Learn the types of social media content schools and universities should share to wow prospective students and their parents. Here’s your winning content mix.
Social media is a powerful tool for branding and marketing messaging. It’s an area where you can be real and allow the student experience to shine. Social media is also impactful for telling stories and making your marketing not just about what you have to say, but what your students, alumni and parents share.
If you want your social media to be a recruiting tool for attracting prospective students and their parents, you need to be strategic about what you post there. It isn’t all about awards or professor profiles, though that content can have a place there. You want to use your content to share student stories and showcase what life is like on your campus.
Here’s a look at social media content for schools and universities that can draw in and impress prospective students and their parents.
Learn how to tell student stories using your social media. You don’t want to post the same type of content constantly though, so use this winning content mix to showcase who you are and the atmosphere on your campus.
Allow the student voice to shine through in your content. According to Dimensional Research, “90% of buyers who read positive customer success content claimed that it influenced their purchasing decisions.”
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And testimonials will allow you to share great things about your school while allowing the student voice to shine through. You can incentivize testimonials from current students through perks like branded swag, gift cards to the on-campus café, or free snacks. Just be sure that your incentive doesn’t deter the student from sharing their true feelings. You want real, human content for your marketing.
When seeking out testimonials, do your best to find students from various backgrounds, interest areas and student groups. Prospective students will be evaluating your school for different reasons and allowing various student voices to shine through in your content will help make your content relatable. You want prospective students to see that your campus is for people like them.
While not as impactful as current student testimonials, alumni highlights can showcase where a student has gone since earning their diploma. High schools can demonstrate the high scores the student achieved and the prestigious colleges or universities that the student went on to attend.
Colleges and universities can showcase the career prospects that graduates have and the success in life that these individuals achieve. It isn’t all about careers. Some alumni lead nonprofit groups in their spare time or have invented products or services that change the lives of others. These are stories worth telling as well.
But when highlighting alumni, don’t put them up on a pedestal. Keep them real, relatable and approachable. For prospective students, the timeline for becoming a graduate is likely far off, making it more challenging for alumni content to resonate.
More than likely, this content is for parents who want to see their children achieve success. But just because parents are more likely to connect with alumni than prospective students doesn’t mean you shouldn’t draft the content with prospective students in mind.
The whole purpose of a school or university is to educate people. Be sure that you’re showing the educational experiences in your marketing and not just the fun that students have. Capture the learning experience with photos and videos.
But consider unconventional classrooms where students learn while they are not seated behind a desk. For example, if you can shadow a student throughout an internship to show real-world experience, this content can be impactful as well.
Demonstrate group projects and problem-solving in the classroom and not just lectures. Highlight in-classroom technology and features that make it simple for today’s students to learn the material.
Share information about the types of learning available for students. Showcase science and computer labs to share a look inside the ways you educate students.
You have a wealth of content you can be sharing that current students, alumni and parents are sharing. Whether it’s a parent’s glowing review of their student making the dean’s list or a post from a student club about a recent meeting or event, this is content worth sharing on your main social media channels.
Social media listening is just as important as the content you push out. Listening will make you aware of what others are posting about you and allow you to share that content with your broader audience.
And this user-generated content is as real as it gets because it comes directly from your students. It is written in their voice and the photos and videos show their unique perspective. Plus, it won’t take your marketing team time to create content because your students and followers are doing it for you.
To create a realistic depiction of what life is like on your campus, you need to allow the student voice to come through. Encourage responsible students and student groups to engage in social media takeovers. That means the student can post to your school accounts for a day.
90% of buyers who read positive customer success content claimed that it influenced their purchasing decisions.Dimensional Research
These takeovers can be great for creating day-in-the-life accounts of what a student experiences on campus. Some groups to consider for social media takeovers include:
When allowing these takeovers, set clear ground rules before allowing the student access to your social media. These rules can include:
While giving a student full control over your social media might feel unnerving, it can be a great marketing and recruiting tool. Another good idea is to have part of your marketing team watching the social media content closely throughout the day to delete or approve various pieces of content during the takeover. You don’t want to discover later that inappropriate or off-brand content has been out on your social channels for several hours.
Long before students reach out to your admissions team and share their interest in attending your school, they’ll be envisioning themselves on your campus. Make that easier for them with online tours that showcase the various parts of your school.
Allowing a student to conduct these tours will help put them in the right perspective and ensure you’re highlighting the right aspects of campus life. A student perspective will also make your online tours more relatable.
When recording an online tour, consider highlighting the following.
Then you can splice these videos for various uses. For example, your YouTube channel might host the full-length film while your Instagram stories can showcase various small snippets of the tour.
You can even use campus tour videos on TikTok and Snapchat. These channels often present content challenges for schools and universities who aren’t sure what to post there. But tour footage will shine through nicely on these platforms.
Helping make the student experience come to life through social media can lead to higher enrollment rates. You want your social media to reflect campus life and entice students to learn more. New Light Digital can help you build a social media strategy that tells more student stories and highlights what makes your school unique. Schedule a free consultation now to learn more.
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