You need to reach graduate prospects. You’ve adapted your search ads, your remarketing, and your recruiting approach… But have you revisited your social media strategy? Graduate prospects come from a variety of different backgrounds, and therefore your strategy should not be as much about the platforms you use, as the content you put into it. Check out the following tactics for the inside scoop!
Nowadays we don’t go to a coffee shop without seeing what other people say. We don’t take our cars to a repair shop unless we have seen a good review or two. And we are not going to drop tens of thousands of dollars on a graduate degree unless we know that it will be worth it.
Be proactive. Ask your current students and alumni of your graduate programs to give testimonials. And then share them everywhere. Put them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and more. Meet your audience where they are.
Prospective graduate students will have a desire to gain knowledge. Running a blog is one of the best ways to impart free wisdom unto your potential grad students, and hopefully, inspire them to want to learn more. Increase your school’s credibility by showing off how much you know. And yes, blogging is a separate digital strategy from social strategies. However, once curated you have the opportunity to share them on every social channel you use.
BONUS TIP: If blogs are not your thing, a solution might be to produce a podcast. Podcasts have been increasing in popularity for several years. Their format can be easier to digest than reading a lengthy blog. Additionally, the higher education podcast circle is not very wide, therefore a new voice can be heard more easily by graduate prospects.
Graduate Program News
Your older prospects, age 30-40, are the most likely to get their news from social media (Source). They get the majority of their news from LinkedIn, followed closely by Twitter and Facebook. Spend a good amount of time curating, and sharing news about your graduate teachers, students, and more. Use a variety of formats, including text, photos, and videos, for optimal reach and engagement.
Make sure your awareness is high. If prospects don’t know you or don’t know you offer graduate courses, they won’t think of you for their degree. Paid campaigns on various social channels (think Facebook and Instagram) are a great way to achieve the audience awareness you desire.
For example, the University of Arkansas Online has seen exceptional results via these methods using very strategic creative, and targeting methods. During the 2016-17 campaign, both Facebook and Instagram saw strong clicks, and impressions. The ads also led to high numbers of view-through conversions, suggesting that not only awareness increased, but also interest.
Remember, each institution is different! Your grad students are ever-so-slightly different from your peers’ grad students. This could be due to location, program offerings, institutional goals, or a number of other factors. Channels and tactics that work for someone else may not perform as well for you. Keep monitoring your results. What unique approaches have you tried? Tell me about it in the comments!
See more social media related blogs on Brand Bounce.