Using Social Media for Higher Education Marketing

Today we are constantly told  that Twitter and Facebook can be good for business. At first glance, this statement can be puzzling . The tweets that seem to get the most attention are the ones getting pro athletes in trouble with their teams, or regurgitating celebrities’ breakfast menus for their fans . Yet it’s nonetheless true that social media postings can help your organization’s marketing—including higher education marketing. Social media is a all-encompassing player in today’s higher education marketing; along with tools such as engaging web design for schools, your postings can help develop and strengthen networks and relationships.

When incorporated with web design into your total online strategy, social media optimization presents undeniable opportunities and value for any company . Here’s a list of social media tips : hard and fast reasons to start incorporating these – and other – online social networks into your higher education marketing.

1. It’s the quickest , easiest and cheapest way to get the word out about your higher education programs and campus life. Facebook and Twitter help the people looking for you find you; they also help those people and your organization connect with contacts in related fields. For promoting events, your school’s blog, website, and social media are a natural extension of your higher education marketing communication efforts. When using social media, try to couch your information in terms of newsworthiness, rather than as an advertisement . Share and educate, versus sell.

2. Ask any great sales and marketing professional and he or she will tell you success is achieved by building and maintaining relationships . Social media is all about that.  It’s easy to begin the proverbial ‘conversation’ with prospects and influencers through the interactive simplicity and immediacy afforded by Facebook, Twitter and other networks. You may even spawn your own networks that, with utilization of Web 2.0 technology and an up-to-date content management system, are becoming increasingly easier to start and maintain .

3. Social media is a great way to test ideas and get feedback on a wide variety of topics. Ask for opinions; conduct surveys; start a discussion thread ; ask and answer questions: all helpful ways to open conversation with prospects, faculty, staff and associates. You may not be an expert on a topic, but if you can answer someone’s question or point them to a solution, you are positioning yourself nicely as an authority. And don’t be afraid to ask for help.  Some great synergy can be spawned when people help each other.

4. Don’t forget the social graces of online social networking. With the shorthand, abbreviated, 140-character pace at which much online communication moves, it’s wise not to lose track of plain ol’ common sense and business etiquette. Yes, the line separating our personal and business lives is getting blurrier by the moment, but don’t get lazy and forget to follow up or extend courtesies when they need to be extended – which is more often than not.

5. Last tip: Keep it up. Like any content on the web, if it’s not new and consistent , it’s likely not going to be helpful or held in high regard .

Factor these basic strategies into your online higher education marketing efforts and, along with appealing web design, you’ll start creating more value with a ‘social media optimized’ web strategy.


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