Creating a higher level of online discoverability for your institution, course offerings, or specific program can come in a number of different ways, many of which might be out of your professional realm. Many institutions don’t designate specific people to do their search engine optimization and, instead, rely on traditional forms of marketing that they hope will yield more visibility to their prospective students. But what if there were a way to increase your presence for free and maintain the unique culture your school or area of study has to offer? With social media you can do just that!
What visibility through social media is not:
- Making your program or university known to prospective students through social media is not a magic bullet.
o While we will cover some important tips for social media best practices, even accomplishing each of these will not, ultimately, provide you a fully-saturated online presence. Social media is one piece of a larger puzzle…but it is an important piece.
- Increasing your visibility through social media is not so easy that you can have success without much thought or strategy.
o If you create various social media accounts and begin making random posts, tweets, and other comments without a game plan, your profile(s) can lose direction and decrease yield or, worse, discourage prospects from furthering their interest in your institution.
What visibility through social media can be:
- Social media can be an incredibly authentic way to show your institution’s personality, appeal, and unique features.
o While the majority of your website and most marketing campaigns are specific to academic features, your social media can highlight fun traditions, incorporate multiple tones and voices, and encourage interaction with prospects.
- A quality social media campaign can provide traction to your other outward-facing marketing.
o This includes driving prospects to request more information, apply, check out a program-specific page on your school’s website, a current student’s blog article, and more. The possibilities are nearly endless if you have a quality strategy in place ahead of time.
Social media can appear like a simple beast to tame if you’ve been actively using particular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, FourSquare, Google +, and others for your personal use over the years. But don’t be fooled. The reality is that utilizing social media as a marketing platform instead of a way to tell your friends where you went for dinner last night is very different. Quality control (minimizing text-speak which isn’t authentic to your institution’s brand, checking for misspelled words, making sure facts/figures are accurate, etc.), consistency, achievable calls-to-action, and other important details must be thoroughly thought out ahead of time.
Learn more about how you can create a social media presence that compliments and jumpstarts your online presence!