Community colleges are home to millions of social media masters within their hallowed halls of higher education. The problem is that most of those social media marketing masters can’t be leveraged due to their student status. Over the past decade, social media has become the ultimate conversation platform, giving quick and easy access to people all over the world and up and down the corporate ladder. So, when your educational clientele intrinsically understands the interconnected nature of social media, it becomes difficult to keep up with them, let alone impress them.
Does that mean community colleges are doomed to internet purgatory? Not necessarily. It just takes some creativity and effort. Both of which are expected of students, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to reflect that in your social media marketing.
Before you begin your social media marketing efforts, it’s imperative for you to find out where they congregate online. It’s pretty much a given that any student body will be on Facebook. Some surveys show that as many as 95% of students on social media platforms use Facebook. Twitter and Instagram are highly popular as well. You can also run surveys and what-not and just directly ask your audience which platforms they use most. While you can put effort towards establishing a presence on other social media outlets, the most important platforms are the ones where you can get to the heart of your student body.
Your students are spending an exorbitant amount of time on their phones –– sometimes with complaints about their educational institution. If you’re on social media, your students have a direct line of communication to you. With that line established, you can develop a rapport with your scholars and more readily address their concerns.
It’s also an easy way to distribute information amongst your students. Think about how many students ignore their school email or use it exclusively to keep up with their classes. An email title can’t deliver as much information as a Facebook™ post.
However, most community colleges don’t have the money to afford a social media marketing manager. Because of the limitation you will probably only be able to run a few social media networks efficiently. Choose wisely.
There are a myriad of ways to utilize social media platforms and accumulate some online clout. Setting a goal for your social network exploits can help you determine a focus. There are plenty of social media outlets for you to put your digital mark on –– not all of them are going to be useful for you.
Facebook and Twitter are the basic social media platforms that you should familiarize yourself with. They are the cornerstone for information dispersal, so they are necessary for you to get a handle on. They are what you use to connect with your students and the greater world. They are useful in a more general sense. Ultimately everything funnels back to these two.
Maybe you want to specialize your message. There are plenty of options to do that. You may have a video production or film program that you’re quite proud of. YouTube™ and Vimeo are the main hubs for uploading video. Vine may not be surrounded by the media frenzy that followed after they first came onto the scene anymore, but it’s still an incredibly popular video sharing site. Snapchat has risen quickly in popularity and is being adopted by major educational institutions.
LinkedIn™ is a networking site whose primary demographic skews to the old and the educated. Communication with your alumni is key to maintaining a steady flow of donations. Does that mean you should be using LinkedIn as a money milking scheme? No, that’s cruel. Don’t be a cruel school. Be a cool school. Update your LinkedIn with tips for postgraduate success or news and opportunity sources. Support your alumni, and they’ll spread the word about your generosity.
It’s also important to keep up with new social media trends. Snapchat seemingly popped out of the ether to consume the minds of today’s youth. Social media can appear with little warning. It would behoove you to be on top of the goings-on of the internet.
You should be taking the culture of your institution and transmitting it out into the digital world. A steady and consistent flow of social media updates can accomplish just that. Draw in a younger crowd by taking care of those already in your educational ecosystem.
As stated previously, not every college has the money to employ a social media marketing manager, as well as a regular marketing team. If you need help with your marketing efforts, social and otherwise, you can contact us and we’ll offer a quote.