In today’s day and age, it is crucial for higher education institutions to share their information online and connect with students in any and every way possible. One of the most meaningful and effective ways to do so is through social media. Below you can find my top 5 tips for MSIs to succeed on social media: from building a better audience, to delivering the right content!
1. Have a Clear Strategy
This is key for anyone that is trying to build new social media followings. You don’t have to be on every single platform, if you’re new to social media, starting off with Twitter & Facebook is a great way to go; the most important thing is to have one clear strategy across all of your online mediums. This means sharing similar content that delivers the same core message to your followers. Your content should be aligned with the overall goal of the institution so as to portray a single image on and offline.
2. Stay Local
MSIs are very powerful in many different ways. One of the biggest responsibilities MSIs carry is the impact they have on their communities. Use this to grow your social media following by posting content that is relevant to the communities your institution affects. You don’t read your local paper to find out what is happening around the world, you read it to see what is happening in the place you live that affects the people you love. Your social media posts should work the same way.
3. Manage Your Reputation
When it comes to social media, anyone can become a reporter; you have to make sure you are controlling the conversation surrounding your institution. Make sure you are aware of everything that is being said about your college on social media so that you can reinforce what is true and clarify what may be wrong or misinterpreted by others. Alert systems such as Mention are a great way to keep track of this across multiple social media platforms.
4. Brag About Your People, Show off Your Campus!
Whether it be students or faculty, highlighting their accomplishments is a great way to build your institution’s reputation. Additionally, highlighting new additions to your campus is a great way to engage with alumni & potential donors! These posts are one of the most likely to get shared by your audience because, let’s face it, our friends and professors love bragging about their students!
5. Get Your Audience Engaged
The best social media success is getting your audience to provide content for you and to share the content you deliver. There are several ways you can do this:
Ask your students to share pictures of campus and you will re-share or Retweet the best ones! This is a great way to get your students to follow you and get them engaged with their institutions online.
In addition to photos, asking for feedback, asking questions, retweeting or commenting on other posts are also great ways to increase engagement from your audience.
Encouraging professors to engage with students on Twitter is also a great way to improve relationships between faculty & students.
Finally, engage with prospective students by allowing them to ask questions using a specific Hashtag. Both Twitter & Facebook are great tools for this.
Following these tips is a great way to get you started or build on your current following! If you have any questions or want more tips feel free to follow me on Twitter @OscarACullen & private message me!
Oscar Cullen is a social media specialist at the Penn’s Center for Minority Serving Institutions and a senior undergraduate studying marketing and operations management at the Wharton School.