Higher Education Marketing

Leveraging Your School’s Twitter Account

Date posted: August 30, 2011

With over 200 million users, Twitter has become one of the most powerful social media sites, and its platform (short 140 character tweets) has given schools the chance to communicate easily and directly with its target audiences. This represents a tremendous opportunity for schools to manage and maintain their online presence and share of social media voice. How do you leverage this powerful tool?

Here are some tips on how to maintain your school’s Twitter account:

First things first, let people know about your Twitter account. Include the details on your website, newsletter, blog and more. It would also be a good idea to create a specific social media call to action that is inline with your goals. An example would be: “Follow us on Twitter for the latest news, admissions and open houses.”

The next step involves deciding what content to share with your target audiences. The schools that best take advantage of social media platforms will share a combination of the following content:

College News and Announcements
There is always a lot happening at your school or community college, so why not let your audience know about it? News tweets can help attract prospective students and retain alumni and staff by keeping them in the loop and reestablishing a bond. Have you made changes to your programs? New faculty members? Is there a great seminar or open house coming up? Let your followers know with special announcements.

Faculty and Staff Well Wishes
Highlighting staff, faculty and alumni milestones, achievements, awards or birthdays is an effective way to personalize your social network and create a more intimate relationship with your audience.

Admissions Information
Keep prospective students in the loop about admission deadlines and the application process. This will hopefully encourage prospects to apply. Your Twitter account can also act as something of a bridge between applicants and the admissions department, connecting leads with department heads, counselors and more.

Contests
Twitter can be a great outlet to promote contests or campaigns on and off campus. Doing so encourages students and parents to get involved in the life of the school and can provide a nice increase in online leads. What the contest is and what prize is on offer is up to you, but initiating a response in this way can be a positive approach to recruitment.

Student Congratulations
Highlighting exceptional performances, award winners or graduating classes is an excellent way to strengthen the bond with your audience and highlight the achievements of your school’s members.

Campus Pics
It’s great to talk about your campus, classrooms or labs, but why not post a picture? After all, one is worth a thousand words. Use Twitter’s Twitpic to show off any new features or changes to your facilities.

Campus Visitation Tips
A good way to promote open house events and campus tours (without being too pushy about it) is to offer a series of tips for prospective students visiting your campus. This can be anything from highlighting the biggest classroom and newest computer room to where a student can get a great slice of pizza in the area. Retweets and news stories about why people love the school’s city can also help prospective students learn about the campus and surrounding area.

Retweets of Positive Messages, Pictures and Videos
Students, staff, alumni and proud parents will often share pictures and videos from classes, events, graduations and more. Retweeting these special moments shows that your school cares about its members and helps keep the online conversation positive.

Career Services
A great way to boost online leads and attractiveness in the eyes of prospective students is to emphasize your school’s career services and job placement. Tweets can offer news about your institution’s career services, tips on job interviews and new stories about industries tied to your programs.

As you can see, a lot can be accomplished with just 140 characters. With clearly defined online and marketing goals, you can decide the content and Twitter approach that will best improve your share of social media voice.

For more information on social media monitoring contact Higher Education Marketing today.

4 thoughts on “Leveraging Your School’s Twitter Account

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