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Catering to Universities’ Target Audience on Social Media

Picture of Kayley Nagle

Kayley Nagle

Over 98 percent of college-aged students use social media, so why are so many universities missing the mark on digital marketing? There are a variety of reasons, most of which are a simple fix. Once they are implemented, these tips are a surefire way for universities to increase engagement, attract their target audience, and become an overall stronger brand.

Lack of Attention to the Personal Narrative

Universities often lack attention to the personal narrative. Users want to feel that they can connect with your brand, and see themselves in your posts. A school that does this seamlessly is Strayer University. If you take a look at Strayers Instagram, you will see dozens of student spotlights that include photos, quotes, and inspirational stories of real-life Strayer students. This content is what many universities are missing, and can be the cure to your school’s digital marketing sorrows. 

Tip: Connect with current students or alumni and ask them to take over your universities’ social media pages for the day. Ask them to talk about their experience at the school, what programs they were involved in, and resources where prospective students can learn more. 

They Miss Out on What’s Trending

The most successful digital brands are ones that keep up with social media trends. What is the most popular dance on TikTok right now? What is the number one hashtag on Twitter? Is there an Instagram Story filter everyone has been loving? These are the questions that universities need to be asking themselves if they want to raise their engagement. Universities that are not keeping up with the times are going to fall short because trends are what keep content moving upward, and allow brands their chance in the spotlight. No one loves a trend more than a college student. Universities need to connect to them on their level, and provide them content that they find entertaining. 

Tip: Post a compilation video of students and faculty doing their favorite TikTok dance on Instagram or Twitter. This will give your post the opportunity to trend, especially if you use popular hashtags alongside of it. It will also entertain your target audience, making them more likely to engage with your post. 

Engagement is a Two-Way Street

Universities often miss the mark because they only participate in one-way engagement. Though they are posting content regularly, that is not enough to attract their audience. Universities are being tagged in posts daily, and they have the opportunity to respond and engage with users. Capella University, Strayer’s affiliated university, often comments on posts that they are tagged in on Instagram. This makes users feel recognized and opens your brand up to a larger pool of users, allowing more eyes on your page.

Tip: Reply to comments on your social media posts, even if it is just a “like.” Even the most simple forms of engagement shows that your brand cares about what your target audience has to say, and forms a special, mutual relationship between you and your followers.

Visit our Deep Ad Thoughts blog to learn more about current advertising, marketing and public relations tips and trends. Plus, check out our Push n’ Pull blog for all things in the world of digital and social media.

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