Here's 11 ways universities can improve their social media presence

Social media is quick;y becoming the best way for universities to recruit students.

After all, 88% of Americans aged 18-29 are on at least one social network.

This makes social media the place to advertise to students—and it pays to be where your audience hangs out the most.

But if you're a university and want to recruit on social, make sure you do it right.

After all, teens and twenty-somethings are some of the most social savvy people, and they can tell when your social media isn't up-to-snuff.

So in this article, we'll show you 10 ways that your university can make better, more connected social media shares. 

Keep these in mind the next time you're creating content for your university's social media, or for a club or other on-campus social media account. 

Sounds good? Let's get started!

1. Create a social media directory on your website

Make a social media directory

First thing's first: make it easy for students to find your social media accounts!

Seems simple, right?

Well, it is! Just create a social media directory on your university's website that shows a list of all affiliated social networks. Break them down by college, club, and other on-campus organization.

Having all of these social profiles listed in one place means that students can easily connect with clubs and other auxiliary social media accounts, so followers aren't only concentrated to your main university account.

2. Consider running an account takeover

View this post on Instagram

Something that I always loved about going to depaul is being able to travel around Chicago on the El. My freshman year I got lost every single time I left Belden. Sooner or later my roommate Atlanta and I realized that if we’re ever downtown off the red line, HOward is HOme, and that’s how we’ll get back. And it works! (Except for all the times I got lost on any other line). Today I got of the redline at Grand and went to The Sugar Factory! I can feel the cavities already. 😊 It’s actually a little warmer today and since “the city is your campus”... go explore Chicago and have a great day!!! I’ll be back later with another post cause I’m seeing Black Panther TONIGHT! STAY TUNED! Xoxo, #IAmDePaul - KG

A post shared by DePaul University Students (@iamdepaul) on

DePaul University gives the reins of its Instagram account, @iamdepaul, to a different student every week. During the week, the student posts about aspects of life at the university and living in Chicago by way of photos and stories.

These social media takeovers give perspective to those considering applying to DePaul and make current students feel included—two huge upsides for the university.

3. Proudly share university causes

Does your university or organization have a driving cause? Don't be afraid to share all about it.

This shows that your university truly believes in its cause—and that it wants to give back to the community.

Some ways to do this include sharing photos of service events, reposting articles related to your cause, and retweeting links to future community service or fundraising events.

4. Giveaways are great ways to give back—and get engagement

Alright, admit it: there's nothing college students love more than free stuff.

But thankfully, this can actually be a good thing for your social media campaign.

Try your hand at running a social media giveaway. This will not only give back to your students, but also increase engagement—for example, you can require students to retweet or like a post to enter.

Some things you can giveaway include school apparel and gift certificates.

5. Show some serious school pride

Create a buzz around the big game by tweeting, Instagramming, and otherwise sharing school pride.

This can be photos of sporting events, images of your school mascot, or just about anything else that represents your school colors. To make things even more engaging, come up with a school pride hashtag.

We're huge fans of Northwestern University's hashtag, #PurplePride.

6. Use Stories every single day

Use Stories to share urgent information

Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook Stories are some of the biggest trends on social media, and your university or organization has to use them.

Use Stories to post about on-campus activities and make other announcements. Stories are put front-and-center and only appear for 24 hours, making them perfect for sharing urgent announcements and time-sensitive info.

Further, Instagram Stories are highly interactive. For example, you can use the poll sticker, question-and-answer sticker, or other interactive sticker to ask for student opinions. 

7. Showcase successful alumni

Inspire your students by posting about successful and notable alumni. Some ways to do this include posting alumni quotes, sharing articles alumni is featured in, or even running some sort of weekly "alumni spotlight." 

Oh, and not only does this inspire students, but it makes your university or organization look good too!

8. Invoke nostalgia

Speaking of alumni: don't be afraid to cater some of your posts to graduated students, too.

Some things to post include photos of campus, throwback photos, and invitations to alumni events. This gives current students perspective, and may be the push an alumni needs to return for their master's degree.

9. Use photos, videos, and GIFs

It's no secret that social media posts with visual media get more interactions—in fact, tweets with photos and videos get 150% more retweets than those without.

So, keep an eye out for ways to add images and videos to your posts. Even a simple banner image with the article of your title will make the post more shareablee and engaging.

Out of image ideas? No worries: use the free images and free gifs section of the Social Report composer to find royalty-free images and animations for your social media posts.

10. Make sure your accounts are complete!

Make sure your social media profiles are completely filled out

This sounds obvious, but it's absolutely critical, so hear us out...

Ensure all accounts are properly filled out with your university logos and cover photos.

Further, if you're running social media for a club or other student organization, make sure that your connection to the university is made clear too.

Why? Students are savvy, and they won't follow accounts that aren't obviously connected to the university. You must make your social accounts look as complete in order catch their attention.

Now, it's time to start posting!

And that's it: 10 awesome ways to make student-focused social media posts. We hope these help your organization, company, or university better connected to college students.

Now we want to hear from you. How does your organization connect with students over social media? Let us know in the comments.

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