Did you know that 88% of Americans between 18 and 29 years use at least one social media network? This figure is 60% for those who have a high school degree or less and 79% for college graduates. And it’s impossible to ignore what they mean. Students eager to pursue higher education not only have profiles on different social media sites, but also spend a lot of time on them, consuming information, processing it, and making decisions. So, use social media for more admissions, if as a college or university, you wish to stay ahead of the herd. It will help you promote your brand, drive more traffic to your website, and get enquiries, leads and conversions. However, it is not enough to just create pages for your institution on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn. Keep these 6 tips in mind too.
- Be vocal about your culture – Wondering how to use social media for college without mimicking your competitors? If your college is hosting a major tournament or festival, starting a new scholarship, adding someone famous to the faculty, or getting a well-known speaker for an event, share the news on your social media pages. Use crisp and well-shot images and videos to generate more interest rather than just plain text. You can stream discussions, events, matches, or parties, live, to create more impact. This is a great way to show what your institution is all about, what the campus spirit is like, and what students can expect when they sign up for a journey with you.
- Use a virtual tour – A college virtual tour is a fabulous way to promote your neighborhood, grounds, facilities, lecture and residence halls, and crucial information, like the admissions process, majors, scholarships, financial aid, placement rate and more. When executed by professionals, a virtual tour can be super realistic, engaging and immersive. You can include fun videos, memes or graphs in the tour too, to make it more informative. Plus, you can allow students with VR headsets to enjoy a virtual reality version! Just take a screenshot of the best part of the tour and share it along with the URL on your social media page. Viewers will start flocking to your site in no time.
Read – Top Ways to Make College Virtual Visits Meaningful
- Show what you believe in – When it comes to using social media in higher education, remember that your institution is not just about the programs you offer, the swanky buildings, or a stunning amphitheater. If you want to get more applications, try to connect with students at a deeper level. So, if you believe in diversity, LGBT rights, wildlife conservation, going green or tackling social issues, make sure your social media pages showcase that. You can share pictures of live classes from the pre-COVID era to show that your students come from all backgrounds and cultures. Share visuals or videos of campaigns or charity events that you have conducted or snippets of rallies you initiated for a major cause like groundwater preservation. This will make your social media followers trust and respect you more.
- Focus on victories – Remember that every student will look for a solid reason to apply to your college instead of a different one. So, your social media marketing strategy should make your wins easy to spot. It can be some pathbreaking research work done by your physics department, a bestseller book that was authored by an English professor, a state-level basketball match your college won, or the fact that your institution was ranked among the top ten universities offering the best machine learning courses. Share newspaper releases, screenshots from journals or other visual proof for maximum credibility.
- Let your past students vouch for you – To attract students with social media, put your alumni network to good use. Get them to create short videos where they talk about how they landed a great job from your institution, managed to launch their own business after taking your entrepreneurial program, or turned out to be a successful professional athlete. If a couple or even one of your ex-students is super famous now, get them to share their experience.
Read – 5 Creative Ways to Increase College Enrollment
- Engage in a fun way – Social media channels let you engage with potential students in a friendly and easy way, unlike websites that can be a tad formal. What you can do is create short and exciting polls and quizzes that will encourage followers to respond or share their opinion without wasting much time. You can strengthen the bond while finding out what prospective students want. On Instagram (or even Facebook), you can start a hashtag campaign that asks followers to share images of what they love doing when they are not studying, what is their favorite winter or summer activity, or what their study station at home looks like. Brainstorm and come up with a catchy yet simple hashtag to get maximum results.
So, can’t wait to become more “social” and see more applications rolling in? Get started with the tips shared above, and for any visual marketing material that you need, be it images, videos or college virtual tours, shoot us an email at email@example.com.