6 Socials and Their Unique Advantages
Series 5: Invest in Social Media
Social media is a valuable asset to have when marketing to prospective students. You need a strong online presence to attract new students for even the slightest consideration.
The good news is that higher education institutions have a great deal of variety when choosing their platforms.
As part of the 7 Best Practices for Enrollment, AnswerNet Education Services outlined several possibilities to improve your enrollment strategies. The latest topic in our seven-part series is the benefits of personalized student messaging.
Why is Social Media Important?
Modern society has become so integrated with social media that it has become an important part of daily life. That importance extends into the professional and business world. The bottom line is, if you want to reach your prospects, go where your prospects go.
In most cases, regardless of your industry or niche, your prospects are on social media.
If you thought it was only for connecting with family and friends – think again. Social media is a powerful tool which, when used properly, can take any business to the next level. But how can it help colleges and universities?
Facebook and LinkedIn
Facebook and LinkedIn are standard starting points to simply get the message out. They’re often the first go-to platforms a college’s marketing team may attempt.
One of the major benefits these platforms provide is the option of running ad campaigns to broaden your reach.
Facebook for Business has a complex tool built right into the platform, offering advertising solutions for all. Why go with Facebook? There are 1.6 billion users worldwide and a large portion of them are individuals looking for a higher education institution that’s right for them.
Creating Facebook ads is simple. You start by choosing your objective. Ask yourself what outcome you want to achieve with the ad. Is it brand awareness? Overall Reach? Once you have a better idea of what you want, you can target your audience down to specific demographics and interests. From there, you simply set your budget, choose an ad format, and launch your campaign.
LinkedIn houses a similar tool within their Marketing Solutions kit. Not only can you create an ad, but you can send your message right to prospective students’ inboxes through sponsored messaging.
Sponsored messaging allows you to reach your audience in a personal way, engaging them in a conversational tone. Doing so often leads to greater results. These ads come in two primary formats, depending on your needs: LinkedIn Message Ads and Conversation Ads.
Instagram and TikTok
Instagram and TikTok are the more visual options. Both platforms allow you to post pictures and videos of your campus, your services, and more.
Instagram can be a fantastic way to show prospective students your campus and what it looks like. Scrolling through your posts and story can literally be a free virtual tour. Show off your campus, places of interest, and other fascinating and unique things that differentiate you from competitor schools.
TikTok is all about video. While you can certainly post videos on Instagram, TikTok provides a more seamless way to binge through thousands of short videos. This can be a great platform for prospects to get to know your current student body. Post short interviews with current students and allow them to explain the campus experience. You can also get faculty in on the action – it’s a great distraction from grading papers!
YouTube also provides value to higher education. Having a visual representation of your campus and your school’s identity is a fine way to not only educate prospects but also convert them.
How is it different from other video-centric platforms? On YouTube, you can post long-form content and tell your story the way you want to. Show a sneak peek of certain classrooms or interview a series of alumni to share their experiences.
If you’re looking for more of a textual experience – or simply a faster way to engage with your audience – Twitter is the place to be. Twitter allows you to post short messages, which can both be utilized to communicate with prospects and inform current students of campus events.
Some institutions go as far as creating multiple Twitter accounts: one for prospects and advertising, one for campus information, and one specifically for sports.
The possibilities and ultimate benefits of social media are truly endless for higher education institutions. No matter your tone or brand, you can find the niche to represent your institution your way.
If you need assistance with social media, AnswerNet Education Services can help! Let’s talk about your goals and determine how we can best serve you.