On social, you’re not intruding on students when they’re reading an article or watching a funny video. Instead, they come looking for you. As a result, your messages feel helpful instead of pushy or “salesy” and students are more likely to be receptive. Make the most of their readiness to listen by giving them a clear, useful message in a format they can understand.
Have a Conversation
The point of social media is that it’s social, more like a seminar class than a lecture hall. Craft posts that encourage students to engage with your brand. You can do this by asking questions, encouraging students to share their stories, or giving simple prompts for students to respond to.
If students ask questions, you should quickly answer or respond to their comments. Being responsive on social implies that you’ll be just as helpful when students need to figure out how to switch majors halfway through their third semester or don’t know how to use their tuition assistance benefit.
In order to have a conversation, your institution needs to have a personality. Dump the academic detachment in your social media strategy. For higher education, welcoming and easy to talk to are the more valuable traits. Create a social media persona, one that matches the general feel of your college or university.
Make The Student a Hero
When you tell stories, you don’t just convey an idea, you also capture the imagination. The human brain responds more dynamically to storytelling than to other forms of information exchange. By telling stories on social, you get students engaged with your brand in a deeper way.
Everyone wants to be the hero of their own story. Students are no exception. Make students the hero of the story by showing them how to meet their goals and overcome their challenges through education. Real-world examples of successful alumni and examples of students who are already living their dreams before graduation, are a great place to start.
Share Your Return on Education
Students are more savvy now than ever. They’re know that college is a big investment and they expect to see a return for the money and time they put into it. Use your social media to share your return on education.
You should express ROE in two ways: stories and stats. Stories of real students who have really gone on to do great things help new applicants to imagine themselves as equally successful. They can see how the educational experience translates into a job offer or a dream career.
At the same time, statistics show students that you have the data to back up this anecdotal evidence. Students should be able to see how long it will take to graduate, how much aid they’ll get, and where they can go from here. The more transparent you can be, the more students will trust you.
Show the Right Image
You can share text or images on social, but if you really want to maximize the impact of every post, you’ll combine text and images. According to BuzzSumo, Facebook posts with images generate 2.3 times the engagement as those without images.
On some platforms, like Instagram or Snapchat, it’s almost impossible to post something without including images. To stand out on these platforms, go beyond still images and include video. Adding video can make your social media channels even more powerful. Many people are comfortable using it as a learning tool as well as entertainment. You should be too.
Both video and still images should show smiling faces. People are naturally drawn to look at other people. When you examine heat maps that show where people focus when looking at ads, you’ll find that gazes linger on faces.
Including images or videos with people in them can help make your institution seem more personable and approachable.
Keep it going all year round
The biggest mistake you can make is letting your social media channels go dead outside of enrollment periods. Students want to see a vibrant, engaged community all year round, not just when you’re recruiting.
Evergreen content can help you keep things rolling even when school is not in session. Create posts on topics that students will always find interesting regardless of the time of year. Study tips, resume or LinkedIn profile building and budgeting and planning advice are always useful to students. Mix in this useful information with details about your institution.
Social media strategy for higher education
EducationDynamics has a deep understanding of how students spend their time on social media. As part of your dynamic marketing mix, we’ll help you create targeted organic content that students can’t help but click and share. Contact us today to get started.