Fill university places using human conversations

people talking

Young people can easily compare universities because they have access to so much information. So how can you ensure you stand out from your competitors? In this blog we’ll share tips on connecting with students and show you how other universities fill university places using an Official Rep.

Humanise your brand

It’s crucial to be seen as a real person, not a business, when you communicate with potential students. This approach helps you to build trust and create meaningful, authentic connections.

You can use simple strategies like these to showcase your human side:

  • softening your tone of voice
  • using genuine images of students at your university
  • using a real, identifiable person as the voice behind your communications

Today we’ll focus on a few quick-win conversational techniques using real examples. You’ll learn how to empower your representatives, current students, alumni and employees to have more engaging conversations.

In the following examples, universities used The Student Room’s Official Rep engagement tool to win the hearts and minds of potential applicants.

What is an Official Rep?

An Official Rep is a person you choose to represent your university. This could be a student, a faculty member or anyone you like. They can post unlimited content on The Student Room forums and respond directly to questions from potential applicants.

Nurse taking blood

Conversion: Nursing student considering university places

“Which university is better for adult nursing?”

This applicant wanted peer-to-peer recommendations about her two university choices: Edge Hill University and Liverpool John Moores. She asked users on The Student Room to share their experiences and the pros and cons of each option.

The Official Reps from each university engaged her in conversation. They each shared useful information and advice in a friendly tone while remaining impartial and avoiding sales tactics.

The Official Reps empowered the applicant by giving her the answers she needed to make an informed decision about her future. After considering their advice, she put down Edge Hill as her firm choice. Both universities sent a message to congratulate her.

>> View Official Rep conversation

Open Day

Conversion: Student books university Open Day 

“Got my predicted grades in sixth form, does that mean your life is basically over and no unis would even give you a chance?”

This student was worried about their predicted A-Level grades and wanted reassurance that they could still apply to university.

Liverpool Hope University encouraged the student by explaining what they would need to do for their application to be considered.

The student asked a few questions about the university, then immediately signed up for an Open Day. They also strongly implied that Liverpool Hope University would be their first choice.

>> View Official Rep conversation

Man studying

Conversion: Straight-A student registers for Clearing information

“Straight-A student going to a ‘bad/poor/lower ranked’ ex-poly university?”

This straight-A student was considering a lower ranked university because this would allow him to stay at home and save money on maintenance fees. He also wanted advice on a backup plan in case he didn’t achieve his predicted grades.

Sheffield Hallam’s Official Rep provided some great advice about the student lifestyle and other factors to consider when deciding between universities.

Sheffield Hallam also encouraged the applicant to sign up for Clearing information, which the student did immediately.

>> View Official Rep conversation

What an Official Rep can do for you

Every year, millions of young people turn to The Student Room for support and advice about important decisions.

Hundreds of community assistants, volunteers, forum helpers and Official Reps keep our community thriving, so it’s no surprise that students come back at every crucial decision-making stage of their education.

Here’s a reminder of our top tips

  1. Humanise your institution
  2. Respond directly to questions about your university
  3. Be accessible to prospective students

An Official Rep gives you direct access to thousands of potential applicants who are actively seeking advice about their university choices. It’s the ideal tool to help you fill university places.

Find out more about the Official Rep tool and why it’s vital for so many universities.

Call 0800 999 3222 to speak to our team about getting an Official Rep for your university.