Social Media – Which Platforms Are Right For Me?

Alyssa Argenti
2.21.2017 »
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Social media is becoming a vital part of marketing – but how do you know which platforms are the right fit and will reach your target audience?

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have become standards for social media – but what about other platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, or YouTube - is it necessary to have an account on all of these too? Not to mention using the new features released on existing platforms like Facebook Live and Twitter Moments. It can be overwhelming, especially if you’re a one-man (or woman) show. Our quick guide below will help give you a few ideas on how to utilize each platform.

Facebook & Facebook Live

  • 79% of internet users (68% of all U.S. adults ranging from 18-65+) use Facebook. (Pew Research)
  • Facebook is still the most popular social media platform – so having a page here is highly recommended.
  • Facebook, like most other platforms, has become more visual-driven, so incorporate imagery and video when possible. Try using the Facebook Live feature for events to reach potential students who may be unable to attend or are out of the area. You can also use Facebook Live for a Q&A session with your admissions team or show off your campus on a video tour.
  • Facebook Video has become a vital aspect of Facebooks offerings. Videos will autoplay, though most times users will not hear the audio along with your video. Clever marketers will use this to their advantage, and we have seen a resurgence of “silent movies”, videos that communicate visually.

Twitter

  • 24% of internet users use Twitter, with the largest percentage being between 18-29 (Pew Research)
  • With a 140-character limit, Twitter is great sharing short snippets of information about your school, upcoming events, photos from previous events or even linking to articles/blogs on your website.
  • Again, incorporate imagery when possible and keep an eye on trending hashtags to gain more visibility (but only use them if they actually relate to your school or an event you’re holding – there have been many Twitter disasters with misused hashtags).
  • Twitter can be great for interaction with your followers, allowing for quick messages or callouts, and has a shorter-lived message lifecycle.

LinkedIn

  • Most of us consider LinkedIn to be focused on only companies or businesses– but that’s not true. Schools, colleges and universities can also create a page for their alumni to link their education history to and as another resource for potential students looking to learn about your school.
  • Consider creating an alumni group to encourage community and involvement of past students, as well as an additional way to keep them informed of events and fundraising opportunities.

YouTube

  • YouTube has been around for quite awhile, but a lot of schools and business still aren’t utilizing this powerful network, even though YouTube “reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the U.S.” (YouTube)
  • Try using YouTube for video tours of your campus, event highlights, recruitment videos, student and alumni videos, you can even upload your Snapchat stories as a video reel. With the rise of video, there are endless possibilities and you can link posts on other platforms to your videos on YouTube.
  • YouTube videos are great for cross-promotion. Embed a link to them on your Facebook feed or at the top of your Linkedin profile.

Snapchat

  • The newest player in the game, and possibly the hardest to envision a use for – but 60% of Snapchat users are under 24 (Statista), which is a large part of one of your target audiences.
  • Snapchat is based on images or videos that only last for 10 seconds, and can be added as a “story” for your school. These stories can be downloaded as one video that you can then use for other platforms such as YouTube and Instagram.
  • Snapchat does offer advertisement opportunities – but let’s start small for now. One use of this channel would be to have students “take-over” for a day and show a day in the life at your school.
  • Try highlighting all aspects of your school; academics, arts, music, athletics, campus life, even different clubs and organizations.

Instagram & Instagram Stories

  • 32% of internet users use Instagram but the majority of these users are between the ages of 18-29. (Pew Research) If you’re trying to reach this age group, utilizing this platform could help.
  • Instagram is almost entirely visual-based but this doesn’t mean you need to hire a professional photographer just to use this platform. You can easily edit any photo taken on your smartphone (just try not to use the Lo-Fi filter for every picture!).
  • One way to encourage user engagement is to ask followers to submit or tag your school’s account in their photos and videos of your campus or events and repost these images. There are reposting apps to make this quick and simple, RepostApp is one option.

One last piece of advice: Utilize social media management and scheduling tools to easily manage multiple accounts and plan your posts ahead of time. Buffer or Hootsuite are just two examples but there are endless options. Just do your research, see which tools can manage all or the majority of your social media accounts and are easy to use. (Many offer free trials so you can take them for a test drive before you buy!)

Interested in creating your own social media plan? Let's talk about how Sanger & Eby can help! 

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