Digital Marketing Tactics for Education - Connect with Professionals & Students- Stefanini

Digital Marketing Tactics For Education - How To Connect With Professionals And Students

Social media and email marketing are essential for educational institutions to connect with students, faculty, staff, and other stakeholders. With a solid social media presence, institutions can improve recruitment efforts, increase engagement and build a sense of community.  

Here, we will primarily cover college and university social marketing strategies. Creating an effective social media plan requires thought, correct execution and ongoing evaluation. By following best practices and utilizing a variety of tactics, institutions can build a successful and impactful social media presence. 

Clearly define goals and target audience

Defining your goals and target audience is the first step in creating an effective social media strategy. Doing so can ensure that your efforts are focused and aligned with what you hope to achieve through your social media presence. 

Is your target audience education professionals? Students? These audiences have different goals, so it’s best to align appropriately. 

B2B marketing platforms for education offer business value. Companies selling college-related products and services like office supplies, athletic equipment, fan gear, books and technology tools for instructors and students.

Your goals should be specific, measurable, and aligned with your overall marketing and institutional objectives. For example, your objectives may include increasing brand awareness, boosting student enrollment, technology sales, dining services or alumni engagement.

Once you have defined your goals, it’s essential to understand who your target audience is. This may include prospective students, current students, alumni, staff, faculty, and others.  

Examples of educational target audiences include: 

  • College Professors and Instructors 
  • Coaches 
  • Deans 
  • Academic Advisors 
  • Purchasing Departments 

Develop a content strategy

Developing a content strategy is an important aspect of a successful social media presence for educational institutions. Your content strategy should align with your goals and target audience and provide a roadmap for what you will post and when. 

Consider the following steps: 

  1. Identify the type of content you will post: This may include news, events, student profiles, industry updates, and thought leadership articles. 
  2. Plan your content posts and the types of content you plan to post each day or week. 
  3. Create a schedule to ensure a mix of content formats to keep audiences engaged and interested. 
  4. Utilize multimedia: A combination of text, images, graphics and video in posts creates visually appealing content. 
  5. Encourage user-generated content: Ask your audience to share their experiences with your organization’s products and services. This creates community, fosters engagement and drives awareness. Furthermore, organic content (user-generated) builds brand credibility because it serves as testimonials. 

A well-thought-out content strategy includes regularly posting to social media channels. Engaging and relevant content supports your goals and resonates with your audience. 

Leverage social media channels

The marketing landscape mandates a social media presence. Choosing which platforms to use is essential for educational institutions. A general rule is researching where and when your target audience engages with peers and friends. Remember, many people use more than one social channel. Multi-platform engagement reaches a broader audience in new and meaningful ways. 

Furthermore, research what types of content and formats engage your target audience. Also, find out when they actively use social media, like which days and times. For example, people with careers may use LinkedIn frequently on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Therefore, LinkedIn could generate more results if you’re promoting post-bachelor programs and specific types of bachelor’s degrees.

If your target student is a young adult or in high school, consider posting content in the evening. Also, channels like TikTok, Snapchat, YouTube or Twitch may yield more results. 

Note — maintaining a multi-platform presence requires time and effort. It’s essential to choose relevant platforms that matter to your target audience. 

Engage followers through comments and messaging 

Engaging with your followers is crucial to an educational institution’s successful social media strategy. You can foster a sense of community and build strong relationships with your followers by responding to comments and messages. 

Here are some tips:

  1. Respond to comments and messages promptly: Regularly monitoring your social media channels and responding to comments and messages promptly demonstrates that you value your audience’s time and care about their experiences.
  2. Encourage conversation: Ask open-ended questions and spark conversations with your followers to keep them engaged and interested.
  3. Personalize responses: When responding to comments and messages, take the time to personalize your responses and address each follower by name.
  4. Solve problems: Use comments and messages as an opportunity to solve problems and provide solutions to your followers.
  5. Share user-generated content: Highlight your audiences’ experiences and achievements by re-posting and sharing their posts.

By engaging with followers through comments and messaging, educational institutions can build strong relationships with their followers, foster a sense of community, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Foster a sense of community

Community is essential to a successful social media strategy. A sense of kinship helps build relationships with your followers, increases engagement, and supports marketing and institutional objectives. 

Here are some tips for fostering a sense of community on your social media channels: 

  1. Encourage interaction between audience members by asking questions and sparking conversations. 
  2. Share user-generated content: Highlight your followers’ experiences and achievements by sharing their content on your social media channels. 
  3. Create community events: Organize virtual events, such as webinars to unite your audience and foster a sense of community. 
  4. Offer exclusive content to your followers, such as early access to events or promotions to keep them engaged and interested. 
  5. Respond to comments and messages: Regularly respond to comments and messages in a timely and personalized manner to show your followers that you value their input and care about their experiences.

