Since being opened to the public way back in 2006, Facebook has turned into a titan of the information age.
According to BrandWatch, Facebook currently counts over 2.320 billion users, thus putting it head and shoulders above every other social networking site in terms of popularity. To put into context just how impressive that user base is, YouTube counts 1.5 billion users, WeChat has 1.12 billion people onboard, and Instagram has about one billion people sharing their photos online.
No other social networking site can currently claim that is has a billion registered users.
Facebook remains a popular advertising tool, especially for those looking to convey more meaningful messages through various forms of media. That’s why it works well as a platform for universities that are trying to recruit new students.
However, simply posting some photos and passages on Facebook won’t be enough to draw the attention of young minds trying to figure out where they want to go to receive their higher education.
By following the tips laid out below, universities will be able to connect with prospective students better and convey their intended messages more effectively.
1. Keep Mobile in Mind
How do you access Facebook? Do you find yourself opening up your laptop often just to get to the desktop site or are you perfectly content with just navigating to the app on your phone and scrolling through your feed there?
These days, more people seem to prefer to just utilize the app. According to SproutSocial, 96 percent of users log on to Facebook via mobile phones. Meanwhile, only 25 percent of users do so through their desktop PCs and laptops.
Just remember that everything you post via your school’s page and even the page itself should be optimized for mobile if you want it to be seen by more people.
2. Post Often
Hootsuite notes 1.47 billion people log in to Facebook on a daily basis. What that means is that 1.47 billion people are also checking in daily looking for fresh content.
If your university’s page fails to keep up with other entities on Facebook that are consistently supplying the content people are seeking out, you can’t be surprised if your engagement suffers.
Committing to your Facebook ad campaign isn’t just about making quality content, it’s also about how often you can satisfy the demand for it.
3. Create and Provide Concise Content
While it’s true that people like to visit Facebook daily, they don’t always stay there for long. The average visit to the site/app lasts only for about 10 to 12 minutes. Knowing that, you have to design content that can draw attention right away, hold it for a few minutes, and convey a message within that short timeframe.
This doesn’t mean that all your posts have to be videos that run for no longer than a minute and that your posts can’t be longer than a paragraph.
However, you should make it a point to supply those shorter snippets of content regularly.
1. Make Good Use of Videos
You may think that people would reserve their video-viewing time for YouTube, but nope. Facebook users love to spend their time watching videos. Over the last year, 71 percent of users have upped their video consumption and you need to take advantage of that by building up your own video library.
2. Shorter Videos Are More Appealing to Younger Users
Simply making videos is not enough. To draw the attention of students in the 18-24 age bracket – the demographic most college students belong to – you have to provide the right type of videos.
In this case, that means creating videos that are not too long. If you can say everything you need to in a short, 15-second video, that would be ideal.
3. Create Videos That Remain Effective Even without Sound
One of the more surprising stats related to Facebook videos is that 85 percent of them are watched with the sound turned off. Perhaps people just cannot be bothered to reach for their earbuds sometimes.
So, how do you adjust to that?
What you can do is create videos that make use of bold imagery and don’t forget the captions as well. If you’re planning to commemorate an important event in your university’s history via video, take the extra step to have captions on it so that viewers can understand what’s going on with or without the sound.
Speaking of your university’s history…
4. Celebrate Important Milestones and Events in Your School’s History
It’s easier to generate some buzz when you have something special to talk about, such as the founding of your school or perhaps an important event that took place there in the past.
Make use of Facebook’s Milestones and Events features to draw even more attention to these special occasions. At the very least, you can expect to see more than a few of those “likes” coming your way.
5. Hold Impromptu Q&A Sessions
Reddit is probably the place celebrities like to go to most if they want to conduct extended Q&A sessions, but there’s no reason why you can’t have one for your university via Facebook.
Bill it as an “informal orientation” of sorts and take questions from prospective students who are interested in your university. Who knows, maybe a few undecided students out there have some nagging questions they would like addressed prior to committing to any school and you could be the one to provide the answers.
6. Flesh Out the University Page with Plenty of Information
It’s always annoying when you’re trying to learn more about a certain company or establishment via Facebook and see nothing but ads on their page. You can’t afford to do that with the university page.
Fill it with all the relevant information you can think of. Whether it’s contact information, directions, or just content you’ve previously posted, keep it all on your page and make sure that any visitor can access it when they want to.
7. Gather Reviews from Alumni and Current Students
Reviews work for movies, restaurants, and even products sold online. They should work for your university as well, especially if they are coming from credible sources.
Ask some alumni and current students to share their thoughts on what it’s like to be a student at your university. The human touch is always crucial in advertising and by presenting real people who are showing love for the school, it will be easier to let prospective students know that it is a truly wonderful institution.
Social media marketing is no longer just an option these days. It’s a must, and that holds true even for universities. By following the tips listed above, you will make it easier for your university to make a positive impression on potential students and encourage them to enroll there.