The Ultimate Guide to using Social Media to Engage your EDU Community

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Post on 08-Jan-2017



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  • The Ultimate Guide To Using Social Media To Engage Your Community


  • ContentsIntroduction

    6 Strategies & Tactics to Engage Your Community

    Use Engaging Hashtags

    Identify Your Community Influencers and Feed Them

    Develop Student Community Ambassadors

    Use Social Listening

    Embed Social Content Across Digital Properties








  • This guide takes you through the key strategies and tactics to using social

    media to develop an online community.

    With the development of online learning and the Edtech industry, there are more ways to obtain a college degree today. As the student body moves to be more remote and less engaged with on-campus activities, it is important to find ways to communicate and engage with your entire student community online.


  • 6 Strategies & Tactics to Engage Your Community

  • 1. Use Engaging Hashtags

    Hashtags are an essential part of connecting with users on Twitter and Instagram, and

    creating the right branded hashtag -- or chiming in on the right trending topic -- can make a

    huge difference in generating conversations within your community.


    Although the hashtag #HarvardMathDepartment might be easy to come up with and

    tempting to use, it does not entice someone to jump into the digital conversation. Hashtags

    like #HarvardNerd or #HarvardNerdJokes are more fun, encouraging posting and sharing; it is

    still broad enough to be relevant to a lot of people.


  • #GreatHashtags

    A great hashtag should give you an idea of what a post is about, be able to encourage new conversations, and add some witty subtext to a post. We call this as paralanguage here at TINT. See our ebook How Hashtags Changed the World. Whether your hashtag is self-deprecating, sarcastic, or serious, it should be a clever way for you and your community to express themselves.


    The hashtag #NUSBizFreshies is both interesting, fun, and niche-specific enough that users will want to join the conversation.

  • Tips To Create a Memorable Hashtag

    Be concise

    Long enough to start a conversation around a specific topic

    Not so long that people cant figure out what it says, or have no room to write their

    message within Twitters character limit

    Dennys #CollegeIn5Words nailed it on the head

    Be entertaining

    Create a branded hashtag thats fun for your followers

    RedBulls #PutaCanOnIt and Oreos #OreoHorrorStory are perfect examples

    Use proper nouns

    Create and share hashtags that specifically mention your college - or even one niche

    within your college (like the English department or the Acapella clubs)


  • Everyone likes feeling like theyre part of an exclusive group, and using a hashtag like

    #HarvardHomeworkProblems will build a stronger community than #HomeworkProblems

    Do your research

    When researching your hashtags, tools like Hashtagify make the process much easier by

    searching for and locating trending hashtags, finding the ones that will be most relevant to

    your audience


    You can learn more about creating the perfect hashtag through this blogpost, 5 Easy Hashtag Strategies That Will Make You A Social Media Hero.

  • 2. Identify Your Community Influencers and Feed ThemThe key to building a community is through consistent engagement from its members. While every like, comment, share, and reply counts, some users carry more weight within your community than others.

    When selecting influencers to build your schools online community, there are a couple things to keep in mind.

    First, they should be relatively predictable. You should know what their opinions are, and the risks involved in using them to represent your brand.

    Second, it helps to find influencers that are already active on social media and have a strong following that matches your demographic.


  • How To Engage Community Influencers

    Identify influencers

    Check out the most active channels for your school and see whose posts get a lot of


    Common influencers within a college community include popular professors, student

    athletes, and official icons like your school mascot.

    Respond and repost frequently

    Let them know their voice is important to you

    Repost their content on your website, blog, and social accounts

    Create more content

    Provide your advocates with a continued stream of highly shareable content

    Keep your content relevant to your influencers and audiences interests

    By showing influencers that their contribution and opinions are important to you, youll be able to create more brand advocates and have more active influencers.


  • Tactics to encourage engagement from community influencers include:

    Repost their posts or content that they share

    Reach out to them publicly on social media and ask

    their opinion

    Tag them in relevant posts

    Share content featuring your influencers on your


    Host an interview with the influencer on mediums

    like Facebook Live or on your blog, and share it

    across social media.


    Featuring community influencer content on your websitewith a social media hub encourages ongoing engagement

  • Use tools like Mention to better identify influencers in your community. Mention is like the big brother of Google Alerts, and tracks mentions of your brands across social media.

    You can learn more about building more building engagement in a college community through the post, How to Boost Engagement With User-Generated Content.


    Mention can reveal your top influencers

    Tools to find influencers

  • 3. Develop Student Community Ambassadors

    Your students are your best advocates. Take advantage of them! Create a Student Community Ambassador program to help students interested in marketing get some initial experience while building your brand. They can be anyone who is part of the student body, loves social media, and most importantly, wants to represent the school.