By fostering a sense of community on your social media channels, educational institutions can build strong relationships with their followers, increase engagement, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Leverage user-generated content 

Leveraging user-generated content effectively builds a robust online presence. User-generated content is created by your followers and shared on your social media channels, such as reviews, testimonials, and photos. 

Here are some ways that educational institutions can leverage user-generated content: 

  1. Encourage content creation: Encourage your followers to share their experiences and photos by using relevant hashtags and running contests. 
  2. Share user-generated content: Highlight your followers’ experiences and achievements by sharing their content on your social media channels. 
  3. Show appreciation: Show your appreciation for user-generated content by responding to comments and messages and thanking your followers for their contributions. 
  4. Use user-generated content in your marketing materials: Incorporate user-generated content into your marketing materials, such as brochures and presentations, to showcase your followers’ experiences and build credibility. 

By leveraging user-generated content, educational institutions can increase engagement, build stronger relationships with their followers, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Utilize influencer marketing

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool for educational institutions. Influencers with a significant social media following can promote your institution and reach a wider audience.

Here are some tips for utilizing influencer marketing for educational institutions: 

  1. Identify relevant influencers: Research influencers in your industry who have a strong following and align with your institution’s values and mission. 
  2. Build relationships: Reach out to influencers and build relationships with them by commenting on their posts and sharing their content. 
  3. Offer value: Offer influencers unique experiences, such as campus tours or VIP access to events, in exchange for their promotion of your institution. 
  4. Measure success: Track the success of your influencer marketing campaigns by monitoring engagement, reach, and conversions. 
  5. Evaluate and adjust your influencer marketing strategy to ensure it delivers the desired results. 

By utilizing influencer marketing, educational institutions can reach new audiences, build a solid online presence, and support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Social media advertising

Social media advertising is an effective way for educational institutions to reach a wider audience and drive engagement on their social media channels. Social media advertising allows you to target specific audiences based on factors such as age, location, and interests and to promote your content directly to them. 

Here are some tips for making effective use of social media advertising for educational institutions: 

  1. Clearly define your objectives: Determine what you want to achieve with your social media advertising campaign, such as increasing enrollment or driving website traffic. 
  2. Target the right audience: Use the targeting options available on each platform to reach the right audience for your institution, such as prospective students or alumni. 
  3. Choose the right platform: Determine which social media platform is most effective for your audience and objectives, such as Facebook or Instagram. 
  4. Create compelling content: Use high-quality visuals and compelling copy to make your advertisements stand out and drive engagement. 
  5. Continuously optimize: Regularly review the results of your advertising campaigns and make adjustments to optimize performance and achieve your objectives. 

By making effective use of social media advertising, educational institutions can reach a wider audience, drive engagement, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives.

Offer exclusive content to followers 

Offering exclusive content to your followers is a great way to build a solid and engaged community on social media. Exclusive content is only available to your followers and can include behind-the-scenes access, early access to information, and special promotions. 

Here are some tips for offering exclusive content to your followers: 

  1. Determine what your followers want: Ask what they want to see and use this information to inform your content strategy. 
  2. Offer exclusive content such as early access to events, special promotions, and behind-the-scenes access. 
  3. Use social media platforms to distribute content: Utilize social media platforms, such as Facebook groups and Instagram stories, to distribute exclusive content to your followers. 
  4. Encourage interaction: Encourage interaction with your followers by asking for feedback and responding to comments. 
  5. Continuously evaluate and adjust: Regularly evaluate the success of your exclusive content strategy and adjust as needed to ensure that it is delivering the results you desire. 

By offering exclusive content, educational institutions can build a strong and engaged community on social media, increase engagement, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Encourage student, faculty and staff participation

Encouraging student, faculty, and staff participation on social media is a great way to build a strong and engaged community and increase engagement. When members of your community are active and engaged on social media, they can help spread your message, increase visibility, and drive engagement. 

Here are some tips for encouraging student, faculty, and staff participation on social media: 

  1. Clearly communicate expectations: Clearly communicate what you expect from participants and how their participation can benefit the institution. 
  2. Provide training and resources: Provide training and resources to help students, faculty, and staff effectively participate on social media. 
  3. Foster a supportive environment: Foster a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable participating. 
  4. Make participation easy: Make it easy for students, faculty, and staff to participate by providing clear instructions and guidelines. 
  5. Recognize and reward participation: Recognize and reward students, faculty, and staff who participate on social media to incentivize continued engagement. 

