Colleges Can Now Track Social Media 'Chatter' to Help Recruit Students Thanks to TargetX CRM Tool

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A key enhancement to higher education's leading CRM system makes it possible to track Facebook and Twitter posts and link them to student records.

Student recruiting firm TargetX is making it possible for admissions offices to capitalize on the dominant role of social media in the lives of their prospective students. Through a key enhancement to the Student Recruitment Manager (SRM), TargetX is integrating the two most important social networks into its groundbreaking customer relationship management system.

"This is a chance to bring all that social stuff into your CRM strategy," says TargetX CEO Brian Wm. Niles. "Schools can now get a complete picture of their prospects, including what they're saying and thinking about you on Facebook and Twitter -- which could be even more meaningful than traditional data points like phone number."

The result, says Niles, is the first real 360 degree view of students. "If you're not paying attention to what they're posting, you're missing what's most important these days," he explains. "What students say on social networks offers the most complete and authentic picture of their interests, concerns, goals -- perhaps even the likelihood that they will or won't enroll in your school."

The true benefit of the enhanced SRM is the ability to then integrate the information you get from students' social interaction with the data you already have in your CRM database. "You're able to engage prospects in ways that are most important and relevant to them," says Niles.

Colleges have been searching for ways to keep up with their online “chatter” -- that is, how prospective students, parents of prospects and other key groups are treating them on the social web. The SRM not only provides an easy way to monitor the two most popular social networks, but also makes it possible to connect content with individuals and use that information to build relationships.

The value of such a tool is underscored by a new study that reflects the increasing importance of Facebook in the recruitment process. Kaplan Test Prep recently surveyed 500 colleges and found that the number of admissions officers using Facebook to learn more about an applicant has quadrupled in the past year.

"This enhancement to the SRM provides schools with an enormous competitive advantage," says Product Manager Patrick Kelly. "It's an invaluable tool for identifying best-fit students. It also means you'll be able to follow online conversations for real-time data and feedback, respond quickly to negative feedback, and attend to student concerns."

A few years ago TargetX coined the phrase "relationship recruiting" to reflect the increasing need for colleges to connect with prospective students and develop relationships that lead to enrollment. The heart of TargetX's ability to help with relationship recruiting is the Student Recruitment Manager, designed specifically for admissions offices.

TargetX chose to build the SRM on the proven Force.com platform of Salesforce.com, the worldwide leader in on-demand customer relationship management. The result is a cloud-based system that is the most powerful, mobile and customizable recruiting tool in higher education.

Among the strengths of the SRM are its built-in electronic communication tools, including the leading email broadcasting and online chat tools in higher education marketing, and a fully-integrated event management tool.

About TargetX

TargetX is a unique student recruiting company that offers both technology tools and consulting services designed to help colleges recruit today’s more sophisticated, web-savvy students.

Founded in 1998 on the belief that colleges need to change the way they communicate with prospects and their families, TargetX has been a forward-thinking leader in managing change in higher education and embracing the concept of the experience in higher-ed marketing. More recently, TargetX launched an Education & Training Center (ETC) where admissions professionals can collaborate and brainstorm with colleagues and thought leaders through coursework and office retreats.

To learn more, visit http://www.targetx.com

About Salesforce.com

With more than 100,000 customers, Salesforce.com is the world’s leading cloud computing company and is pioneering the shift to the “social enterprise,” which encourages organizations to embrace the social web and use it to connect with customers and prospects. TargetX chose to build its Student Recruitment Manager on the world-famous Force.com platform, which powers the Salesforce CRM tool.

One of the many advantages of the Force.com platform for users of the SRM is the ability to take advantage of enhancements developed by Salesforce as well as TargetX -- part of the appeal of a cloud-based solution. In addition, SRM users can add to the capabilities of their TargetX system through more than a thousand add-on products that address the specific needs of their office or staff -- including telemarketing, on-demand printing or deeper data analysis.

For more information, visit http://www.salesforce.com

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RAY ULMER

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