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Social media should be an essential part of any college or university’s marketing strategy. Your under 21 target audience is waiting online and it’s up to colleges and unis to make sure that they are getting their message across. The popularity of social media networks changes regularly and current statistics from the ‘Taking Stock with Teens’ survey earlier this year show that over the past 6 months Snapchat has taken first place as the most important network, overtaking Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Young people under the age of 21 are using Snapchat more than ever and it’s the first place they look for the latest updates on the world around them. 

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Get Snap Happy

A recent article in The Guardian discusses universities that have used Snapchat marketing and highlights the success of their Snapchat Stories and campaigns. Whether it’s being used to share clearing information, document travel adventures or celebrate graduation, more universities are embracing the popular platform. 

Colleges and universities can use Snapchat stories to deliver short, informal messages that last just 24 hours. Universities have, in the past, used hashtags to encourage their audience to submit images that may be featured in the story. The combinations of videos and images can be downloaded as one file that can then be promoted across their profiles as a highlight summary of the day, news, campaign or event. 

Another way to catch the eyes of budding Snapchatters is to set up personalised geofilters. Universities and colleges can create their own location-labelled filters that appear to users in the area. These can be designed to promote an event or simply the college or uni itself, giving users the opportunity to ‘Snap’ themselves there. 

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Don’t be an Instagram square

Instagram Stories can be used in a similar way to Snapchat for colleges and universities trying to get their message across to a larger audience. In fact, with the recent update making it possible to add photos/videos from your library, it is easy to save some time by using visuals that have come from your Snapchat Story or elsewhere. 

The bonus of using Instagram is that you can also ensure that you have a more permanent visual platform. In a US survey, 28% of students said that they used Instagram for researching universities. The platform is an ideal way to give an insight into campus life and show what goes on behind the scenes. Creating university hashtags is an effective way to get students to submit content that can be shared – plus, giving students or lecturers the opportunity to guest post for a day or week is a great way to drive engagement. If teens are turning to Instagram to find out what a college or university can offer them, the pictures need to be regular, interesting and beautiful (we dare you to try and find a photo of typical British weather in the Cambridge University account).

Incorporating social media into an education marketing plan is essential, and many already have vibrant, engaging Facebook or Twitter pages. But teens are looking at Snapchat and Instagram first and colleges and universities should be too.

Need help with your education marketing? Below is a small selection of our related blogs or get in touch to find out how we can help you get your college or university’s message across.

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