One of the main objectives of the use of Social Media for universities is to attract potential students to the institution.
At the same time, this strategy allows building a digital community around the brand that is provided, taking into account that a large part of the students spend a lot of time on these platforms.
Now, when we talk about effective Social Media strategies for universities, this goes far beyond pretty photos and responding to direct messages.
For everything below to have the impact you want, social networks must be part of a well thought out Digital Marketing strategy, linked to other content channels.
And it is not surprising that universities have embraced social networks such as Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, due to the demonstration in conversions and sales that engagement in these spaces produces.
Then, depending on whether you can generate and apply procedures and practices for your social networks, we will show you the important aspects of a strategy for this segment.
6 key factors of a good social media strategy for universities
With the above, it is evident that using a Social Media strategy for universities is playing the same sport as your target audience.
And, with this in mind, here are the best practices of Educational Marketing to win the game.
1. Develop a comprehensive and solid style
In the world of Marketing and, especially, in Educational Inbound Marketing, style guides are certain “rules” and standards in the way of “talking” about brands and contributing to branding. This is directly influenced by the characteristics of your audience.
For Social Media strategies for universities this should be no different. Imagine this: on your LinkedIn page, the institution posts in a very technical and formal tone, but on Facebook they use something more casual or jovial, don’t you think that would confuse potential students?
This shows the importance of developing a comprehensive style for all platforms, but how can it be done? Defining 4 aspects:
- objectives: what you want to achieve in social networks, be it web traffic, mentions of the brand, new contacts of potential students, etc.
- Audience: the target audience or Buyer Persona you want to attract.
- Tone: how you want to sound on digital platforms, for example, funny, serious, excited, scientific, among others.
- Language: the phrases and words used within your spin, and how you want the linguistic expressions to be used in your sentences.
With this you will be able to elaborate your own style guide and be consistent on each front. Thus, in all the communications you make on social networks, the parameters of this document must be taken into account, which will give you a solid communication identity.
2. Variability as a method to conquer
Although each publication on social networks should be a representation of your identity as an institution, it is very important not to get stuck in the same style of post.
An optimal way to add variability to improve the scope of your Social Media strategy is to assign specific days to deal with the different topics that add value to your proposal. For example:
- news about the national university tour;
- studies that have been published at your university;
- outstanding students in your academic programs;
- on-campus activities;
- recent polls;
- blog content on topics relevant to your community;
- Academic programs,
- among others.
Although the main objective of Social Media for universities is to attract potential students, it would not be wise or valuable to only promote materials that have to do with attracting new clients.
The same style will probably cause, eventually, your audience to stop paying attention to you and interacting with your brand, which damages the lasting relationships that should be established with the community that is formed.
3. Create Social Media campaigns around events on your campus
In addition to something we just touched on, using events at your institution to leverage your social media strategy is one way to increase the motivation of your current students.
In addition, it is a technique to “catch” the interest of prospects and parents who are looking for a multi-faceted university.
For example, sharing the details of your events such as photos, videos, schedules, among others, and stimulating interaction in comments, shares, and mentions, is a very interesting strategy to generate impact.
These types of events can be:
- Sport games;
- extraordinary classes;
- activities for new students;
- clubs in different disciplines;
- campus gatherings for various purposes;
- among others.
Likewise, with the use of automation tools, you can create and measure social media campaigns and understand what type of content your audience is more receptive to and which creates better interactions.
4. Use your blog for the collective dialogue of students and prospects
The use of a blog is essential in strategies related to Content Marketing, and where many universities in the country and the world pay special attention as part of their Digital Marketing actions.
But, when we talk about Social Media, blogs serve to create new channels of communication between the university and the students.
An effective way to do this is to use WordPress, where teachers can create class-specific blogs and students have their own user profiles on the platform to start discussions, post content, and comment on their experiences.
This idea can be exported to other platforms, for example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, among others. Where each department has its own account and groups are created where students and prospects share their opinions, jobs, studies, and much more.
In fact, many prestigious universities manage their Social Media strategies separately.
This is because each faculty has its own educational experiences and they must be expressed and shared in different ways.
5. Respond quickly to generate more engagement
Very similar to other industries, a social media strategy for universities has to be focused on achieving engagement.
When a prospect or student responds to a comment on a publication or sends a direct message to ask a question or give a recommendation, it is vital that the person in charge of managing this strategy responds quickly, assertively and innovatively.
Furthermore, when a comment is particularly dangerous or offensive, there has to be someone in the institution in charge of vetoing or removing these opinions to avoid critical damage to the intent of the post or to effectively respond to the negative comment.
6. Stimulate Word of Mouth Marketing with Social Media
A social media plan for universities is capable of creating great opportunities in terms of attracting prospects to your study programs.
But using it as a stimulus to trigger word of mouth advertising is a brilliant strategy.
The approach that is possible with social networks is perfect to be in constant contact with students and prospects.
And, following all the recommendations that we have given you so far, it is possible to create ambassadors of your institution that spread the word digitally to the followers they have on the platforms.
Social Media for universities, although it is a fundamental marketing tool for higher education, is still a part of it.
This has to be complemented with different practices, such as SEO, Content Marketing, email marketing and many more, to gain authority and clients exponentially. In the end, social networks are not enough in Digital Marketing.
3 successful universities in social networks
Constantly, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology publishes photos of its robotics, applied physics, microbiology and more programs on its Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, with the intention of showing its audience the level of innovation and potential that the institution has. .
Their social profiles have hundreds of thousands of followers. This demonstrates the effectiveness that is achieved thanks to showing your target audience the level of your research programs and the great future that awaits the students of your university.
Likewise, they maintain a very close and casual tone, to show their community that learning within MIT is fun, attractive, flexible and full of possibilities.
It is the most famous university in the world, and the most prestigious. It could not be otherwise than the most popular in social networks. Both on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, this institution has millions of fans around the world.
They also follow one of the techniques expressed in our list. And it is that they separate their faculties into different profiles of digital platforms, to provide a greater reach and generate more impact on their target audience.
For example, the Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School account differ from the main one. In each one of them the advances, studies, experiences, events and outstanding students of each one of the careers that make up these faculties are published.
This makes it possible to get even closer to the type of prospect that the institution seeks to attract and to give greater coverage to the special activities of its departments.
This university located in California, United States, also has a strong presence on social networks, and it is that they use Influencer Marketing techniques to share information about each field they offer as a study program.
An example of this is the collaboration with professionals from different sectors, including Nobel laureates who left their institution to talk about topics such as science education and research funding.
Social networking strategies for universities emerge today as responses to the modernization and innovation of communications that guide the world towards new horizons.
Regardless of the age and prestige of your university, it is imperative that you create and maintain an online presence that guarantees rapprochement with your target audience, which is usually made up of individuals who spend a large part of the day on these platforms.
If you want to learn more about Content Marketing for the university segment, we invite you to download our free ebook on the subject. Follow us!