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

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<ul><li><p>The Ultimate Guide To Using Social Media To Engage Your Community</p><p>HIGHER EDUCATION</p></li><li><p>ContentsIntroduction</p><p>6 Strategies &amp; Tactics to Engage Your Community</p><p>Use Engaging Hashtags</p><p>Identify Your Community Influencers and Feed Them</p><p>Develop Student Community Ambassadors</p><p>Use Social Listening</p><p>Embed Social Content Across Digital Properties</p><p>02</p><p>03</p><p>07</p><p>11</p><p>14</p><p>19</p><p>01</p></li><li><p>This guide takes you through the key strategies and tactics to using social </p><p>media to develop an online community.</p><p>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.</p><p>02</p></li><li><p>6 Strategies &amp; Tactics to Engage Your Community</p></li><li><p>1. Use Engaging Hashtags</p><p>Hashtags are an essential part of connecting with users on Twitter and Instagram, and </p><p>creating the right branded hashtag -- or chiming in on the right trending topic -- can make a </p><p>huge difference in generating conversations within your community.</p><p>#BoringHashtags</p><p>Although the hashtag #HarvardMathDepartment might be easy to come up with and </p><p>tempting to use, it does not entice someone to jump into the digital conversation. Hashtags </p><p>like #HarvardNerd or #HarvardNerdJokes are more fun, encouraging posting and sharing; it is </p><p>still broad enough to be relevant to a lot of people.</p><p>03</p></li><li><p>#GreatHashtags</p><p>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.</p><p>04</p><p>The hashtag #NUSBizFreshies is both interesting, fun, and niche-specific enough that users will want to join the conversation.</p><p></p></li><li><p>Tips To Create a Memorable Hashtag</p><p>Be concise</p><p> Long enough to start a conversation around a specific topic</p><p> Not so long that people cant figure out what it says, or have no room to write their </p><p> message within Twitters character limit</p><p> Dennys #CollegeIn5Words nailed it on the head</p><p>Be entertaining</p><p> Create a branded hashtag thats fun for your followers </p><p> RedBulls #PutaCanOnIt and Oreos #OreoHorrorStory are perfect examples</p><p>Use proper nouns</p><p> Create and share hashtags that specifically mention your college - or even one niche </p><p>within your college (like the English department or the Acapella clubs)</p><p>05</p></li><li><p> Everyone likes feeling like theyre part of an exclusive group, and using a hashtag like </p><p>#HarvardHomeworkProblems will build a stronger community than #HomeworkProblems</p><p>Do your research </p><p> When researching your hashtags, tools like Hashtagify make the process much easier by </p><p>searching for and locating trending hashtags, finding the ones that will be most relevant to </p><p>your audience</p><p>06</p><p>You can learn more about creating the perfect hashtag through this blogpost, 5 Easy Hashtag Strategies That Will Make You A Social Media Hero.</p><p></p></li><li><p>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. </p><p>When selecting influencers to build your schools online community, there are a couple things to keep in mind.</p><p>First, they should be relatively predictable. You should know what their opinions are, and the risks involved in using them to represent your brand.</p><p>Second, it helps to find influencers that are already active on social media and have a strong following that matches your demographic.</p><p>07</p></li><li><p>How To Engage Community Influencers</p><p>Identify influencers</p><p> Check out the most active channels for your school and see whose posts get a lot of </p><p> Likes/Shares</p><p> Common influencers within a college community include popular professors, student </p><p> athletes, and official icons like your school mascot.</p><p>Respond and repost frequently</p><p> Let them know their voice is important to you</p><p> Repost their content on your website, blog, and social accounts</p><p>Create more content</p><p> Provide your advocates with a continued stream of highly shareable content</p><p> Keep your content relevant to your influencers and audiences interests</p><p>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.</p><p>08</p></li><li><p>Tactics to encourage engagement from community influencers include:</p><p>Repost their posts or content that they share</p><p>Reach out to them publicly on social media and ask </p><p>their opinion </p><p>Tag them in relevant posts </p><p>Share content featuring your influencers on your </p><p>website</p><p>Host an interview with the influencer on mediums </p><p>like Facebook Live or on your blog, and share it </p><p>across social media.