By encouraging student, faculty, and staff participation on social media, educational institutions can build a strong and engaged community, increase engagement, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Share industry news and thought leadership content. 

Sharing industry news and thought leadership content is an effective way to position your educational institution as a thought leader in your field and establish your brand as a trusted source of information. By providing valuable and relevant content, you can engage your followers, increase visibility, and build a strong reputation. 

Here are some tips for sharing industry news and thought leadership content: 

  1. Stay up-to-date on the latest industry news: Regularly monitor industry news and trends to ensure that you are sharing the most current and relevant information. 
  2. Share a variety of content: Share a variety of content, including news articles, videos, infographics, and blog posts, to provide a well-rounded perspective. 
  3. Make content easy to share: Make it easy for your followers to share your content by providing clear and concise summaries, infographics, and social media-ready graphics. 
  4. Encourage engagement: Encourage engagement by asking for feedback and responding to comments. 
  5. Evaluate the success of your content: Regularly evaluate the success of your content to ensure that it is delivering the results you desire. 

By sharing industry news and thought leadership content, educational institutions can establish themselves as thought leaders, increase visibility, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Encourage student, faculty, and staff participation. 

Encouraging student, faculty, and staff participation on social media is a great way to build a strong and engaged community and increase engagement. When members of your community are active and engaged on social media, they can help spread your message, increase visibility, and drive engagement. 

Here are some tips for encouraging student, faculty, and staff participation on social media:

  1. Communicate expectations to participants and inform them how their participation can benefit the institution. 
  2. Provide training and resources: Provide training and resources to help students, faculty, and staff effectively participate on social media. 
  3. Foster a supportive environment: Foster a supportive and inclusive environment where everyone feels comfortable participating. 
  4. Make participation easy: Make it easy for students, faculty, and staff to participate by providing clear instructions and guidelines. 
  5. Recognize and reward participation: Recognize and reward students, faculty, and staff who participate on social media to incentivize continued engagement. 
  6.  

By encouraging student, faculty, and staff participation on social media, educational institutions can build a strong and engaged community, increase engagement, and ultimately support their marketing and institutional objectives. 

Leverage video content

Utilizing video content, such as live events and interviews, is a great way to increase engagement, build a strong and connected community, and showcase your educational institution. Video content can help bring your brand to life, making it more personal and relatable. 

Here are some tips for utilizing video content: 

  1. Plan ahead: Plan your video content in advance, including what you will cover and how you will present it. 
  2. Make it visually appealing: Use high-quality visuals and engaging graphics to make your videos visually appealing and engaging. 
  3. Offer value: Offer value by providing useful information, tips, and insights that your target audience will find relevant and helpful. 
  4. Utilize different formats: Utilize different formats, such as live events, interviews, and behind-the-scenes footage, to keep things fresh and engaging. 
  5. Promote your videos: Promote your videos on social media, your website, and through email to reach as many people as possible. 

By utilizing video content, educational institutions can increase engagement, build a strong and connected community, and showcase their brand in a visually appealing and engaging way.

Stay active and consistently post 

Continuously evaluating and adjusting your social media strategies is important for ensuring their on-going success and effectiveness. By regularly reviewing your strategies, you can identify areas for improvement and make the necessary adjustments to keep your social media presence relevant and impactful. 

Here are some tips for continuously evaluating and adjusting your strategies: 

  1. Track performance metrics: Use tools such as analytics to track performance metrics, such as engagement rates and reach, to see what is working and what is not. 
  2. Ask for feedback: Ask for feedback from your followers and other stakeholders to get a better understanding of what they like and what they don’t. 
  3. Experiment with new strategies: Experiment with new strategies, such as new types of content or new social media platforms, to see what works best for your audience. 
  4. Keep up with changes: Stay up-to-date with changes in the social media landscape and adjust your strategies as needed to stay relevant and effective. 
  5. Refine your target audience: Refine your understanding of your target audience over time to ensure that your strategies are aligned with their needs and preferences. 

By continuously evaluating and adjusting their social media strategies, educational institutions can ensure that their social media presence remains relevant, effective, and impactful. 

Conclusion 

In a rapidly changing marketing landscape, digital marketing plays a vital role for students and B2B marketers seeking connections with educational institutions. 

Author Bio: Robert Bryan is a content writer with over five years of experience crafting compelling web copy. He has content creation experience across industry sectors. Currently, he develops content for SchoolDataLists.

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