Social media is an important part of higher education marketing as it helps with brand awareness, highlighting student stories, showing what campus life is like and attracting prospective students. It is also a great way to promote upcoming events, showcase faculty members, current students and alumni as well as build a community and much more. With social media marketing, the world is your Oyster.
In this post, we share some helpful tips to help accelerate your social media post ideas for universities and take your higher education social media marketing strategy to the next level.
Let’s get started!
1. Share user-generated content
Potential students don’t just want to hear all about the great things your university is up to, they want to know what your university community are doing first-hand from current students to get an understanding of student life to see if it’s the university for them.
With user-generated content, you can attract prospective students much better than a standard marketing campaign. Consider setting up a hashtag for your university and encourage students to post about their university experiences. You can then share this content across your own social media platforms to enhance your messaging.
2. Student takeovers
Once in a while consider letting your students take over your social media accounts so they can show what it’s like to be a student. It’s a great way to get some user-generated content and is one of the content types that perform well with prospective students.
Some marketing departments worry about the lack of control they have once a student takes over and posts social media content but there are some easy steps you can follow to ensure nothing goes awry:
Use someone in the student body who is already trusted by the university
Use a student that works for admissions such as tour guides
Give students a framework of what you’d like to see across your social media platforms
Ensure the marketing team is available throughout the day should students have any questions about the takeover
Ask students to approve content with you prior to posting
3. Post About University Events
From sporting events to graduations, your university’s event calendar can offer plenty of opportunities for promotion.
Posting about university events is easy and can help to:
Let your followers know about recent achievements (winner of sports events, nominations for art prizes etc)
Highlight alumni events to show the tight-knit community your university has fostered
Show the opening of new facilities to highlight how your university is investing in its students and education
This type of social media content shouldn’t encapsulate your feed but when posted in between other forms of content it can help to form the basis of a robust content strategy and can assist prospective students with understanding exactly what university life is like.
4. Use Social Media to your Advantage in the On-boarding process
The great thing about social media is that you can use it to your advantage in the onboarding process.
Some things to consider:
Post content during campus tours – set up a hashtag for new students to use whilst on campus tours. Use an incentive such as a voucher to get them to take part. This will allow you to re-post their content throughout the day or at a later date.
Create a hashtag for admissions – when people get the letter that they’ve got into your university, they will be over the moon! One thing you can do in your admission letter is to put a hashtag in to encourage new students to post about their experiences. This makes for great content!
5. Conduct a Virtual Tour
For college students interested in your university but can’t attend an opening day, make sure to give them a way to get involved through a virtual tour.
A great idea for this is by getting one of your respected students to give a tour as this will help to establish authenticity and build trust with your prospective students and will ensure your university remains relatable.
This could be campus tours, course tours, halls of residence tours – whatever tour you fancy really!
You could go live on Instagram, you could create a YouTube video or you could even create reels on TikTok!
6. Share University and Course Rankings
When it comes to universities, rankings are key and often form a part of the decision-making process.
There are a variety of trusted sources available online for this such as The Guardian University Rankings table.
When your university or courses receive a top ranking, especially if there are multiple universities in the area that offer a similar course, prospective students and alumni will engage with this as it helps to show how good their degree is.
Just one good ranking won’t be enough to sway admissions but when regularly posted about on your social media channels they can make a huge impression.
7. Be responsive and engage with your audience
If we can give you one piece of advice it’s that engagement is key, not just to beat Instagram’s algorithm but to create a positive impression of your university.
Long gone are the days where you could just post nice images to your social media platforms and expect it to perform. To flourish on social media, you now need to engage with your audience.
You want to ensure that your digital marketing team are responding to messages, comments and re-posting mentions on Instagram stories.
By engaging with your audience, it helps to grow your social media presence and this will help you to create a positive university community.
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