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February 13, 2024

Midland University Case Study

Increasing Student Engagement and Outreach in the Day of Social Media.

Midland University Case StudyMidland University Case Study

New mobile apps to keep an eye on

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What new social media mobile apps are available in 2023?

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Use new social media apps as marketing funnels

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Try out Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse on iPhone

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What app are you currently experimenting on?

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Midland University Case Study

Introduction

Midland University is a private liberal arts college with a total enrollment of around 1,600 students and an incoming freshman class size of 279 students. Located in Fremont, Nebraska, the institution faced challenges in establishing a strong pre-campus community and sought innovative solutions to welcome students in a digital environment.

Midland University recognized the importance of fostering a strong sense of community among incoming students and enhancing their social media presence. With a commitment to providing personalized attention and a well-rounded educational experience, Midland University aimed to leverage digital tools and strategies to create meaningful connections and support students as they transition into college life.

Objective:

The primary objectives of the MeetYourClass pilot program at Midland University were to:

  • Increase the university's social media presence, attracting not only incoming students but also engaging prospective students.
  • Strengthen the sense of community among incoming students before they arrive on campus, providing a strong foundation for their college experience.
  • Facilitate meaningful connections between students, fostering friendships, and helping them find compatible roommates, ultimately reducing the workload on housing services.
  • Leverage the data collected to inform event planning, tailor content creation, and gain a deeper understanding of the student base, allowing for a more personalized approach to student engagement.

Approach:

To meet Midland University's unique needs and address its challenges, MeetYourClass implemented a tailored onboarding process that focused on fostering connections between students and enhancing the university's digital presence. The approach included the following elements:

  • Custom Instagram Community: MeetYourClass partnered with Midland University to create a tailored Instagram page, promoting an authentic environment for students to connect. By showcasing student-generated content and profiles, the platform facilitated genuine connections and a sense of community, enhancing the overall college experience.
Instagram Community For Incoming Students
  • Customizable Information Gathering: MeetYourClass worked closely with Midland University to tailor the data collection process, ensuring that the platform captured the information most relevant to the university and its students.
  • Personalized Roommate Finder: In addition to our 150+ filters, the roommate finder was customized to include questions that aligned with Midland University's values and priorities, making it easier for students to find compatible roommates.
  • Tailored Website Screens: The screens displayed on the MeetYourClass platform were designed to reflect the unique branding and messaging of Midland University, creating a seamless and consistent experience for users.
  • Unlimited Access to the Roommate Finder: Students were provided with unrestricted access to the roommate finder, leading to an average of 7.3 searches per student and increasing the likelihood of finding compatible matches.
Ability To Filter Through All Students
  • Targeted Social Media Content: MeetYourClass created social media content specifically designed for Midland University students, using the data collected from the platform to ensure that the content resonated with the target audience.

Results:

The pilot program at Midland University demonstrated significant success in achieving its objectives:

Page Comparison

The Midland University Instagram page for the incoming class of 279 students achieved impressive results. In addition to amassing a follower base of over 100% of the incoming class, the page generated over lifetime 10,000 profile visits and reached more than 7,900 unique accounts. Additionally, the engagement rate for the page was an exceptional 21.8%, which was significantly higher than the 13.1% engagement rate when Midland attempted to run a page by itself for the 2026 cycle. This substantial increase in engagement rate demonstrates the importance of creating an authentic environment for forming a community, which ultimately contributes to student retention and overall satisfaction with their college experience.

Social Media Engagement Rate Comparison

Student Feedback

The response from Midland University students has been overwhelmingly positive. A poll conducted on the Instagram page and MeetYourClass platform indicated a 100% positive experience from participants. The roommate finder feature was utilized more than 500 times, with numerous students expressing gratitude for finding friends and roommates before arriving on campus. This feedback demonstrates the value of the pilot program in helping students build meaningful connections and form a strong community before the start of their academic journey. 

Student Testimonials

  • I"I found it [the roommate finder] very useful, and it was easy to figure out how to use. I reached out and made a bunch of friends and even found a roommate using it!" - Abbie Johnson, Incoming Midland Student, Class of 2027
  • “Absolutely great way to help students find others before campus! I found a roommate, but I got a DM from another girl who asked me if I had a roomie. As I already did, I showed her [the other girl]’s post! They are in touch now!” - Rya Happold, Incoming Midland Student, Class of 2027

Content Creation

MeetYourClass focused on creating and managing authentic content tailored to the unique preferences of Generation Z, driven by the data we collected. This approach aimed to welcome incoming students and maintain their engagement throughout their college experience. One example consists of initiating a Student FAQ/Walkthrough in collaboration with a recruited current Midland student, addressing questions and concerns [Exhibit 4]. This genuine and relatable content was met with overwhelmingly positive reception, successfully connecting students to their new community and fostering a strong sense of belonging. 

Engaging Content For Incoming Students

Data Analysis

Comparing Midland University's data with regional (Midwest) and national data (our 170k student userbase), MeetYourClass identified unique trends among Midland students, such as a preference for country music, early bird habits, and studying in their rooms [Exhibit 5]. This is just the start of the insights that can be extracted. By segmenting data further (for example, exercise science majors [Exhibit 6]), the university can uncover more valuable information, helping to create targeted content and plan events that cater to the specific needs of its student population.

Conclusion:

The pilot program with Midland University showcased the effectiveness of MeetYourClass's customizable and data-driven approach in fostering a strong sense of community and connectedness among incoming students. By leveraging the platform's innovative features and dedicated Instagram page, Midland University was able to improve its social media presence, increase engagement, and create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for its students. By centralizing students in a focused Instagram community, we optimize communication and keep them engaged throughout their four-year college journey. This case study serves as a testament to the potential impact of MeetYourClass's services in enhancing the college experience for students and universities alike.