtual open day which allows students who are unable to visit us for our Clearing Open Days an opportunity to see Leeds Beckett in a lot of detail, without the need to travel to us in person.”

Clearing Online Conversations: Our Findings

Number of tweets referring to universities, clearing and exam results on A level results day:

Tweets about clearing: 2015 - 715,703, 2014 - 695,782, 2013 - 586,158

  • Volume of conversation around exam results was consistently higher in 2015 than in previous years throughout the weeks leading up to results day.
  • Conversations peaked mid-morning on results day in 2015 with levels of conversation remaining higher for longer than previous years.
  • In 2015, 60% of students waiting for A level results said they would take to social media to tell people about their results, provided their results were as predicted.
  • Males and females were both equally likely to use social media to tell people their results.
  • Those in the north were more likely to use social media to announce their results.
  • 82% of young people awaiting their A levels results admitted to being distracted while revising for their exams. Social media was the top distraction (79%) followed by surfing the internet, 77%.




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