8 Twitter Tips for Education Providers

Twitter-HigherEdThese days more and more prospective students are turning to the web, specifically social media channels, to research, compare and choose their higher education providers. Likewise, alumni and other supporters enjoy staying connected with their associated institutions via these social platforms. That being said, if you’re not leveraging SMM for your school, you’re most certainly missing out. If you’d like to facilitate more social engagement, a great place to start is Twitter. Let’s take a look at 7 tips to help you leverage this platform to market your institution.

Show your human side. The beauty of social media is that it provides a great opportunity for prospects to see the people behind the brand. Your potential students don’t want a stuffy logo or impersonal brochure. They want to learn about the human side of your school. Tweet about things that matter and will resonate with your audience on a personal level.

Don’t use auto-responders. If you’re going to leverage Twitter for your higher education marketing, do it the right way. Auto-responders are cold and impersonal, and they can really be a turn-off to your prospects and other followers. Again, think on a more human level and only send direct messages (DM) that are drafted by a real person.

Engage. Don’t just send out tweet after tweet. Start conversations. Invite participation. Respond to questions and comments. Monitor what’s being shared on Twitter and the web about your school and make your voice heard. This demonstrates that you’re listening and you truly care about how your audience feels, and that can go a long way toward attracting and retaining quality students as well as maintaining long-standing relationships with your alumni.

Follow back. When it comes to social media, it’s important to remember that it’s more about them than it is about you. Regardless of whether you find the tweets of each individual follower interesting or valuable, follow them back. Create a connection right away and you just might land them as a loyal student or supporter.

Provide value. People aren’t going to follow you to hear about mundane, daily things. They want something in exchange that is valuable to them. Provide juicy and current content on topics that are relevant to your target audience. This will make it more likely to be retweeted, which can help grow your network.

Don’t be ego-centric. Sure, you work hard to produce quality content for your university, but that’s not all you should be sharing with your social networks. Share the love by also curating and tweeting the content of others that your audience may find useful. Not only does this provide more content to work with, but it can also help you establish alliances with others in the higher education industry.

Be active. Tweeting once a month is going to lose the interest of your followers quickly. It’s also going to make your institution’s social presence look less than desirable to would-be followers. SMM is successful when a commitment to ongoing, active, engaging and consistent posting is made. Establish a routine and stick with it. If necessary, designate a few different users to tweet on behalf of your university.

Make it easy. While managing social media channels for your higher education institution may seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be, provided you employ the right tools. Implementing a quality content management system (CMS) can help streamline the entire process, from developing content to sharing it via all of your social media channels. This can save time and aggravation and make it much easier to maintain a level of consistency in your online activities.

Are you using Twitter successfully for your college or university? What tips and tricks can you offer that are not listed above? Please share in the comments!

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