Did you know that Internet users spend four times more time on Facebook than they do on Google? With 3,982 degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States, you have to find a way to make your institution stand out.
In higher education, social media is a critical component of your inbound marketing strategy. After all, that’s where students are spending a lot of their time. You have the opportunity to attract students to your college or university with social media – you just have to find a way to get content in front of them that they’re interested in.
Tips for Attracting New Students Through Social Media
Find out where they are
Facebook and Twitter might still be the reigning kings of social media, but don’t forget about platforms like Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and YouTube. You might focus most of your efforts on the more popular platforms, but it doesn’t hurt to expend some of your energy on other platforms.
This also means making sure you’re optimizing your content for mobile viewing. Students are spending an ever-increasing amount of time on their smartphones. If your content isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on reaching potential students!
Learn what their pain points are
When setting out to create content for social, learn about what your potential students’ pain points and questions are. From here, you can create content that helps empower them to solve their problems – in this case, where to go to school, where to find scholarships, or what to major in. Your content can be anything from a snippet of a blog post directing them to read the full post, to an infographic or a preview of an eBook leading them to download the full version. But, the goal is the same: help your target audience solve their problems and delight them with interesting, helpful content.
By delighting your audience, you’ll be top of mind when they start thinking about where to apply to college.
Invest in marketing automation software so you can monitor social conversations – and respond. If your target audience is students looking for colleges, look for posts where people question how to get started looking for schools or how to go about applying. Monitor hashtags and keywords – when you find them, respond and send them a link to a helpful piece of your content – your latest blog post on choosing a school, for example.
Your ability to interact with your audience shows them you are aware of their needs, so they are more likely to consider you as an option. Additionally, they might spread the word about your post to their friends, bringing in additional potential students to your institution.
Be fun and speak their language
Does this mean you should start talking about how your school is “on fleek”? No.
This means that when you create content, create content that will capture the attention of your potential students. For example, in addition to introducing the student to financial aid, you can spice it up with some entertaining gifs to help keep their attention. Alternatively, you could make an analogy or reference to a popular TV show. Your institution can showcase its personality in a more creative way with students in high school and college.
Interested in learning more about social media marketing? Download our white paper on social media marketing best practices, or watch this video recording as Pyxl and WP Engine discuss the current digital trends influenced by Gen Z. Ready to take the first step in developing a plan to increase your own institution’s enrollment? Give us a call!
Updated: Apr 13, 2022