Establishing a Higher Education Social Media Strategy

social mediaLike it or not, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It’s also changing the way students interact with higher education providers. Studies show that the majority of prospective students now use social media as part of their college assessment process. What does this mean for your institution? Well, it means that if you’re not placing enough emphasis on developing and implementing a social media strategy, your school is going to lose ground. To follow are some basic guidelines to help you get an SMM plan in place.

First, know your limitations. Take some time to check with your school’s compliance officers to determine if there are any requirements or regulations that you must be careful to stay within before you start posting on social channels. It may even be worth creating a formal social media policy so that everyone involved stays on the same page and there are no surprises.

Develop a strategy. Who will execute the social media duties for your higher education’s web presence? Will it be one designated individual or a team? How often will updates be shared? What types of content will you focus on? It can help to have a clear picture of who your ideal student is and then create content that is best suited to that target audience.

Conduct a SWOT analysis. Take a look at what, if any, social media activity has already been done at your college or university to identify areas of improvement as well as untapped opportunities. You should also spend some time evaluating your competitors. What’s working for them that you can mimic and, likewise, what mistakes can you avoid?

Define your performance indicators. What things will you be measuring on a regular basis to assess social media performance? At the very least, we’d recommend keeping track of traffic and referral data as well as social engagement numbers. When you know where your social sites are getting the most referrals from, you can adjust your marketing spend accordingly. Likewise, by identifying what content generates the best response, you can hone your strategy for even better results.

Measure, modify, repeat – Remember that a highly effective social media strategy is fluid. It evolves and changes, so you must be able to adapt alongside it. Measure your results regularly and implement any necessary changes in a timely manner. This will help you maximize your marketing ROI and consistently achieve good results.

Could your higher education institution use a social media makeover? The tips above should help you whip your strategy into shape and start reaping the benefits. Need some help organizing and managing your social content? Our CMS platform features built in social media marketing tools to help streamline the content management process. Request a demo today or contact us to learn more.

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