Gen Z, composed of those born after 1995, understands the power and usefulness of mobile-savviness for communicating, as the communication channel has heavily influenced almost their entire lives. Over 95% of Gen Z have a smartphone. Of that, 25% began using it to connect with the world by the age of 10.* Reaching and resonating with an audience as smartphone-centric as Gen Z may seem easy as pressing “send” because they’re so accessible. Still, the reality’s that Gen Z is engulfed in daily media consumption – emails, texts, YouTube, new tweets, Facebook notifications, Instagram feeds, music streaming, various app notifications, real life events and more. For academic institutions like recruiting colleges and universities, that much daily noise can make engaging with Gen Z students harder than anticipated if your outbound messaging strategy avoids using communication channels like texting to build relationships.
Staying connected 24/7 is a new norm for Gen Z, offering them more control over their media. Educational systems can create and implement communication strategies using tools like texting solutions to slice through all the noise of the other channels while catering to student needs on an individual level, offering clear next steps during admissions and more robust information to engage and prepare them for the academic road ahead.
Driving authentic engagement with Gen Z students begins with a personal connection to how your college or university will deliver an unforgettable experience that prepares them with knowledge and life skills for success in the workforce. Below we’ve put together a list of ways to improve communication with Gen Z students through texting.
Tips for Engaging with Gen Z Students via Text Message
- Celebrate Gen Z’s power. Using a versatile communication tool like texting enables admissions offices and student outreach teams to enjoy the special opportunity of working with our future leaders by offering them more choice, control, and ownership in their academic journey. From inequality and the environment to gun violence and racial justice, Gen Z is undoubtedly an authority joining other advocates at the center stage of activism in 2022. They carry social influence, purchasing power, and a united voice against regressive agendas. Engage, empower and celebrate their next step!
- Retain focus with messaging cadence. The beauty of a well-calculated messaging rhythm is that it offers several touchpoints to share short bursts of personalized admissions and university information with students. Here’s one way you can frame an outbound messaging cadence:
- ID students and/or prospects.
- Select the best performing medium (texting, in the case of Gen Z).
- Determine the number of contact attempts.
- Establish a time frame between sending each message.
- Create messaging.
- Send, evaluate, and optimize.
- Celebrate your authenticity. This is another way of saying “quality over quantity.” Students are overwhelmed with daily messages, and we’ve already mentioned the informational superhighway of other communication channels Gen Z cruises day-to-day. Create thoughtful and intentional text messages that offer solutions for admissions, quick answers, and important reminders or deadlines.
- Connect with parents. Engaging parents helps increase familiarity with your school and the opportunities it can provide their children. Before applying, students often look to parents and guardians as influential players during the decision making process. While your strategy may engage students about admissions steps and deadlines to remember, consider engaging parents on other key aspects of admissions like financial assistance for example. Offer insight, grow your credibility and expand your institution’s “footprint of trust” within family units.
- Offer more value. Use texting as a channel to expand your solutions to upcoming students beyond admissions information:
- Share financial aid option information.
- Pair new students with peer-supporters.
- Develop transition plans.
- Check-in with student check-ins leading up to the big move.
Texting Solution Benefits to Your Students AND Alumni
We refer to our conversational products as texting solutions for educational systems because they benefit everyone involved, from your college or university seeking to drive admissions and glean more information from student engagement, to your most important audience members: students and alumni. Here are more advantages awaiting those on the receiving end of texts when they respond:
- Quick, easy donation processes
- Engage through a familiar, comfortable channel
- Secure sharing
- Avoids spam
Prepare Students for Success with Hustle
Hustle’s texting platform helps private and public institutions across the country stay connected with new and current students as well as alumni by driving engagement, connection, and action at scale. Proven a valuable enhancement to any internal communications strategy, Hustle’s person-to-person texting for admissions and recruiting helps you increase critical performance categories like your engagement rates and action rates while decreasing opt-out rates, so your students remain alert, aware, and engaged with the academic world around them.
Millennials and Gen Z are post-phone call generations. They prefer faster, straightforward communication that cuts down on “small talk.” Let these tips and Hustle’s texting solutions help.
Contact us today, and we can schedule a demo of our platform or answer any questions your team has about Hustle. Let’s start turning text into action!