It’s no surprise that universities are actively engaged on social media. Today’s students and alumni have grown up being active on social media and using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more to share experiences and communicate with friends and family. In fact, more than 98% of college-aged students use social media, according to consumer insight service Experian Simmons.

As a higher education institution, trade school or university, your social media presence is a crucial way to stay in touch with students, alumni and the community. Throughout the world, universities and colleges use social media strategies to communicate and network with students, parents, prospective students, staff and different departments across campus.

Whether you are looking to build a student community online or further develop your social media channels, here’s why you need to use social media and a few easy ways to implement a successful social media strategy.

Recruit students

By 2025, the number of students enrolled in higher education is expected to reach 262 million! Higher education facilities need to stand out from competitors. Using creative social media strategies will help recruit students by keeping them actively engaged with your school. 

When searching for higher education, students want a world-class program with a nice campus and a place they can call home. Combine your printed pamphlets and campus tours with the power of social media to connect with prospective students 24/7. 

Social media is an honest way to share campus culture and traditions from the prospective of current students. Share events on activities on campus with Instagram photos, YouTube videos, Facebook Live footage, etc.

Stay in touch with alumni

Most colleges and universities collect donations or fundraised money from their alumni. How do you reach out to your alumni? Email campaigns and direct mail can be effective, but social media platforms can be a direct, immediate route to remind them to donate and/or share a fundraising link on their own social media accounts. 

Stay connected with students

As colleges embrace social media, they are realizing it’s one of the easiest ways to communicate with students and that most students turn to social media to ask questions or share feedback. Start conversations, reply to questions or concerns and be responsive to your student body on social media. 

Statistics on social media use in higher education

Using social media in higher education occurs on campus, in marketing campaigns and even in the classroom. Take a look at some recent stats

  • The Applied Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities and Arts faculties use social media more often than Mathematics, Computer Science, and Natural Science faculties
  • 88% of faculties reported they have used online videos while teaching
  • 33.8% of faculty use social media for teaching purposes
  • When it comes to teaching purposes, teaching staff are more likely to use blogs to share content with students

Building a social media strategy

The experts at Top Hat have compiled a comprehensive list of ways to combine social media and education to create a successful social media strategy. Here are a few to note…

Integrate all aspects of admin and campus life

Don’t have dead end social media profiles or platforms. Post more than just informative blog posts. Make sure you are linking to landing pages or direct pages with more information. A social media post should be a direct engagement between programs and departments and your student body.

Students and users will use your social media as a link to get the information they are looking for. Some even ask directly for it on social media, rather than searching for it online. 

Keep your content fun

A formal image on social media doesn’t translate well. Social media is used so much for entertainment, you want your profile to stand out in a student’s feed. Engage with them regularly through fun and interesting photos, videos or information.

Set goals and evaluate your success

Just like any campaign you run, you should be able to measure the success of your social media and digital marketing endeavors. Make sure you have a social media plan and set goals.

Are you going to use social media to:

  • Alert students about events?
  • Increase undergrad or graduate enrollment?
  • Attract new students? 
  • Improve alumni communication?
  • Network with the community?

It is possible to track the success of campaigns with online analytics. We can help set this up and do this for you!

Are you ready to build a stronger social media presence? We can help you set up, strengthen and build your social media existence by mapping out and writing content, posting, setting up and evaluating campaigns.

Let’s get started.