Instagram for Higher Education: How to Increase Engagement with Potential Students


By: Christopher Tashjian Aug 26, 2018

Instagram for Higher Education: How to Increase Engagement with Potential Students

Want to learn about Facebook’s vast set of tools and get insights and tips for acquisition, retention, and beyond? Watch: Using Facebook to Improve the Student Journey with Jennifer Garrett, Head of Industry for Education at Facebook.

1) Evaluate Hashtags If you’re already using Instagram, chances are you’re familiar with hashtags. According to research by Simply Measured, Instagram posts with at least one hashtag average almost 13% more engagement than those that have no hashtags. But are you using the right ones? Take a look at the hashtags you use regularly and make sure they aren’t banned. Do this by searching the hashtag within Instagram. The search results should come up with a “Top” section and a “Recent” section. If the “Recent” section doesn’t come up, this hashtag has been banned. You can also take a look at what hashtags your audience, competitors, and industry leaders are using – if they fit your brand and posts, jump on them, too! You can use these popular hashtags in your profile now, and you can use them in your Instagram stories (more on this a little later).

2) Utilize All the Features Instagram has added several new features, so if you’re still just posting pictures, it’s time to up your game. It should come as no surprise that Instagram favors profiles that use as many of their features as possible, and they’ll show your content to more users. As recently as Friday, August 24th, Instagram announced a new rollout aimed at connecting students in the same network (much like Facebook circa 2005). When posting, consider publishing a post that has multiple photos or a video. There’s also Instagram stories, which allows a “real-time” look into a profile. Recently, Instagram announced that more than 400 million users are watching and posting on stories every single day. Within stories, you can post pictures, video, polls, and users can even submit questions to you! These stories will remain on your profile for 24 hours before disappearing, unless you choose to use the highlights feature. The highlights allow you to save stories on your profile and users can view them at their leisure. The more highlights you build up, the more a user can interact with your content over time. The same goes for Instagram’s “TV” feature (IGTV), which almost acts as a YouTube platform within Instagram. You can create a channel and post your videos for viewing. Even if your individual posts aren’t getting as many likes or comments as you wish, look at your profile as a whole. The new algorithm is about users engaging with your entire profile – clicking on links, watching your stories, and following your hashtags.

3) Use Stats to Engage Potential Students If you haven’t made the switch already, you need to be utilizing a business profile on Instagram. A business profile looks very similar to a standard profile, but it has additional (free) features that will help you increase your engagement. With a business profile, you’ll be able to see insights such as: how many users visited your profile, what posts have reached the most users, how many new followers you’ve gained or lost each week, the age range of your followers, where they are located, and what times of the day they are most active. You can use all of these insights to further target your content. Post when your followers are most active, post the content they like to see, and use their age and location to make targeted captions. Business profiles can also get boosted (paid) posts, and use links within their stories if they have 10,000+ followers.

4) Remember the CTA! It’s always a good idea to use calls to action (CTAs) on blogs and websites, and social media – including Instagram – is no different. Tell your followers to click your link in your profile (#linkinbio), tag a friend, leave a comment, watch your stories, etc. to get them to engage with you!

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