Where are my top-choice universities?
Social media platforms are a great way to extend the brand. Leverage these platforms with the right message and formats creates its own challenge.
STUDENT RECRUITMENT CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE
I was trying to find more information about my top universities. Social media is a great place to gain some different insights as these media a more casual. Some universities tend to be even more creative than on their corporate web. So, I started following my top-choice universities on different social media platforms. I realized 3 things:
Some universities replicated content across platforms.
Some universities repeated the same content over and over again.
Some universities weren’t even on the social media platforms that I most use.
For me, it seems to be a kind of checkbox. A university has to be present on social media but let’s make it easy and as efficient as possible.
Social media platforms are a great tool for universities to expand their brand beyond their website. If done properly, it drives traffic and new leads from these sites to their own digital assets. They provide opportunities for very targeted advertising for particular programs. It sounds like a blessing to reach future students… but you have to do it right!
Every social media platform caters to different audiences. As such, a one-size-fits-all approach is hardly possible. Content distribution platforms like Hootsuite, Buffer, or Sendible make it very easy to spread the content across established platforms. They, however, might make it difficult to reach your target audience.
Besides a different audience, every platform has a unique and preferred content style. Your message should adapt to this style to be effective and cater to the audience that prefers to consume the content in this way.
Sharing your latest podcast on Facebook or Linkedin might work well. Posting it on Instagram will make it complicated to consume as there are several steps involved to reach the original content. On Youtube people are expecting to watch videos rather than listen to a podcast.
Similarly, a great picture from an emotional graduation ceremony can stand alone (with hashtags) on Instagram but would need some context on Facebook or Linkedin. On Youtube, it’s a NO unless you combine several pictures into a video. However, this would again miss the purpose and expectations of a Youtube user. It is OK to repost content but not the same content on a daily repetitive basis. Some universities publish the same story on Instagram. It disappears after 24 hours and it might be great for a casual user of this platform. However, for a regular user and “story watcher” this becomes annoying.
There is no need to jump on every new trendy social media platform. But once they become established and the audience aligns with your buyer persona, it should be a no-brainer. However, only a few universities are following these trends. New platforms like TikTok feature a totally different content style and creativity. They are not (yet) available on the content distribution platforms. This makes it very disruptive to established processes and universities opt against it.
As social media platforms come without an initial cost, it’s easy to set them up. Though the important element is how to manage it effectively and purposefully. It requires resources and time. Like in many occasions, one has to balance between benefits and costs.