Best Practices in Social Media Marketing for Higher Ed Institutions
Social media marketing can be an effective complement to traditional marketing methods, including direct mail and other print campaigns. This is especially true for higher education institutions, which usually seek to connect with a younger demographic. If your organization is considering launching its first social media marketing campaign or revamping an existing one, consider the following best practices designed to deliver favorable results.
Identifying the Right Demographic
Most higher education institutions target a younger demographic comprised mainly of high school juniors and seniors. However, you should get more specific than this. Start by thinking about the culture and reputation of your organization, as well as its location. This can allow you to create social media posts designed to appeal to students who share the institution’s cultural values and mission. For instance, if your college appeals to students who love the outdoors and are passionate about environmentalism, you can upload pictures of local wildlife and nature trails.
Sparking Community Pride
Every higher education institution strives to cultivate school spirit. It’s a means of drawing the learning community together. One way to accomplish this is to upload posts that draw attention to the school’s unique traditions and heritage. For instance, Cornell University has hosted an annual Dragon Day parade for over 100 years, while Pennsylvania State University hosts an annual 46-hour no sitting, no sleeping dance marathon that benefits charity. Highlighting these types of traditions gives your target demographic a taste of the community they’ll join by attending your school.
Encouraging Student Involvement
There is a good chance that a large percentage of the student body at your organization has social media accounts. Take advantage of their reach by encouraging them to interact with the university account. For instance, you can create specific hashtag campaigns for major events, like commencements and sports games. Encourage the students to use these hashtags to help promote the events.
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