Higher Education Marketing

7 quick tips to boost your students’ engagement for graduation

Date posted: May 23, 2012

It’s Commencement time! It’s an exhilarating moment for graduates as they are closing a chapter of their life and are off to new adventures. It is also a very important time for schools always looking for a way to increase engagement and visibility. Here are 7 quick ways to do so:

1. Create a Year Picture Frame: This is the most joyous time of year for your students. Why not help them share their joy? Visuals have gained momentum in social media over the past few months, so why not use graduation pictures to enhance your college or university’s brand? Provide your graduates with a custom-made frame: all they will have to do is add their photo. You can use both Facebook formats for pictures. Remember that, although the cover pictures are much larger, profile pictures are those that appear when comments are made or on everyone’s ticker.

Here is what Niagara College offered its students.


Other examples may include:

  • Congrats (school name) Grads!
  • (name of school) Class of 2012
  • Graduation quote: from the president or more general “I did it!”, or “Graduation is not the end, but only the beginning”
  • I am the proud parent of a —– graduate

Take a look at what St FX University does. At about the same time, it is also possible to create a I got accepted to (name of the school)

2. Ask one-word questions: “Describe in ONE word what you are most looking forward to this summer”, “What is your best tip to stay stress free during exams?” All participants are entered into a draw to win something.

3. Organize a video contest when each entry should be about what students liked most about their time at your school. They can shoot it before, during or after graduation. Students will have a pre-determined date to submit their entry. Every time one person submits an entry, ask students to go watch and comment for this person to win. The entry with the most views wins.

4. Post all pictures of the graduation ceremony on your Facebook and Flickr profile. Ask students to come and vote for the one that encapsulates the ceremony for them.

5. Run a small picture contest: Ask all students to submit their best picture of the ceremony or their graduation parties: the one with the most Likes wins a small prize.

6. Organize a Graduation GiveAway: You should organize frequent giveaways as part of your interactions with students. The giveaways can be linked to what is happening at the school, or general (stress-free day, Happy Monday, Freebie Thursday, etc.) For graduation, ask students questions such as “I am a graduate. Now I can finally….” or “I am most about …”Prizes can be gift cards, tickets to a game, a concert, backpacks, simple school t-shirts, etc. Example of a graduation giveaway: “To celebrate our graduates and the great summer ahead of us, we are giving away a gift card (worth 75$). Post your best, most positive experience at (name of your school) and you will be entered into a drawing to win. Good luck! (You have until Tuesday noon to enter)”

You will be able to use the answers as recommendations.

7. Help your graduates go across platforms by inviting them all to join your Alumni group page on Facebook or LinkedIn. This will be a great opportunity for incoming students to see the great professional network your school offers as well.

What are you doing to take advantage of graduation time and enhance your brand?

Passionate about web and content marketing, I write about all things social media in higher education.

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