Social Media Marketing takes more time and effort than most people think. Despite the ease of communication, a university must put in serious work to reap the benefits of these ever-popular marketing channels.
Like any other marketing endeavor, a specific marketing plan must be made and implemented in order to have a successful social media presence. Below are a few steps to aide in planning.
- Establish objectives and goals to outline your social media marketing strategy — This will allow you to create a check and balance with your strategy.
- Review current social media presence — What channels are your institution using? Are they optimal to your target market?
- Gather inspiration and create quality content — Consider the message you’d like to portray and why it’s relevant to your social media followers.
- Create a content calendar — This will provide an easy to reference structure for posts and campaigns.
One aspect to consider in social media marketing is that it’s not the number of followers you have, but the number of engaged followers that is most significant. Almost all social media channels make a point to show users what they want to see first and most often, so producing content relevant to your target market is a must. Providing value-adding, worthwhile content builds a trustworthy relationship between your institution and its followers, leading to higher engagement and support.
Furthermore, there is a popular “Rule of Thirds” strategy that can be useful for newbies to the social media stratosphere. This rule states that one-third of posted content should be branded as marketing; another third should be relatable content created by others; and the last third should be interaction with followers and others online. Social media marketing should be just that — social!
After creating and implementing a social media marketing strategy with these ideas in mind, it’s essential to monitor and adjust the strategy according to results. While this process will be different for particular universities, keep in mind that various strategies work well for markets and others do not. People may unfollow your social media — but don’t fret! Engaged followers matter and the people that do unfollow are not engaged or beneficial to the overall objective.
With these tips you should be on the right track to start building a winning social media marketing strategy for your institution.
By Alysha Rice, Digital Content Specialist, Capture Higher Ed