Top 5 Higher Education Social Media Mistakes

mistakes2In today’s social age, being active on sites like Twitter and Facebook isn’t something your higher education institution can afford not to do. Simply put, these social networks are where your target audience is spending most of its time. If you’re not meeting them there, you’re missing the mark and losing revenue as a result. Yet, simply setting up your profiles and sending out a few updates now and then won’t necessarily get you the results you’re after. That being said, let’s go through a few common mistakes other schools have made so you’ll know what not to do.

No Clear Strategy – SMM is like any other type of marketing. In order for it to be successful, you need a clear-cut plan for how to manage it. Define your goals, develop a strategy for achieving those goals and then continuously measure and adapt your approach accordingly.

Failing to Engage – Many higher education providers wonder why they’re not getting much response from their social media efforts when they’re actually part of the problem. It’s important to remember the “social” aspect. With these channels, it’s about participating in a two-way conversation. Answer questions, respond to comments and join in the discussion.

Lacking a Positive, Passionate Voice – If you want your prospects, students and alumni to get excited about your higher education brand, you need to have the same attitude. The “voice” behind your social interactions should be positive and passionate to ignite the interest of your audience.

Being Too Salesy – You can certainly leverage social media to promote your brand on occasion, but making that your primary focus won’t get you very far. People don’t want to constantly be bombarded by sales pitches. They want to see the personality behind your higher education brand and feel like they’re building a relationship with you.

Lack of Quality Content – In order to avoid being too salesy, you need to have enough quality non-marketing content to share with your audience. Otherwise, they’ll quickly lose interest. The best way to produce good content is to determine what the needs, wants and pain points are of those you’re targeting and then develop and share content that provides a solution.

The bottom line is, social media has become an integral part of our lives and therefore should be an important component of your higher education marketing plan. By knowing what things to avoid, you can better plan your approach and turn your SMM into a well-oiled, lead generating machine that will drive the ongoing growth and success of your school.

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