  • Train selected students

    Communicate your vision and goals to your ambassadors

    Provide them with a list of guidelines to follow

    Provide access

    Give them access to the people, resources, or tools they need (even if thats just contact

    with administrators at the school)

    A lot of platforms, like Facebook, allow for different levels of user privileges

    Establish check-ins

    Track progress each quarter

    Provide a set time each quarter or semester for feedback and to communicate new


    You can use tools to track progress and share assignments. Trello, for example, is a free

    tool that works like a virtual to-do list, and allows you to create moveable cards with

    assignments on them. 12

    Identify students

    Target those who are either already active on social media or those that are highly

    involved in campus activities.

    How To Select Student Ambassadors

  • Even if you dont start an official student ambassador program, you still likely have students who are proud of their school and want to let the world know.

    Using TINT can help you expose your existing student community and amplify their voice. Students trust other students more than traditional marketing content, so make the most of your community!

    Students that are willing to share positive words about their education from your school can become student advocates, even if they have no training.


    You can read more about creating brand ambassadors through our blog post, How To Transform Your Community Into Your Digital Marketing Force.

  • 4. Use Social Listening

    Social listening is the practice of monitoring your social channels to see whats being said about your brand. Its one of the most valuable opportunities schools have when theyre looking to build a community online and boost engagement. Below are some of the benefits of social listening.


  • Important EventsSocial listening can help schools find out about important events or groups, such as a

    particular school club that is garnering a lot of attention on Facebook.

    Crisis ManagementSocial listening can flag potential problems within a community. A single unhappy student

    or faculty member can do more damage now than ever before. Being close to your social

    community enables you to address these issues immediately and avoid a PR disaster.


    Conversational TrendsSocial listening can help you jump in on rapidly developing topics of interest as they occur.

  • Use tools like Sprout Social or Mention, which can help you to get a big-picture idea of what people are saying about your brand. You can read more about social listening and social customer service through our blog post, 11 Social Media Tools Every Marketer Needs To Be Using Right Now.

    How To Use Social Listening

    Knowing what your community is saying is essential to helping your community grow.


  • Lets say that you are a hosting an event at your school and you have to compete with bigger events like concerts and massive events. Its the week leading up to the event, and you are pressured by event organizers to get the word out as much as possible. The week is about to end, and students are starting to make plans for the weekend. Perfect opportunity to suggest your event as a weekend activity! But how does one start tapping into those conversations? And where can you find them?

    By using Twitter Advanced Search!

    Twitter Search is the jackpot for discovering conversations by specific keywords, hashtags, users, location, dates and even the tone of the tweet.


    How To Use Social Listening with Twitter Search

  • Here is what you can filter when you search:

    Contains all of these words

    Contains this exact phrase

    Contains any of these words

    Contains none of these words

    Contains these hashtags

    Written in this language

    From these accounts

    To these accounts

    Mentioning these accounts

    Near this place

    From this date

    Positive tone

    Negative tone

    Question ?

    Include retweets

    Search for key terms like Weekend ideas? or Where should I go this weekend, and segment tweets by the school location. The result? The perfect list of students to invite to your event. Bingo!


  • 5. Embed Social Content Across Digital PropertiesMost universities are using a plethora of social media networks to engage with their social communities. Currently marketers need to keep up with all of these networks to stay in touch. But, interacting with each of these networks separately is time confusing and doesnt tell the full story of what is happening. Therefore, a lot of universities like to collect and display content from separate social channels in one place - such as their website, jumbotron, or a digital screen. TINT provides an easy-to-use content display solution with superior content curation and moderation capabilities that many universities like Stanford, Northwestern, Purdue University, and Boise State University are currently using! Learn More


  • Taking your User Generated Content and repurposing it across all of your key digital channels is the most effective way to do all of the following:

    Highlight the authentic stories that make up your community

    Provide your community with a voice

    Drive traffic and engagement where you want it


    Encourage sharing and participation

    Collect authentic content to repurpose

    Celebrate life-changing events for your students (Graduation, Admission Acceptance,

    Career Placement, etc.)

    to learn more, see how Boise State University used TINT

  • The best schools are using social hubs to expand engagement. Here are some tips to make

    the most of your social hub:

    Place it in a prominent location

    Your community deserves to be highlighted. Make sure to put your hub in a prominent

    location that will be noticed. User Generated Content results in 93% more dwell time than

    corporate image galleries*

    Add social prompts and CTAs.

    Its important to make it as easy to interact with your brand, so put CTAs and prompts

    directly in your content. UGCs impact can be much stronger when its placed next to

    social prompt buttons and CTAs that encourage users to share their own content on social



    Social Hub Best Practices

    * Meritus Hotels

  • *TINT is an easy to use content display

    platform, and a number of higher education

    institutions like Stanford, Northwestern, Duke,

    and more are currently using TINT.

    You can contact us to learn more here.

    Knowing what your community is saying is essential to helping your community grow.




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