Graduate Management News

May 2016

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

GMAC Viewpoints: Tools and Insights to Market to Candidates on Social Media

How to use the GMASS™ Search Service to reach the candidates you want to recruit on Facebook.

social media strategy

When it comes to marketing your business school programs, you’re expected to get a lot accomplished with a limited budget and staff, whether your role as “marketer-in-chief” is your main job or just one of many hats you wear in your office.

And now, you can use the GMASS database to reach candidates where they already are—on social media. The results of the 2016 Prospective Students Survey—a study of more than 10,000 registrants—indicates that 96 percent of prospective students engage with social media, and two-thirds (67%) use it for activities related to the pursuit of graduate management education.

Using the results of your GMASS database search to reach candidates on Facebook—visited by 78 percent of business school candidates at least once a week—has never been easier!

Four Easy Steps to Using GMASS Search with Facebook Custom Audience

Facebook Custom Audience is a tool that allows you to match your purchased GMASS names to candidates’ Facebook profiles. It’s easy to get started. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Conduct a new or saved search in the GMASS database. 
  2. Go to the Audiences Tab in Ads Manager on Facebook. Click the Create Audience button, select the Custom Audience option, and then choose Customer List.
  3. Drag and drop your GMASS list in CSV or TXT format into the Custom Audience box.
  4. Facebook will create your Custom Audience in about 30 minutes.

Now you’re ready to start connecting with your custom audience on Facebook! You can create an ad using Facebook’s ad create tool, and you can set it to show your ads in the News Feed or the right-hand column when candidates in your custom audience visit Facebook.

Leverage GMAC Research to Optimize Your Outreach Strategy

Critical to maximizing the effect of your targeted recruitment strategy is understanding the specific audience you are trying to reach. What’s motivating them to pursue a graduate business degree? What kind of business school experience are they looking for? What is their decision-making timeline?

The best data resource for such information is the easy-to-use Prospective Students Survey Interactive Report, available only to schools that accept GMAT scores for admission. This tool allows you to drill deep into the mindset of a particular segment of the student pipeline by filtering the data by a variety of variables. Simply align your GMASS search criteria to your configuration of data in the Prospective Students interactive report for instant insights into the specific segment you’re targeting.

For an overview of the kinds of candidate marketing insights made available to you through the Prospective Students Survey, click through the GMAC Research SlideShare below.

For more information on the prospective student pipeline—including their timelines for considering business school, motivations and reservations, program consideration, school selection criteria, and more—download the 2016 Prospective Students Survey Report. To begin exploring the data yourself, access the Prospective Students Survey Interactive Report. A school-affiliated login is required.

About the Authors

Paula McKayPaula McKay is Director of School Products at the Graduate Management Admission Council.




Matt HazenbushMatt Hazenbush is Research Communications Manager at the Graduate Management Admission Council.