It’s crucial to ensure your college or university is one that people are talking about; however, creating advocacy doesn’t just happen. You need to build relationships through meaningful conversations and messaging, online or otherwise.
This is vital when it comes to not only attracting prospective students but also with your current students and alumni groups. If these audiences feel as though you’re providing them valuable information (for example, an ACT study guide as a download) or you care about their future (for example, posting content informing them about job fairs in the community), they’ll be more invested in your school - they’ll tell their friends about their experiences, share your social and blog content, wear your schools apparel, bring their friends to the sports games and events, and the list goes on.
You must remember – everyone is a potential recruiter.
These peer-to-peer conversations can be the difference between your ideal student enrolling in one of your programs or choosing a different school. Make it simple for your advocates to care and to share positive messaging about your college or university.
Develop Social Media Content That Encourages Action The key is to create content that encourages relationship building and advocacy to reach your business goals. While it’s important to create and publish content around a variety of topics, all content should ladder up to your school’s purpose and unique positioning.
Publish a mix of informative content with content that provides opportunities for audience participation Pose a question to gain student insights: Hey class of 2016, we’re planning on adding a new class to our curriculum. Would you rather sign up for _______ or ________? Insert yourself into trending conversations: #ThrowbackThursday to when (insert university) won the National Football Championship Game in 1962! Alumni, what was your most memorable football game?
When you ask questions and gather opinions on topics that promote your school’s culture and experience, your audience will feel as though their thoughts are valued and their voices matter. Prospective students feel as though they can vote on topics and directly impact their higher education experience before they even step foot on campus, while alumni can share posts to their Facebook timelines to relive their college years.
Work on building a strategy that doesn’t focus on pushing out information on your owned platforms. Look at ways to build relationships with them so that they can advocate for your school when you’re not able to do it yourself.