</p><p>09</p><p>Featuring community influencer content on your websitewith a social media hub encourages ongoing engagement</p></li><li><p>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.</p><p>You can learn more about building more building engagement in a college community through the post, How to Boost Engagement With User-Generated Content.</p><p>10</p><p>Mention can reveal your top influencers </p><p>Tools to find influencers</p><p></p></li><li><p>3. Develop Student Community Ambassadors</p><p>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. </p><p>11</p></li><li><p>Train selected students</p><p> Communicate your vision and goals to your ambassadors</p><p> Provide them with a list of guidelines to follow </p><p>Provide access</p><p> Give them access to the people, resources, or tools they need (even if thats just contact </p><p> with administrators at the school)</p><p> A lot of platforms, like Facebook, allow for different levels of user privileges</p><p>Establish check-ins </p><p> Track progress each quarter</p><p> Provide a set time each quarter or semester for feedback and to communicate new </p><p> initiatives</p><p> You can use tools to track progress and share assignments. Trello, for example, is a free </p><p> tool that works like a virtual to-do list, and allows you to create moveable cards with </p><p> assignments on them. 12</p><p>Identify students</p><p> Target those who are either already active on social media or those that are highly </p><p> involved in campus activities.</p><p>How To Select Student Ambassadors</p></li><li><p>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.</p><p>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!</p><p>Students that are willing to share positive words about their education from your school can become student advocates, even if they have no training.</p><p>13</p><p>You can read more about creating brand ambassadors through our blog post, How To Transform Your Community Into Your Digital Marketing Force.</p><p></p></li><li><p>4. Use Social Listening</p><p>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. </p><p>14</p></li><li><p>Important EventsSocial listening can help schools find out about important events or groups, such as a </p><p>particular school club that is garnering a lot of attention on Facebook.</p><p>Crisis ManagementSocial listening can flag potential problems within a community. A single unhappy student </p><p>or faculty member can do more damage now than ever before. Being close to your social </p><p>community enables you to address these issues immediately and avoid a PR disaster.</p><p>15</p><p>Conversational TrendsSocial listening can help you jump in on rapidly developing topics of interest as they occur.</p></li><li><p>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. </p><p>How To Use Social Listening</p><p>Knowing what your community is saying is essential to helping your community grow.</p><p>16</p><p></p></li><li><p>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?</p><p>By using Twitter Advanced Search! </p><p>Twitter Search is the jackpot for discovering conversations by specific keywords, hashtags, users, location, dates and even the tone of the tweet. </p><p>17</p><p>How To Use Social Listening with Twitter Search</p></li><li><p>Here is what you can filter when you search: </p><p>Contains all of these words</p><p>Contains this exact phrase</p><p>Contains any of these words</p><p>Contains none of these words</p><p>Contains these hashtags</p><p>Written in this language</p><p>From these accounts</p><p>To these accounts</p><p>Mentioning these accounts</p><p>Near this place</p><p>From this date</p><p>Positive tone </p><p>Negative tone </p><p>Question ?</p><p>Include retweets</p><p>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! </p><p>18</p></li><li><p>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</p><p>19</p><p></p></li><li><p>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:</p><p>Highlight the authentic stories that make up your community</p><p>Provide your community with a voice</p><p>Drive traffic and engagement where you want it</p><p>20</p><p>Encourage sharing and participation</p><p>Collect authentic content to repurpose</p><p>Celebrate life-changing events for your students (Graduation, Admission Acceptance, </p><p>Career Placement, etc.)</p><p>to learn more, see how Boise State University used TINT</p><p></p></li><li><p>The best schools are using social hubs to expand engagement. Here are some tips to make </p><p>the most of your social hub:</p><p>Place it in a prominent location</p><p>Your community deserves to be highlighted. Make sure to put your hub in a prominent </p><p>location that will be noticed. User Generated Content results in 93% more dwell time than </p><p>corporate image galleries*</p><p>Add social prompts and CTAs.</p><p>Its important to make it as easy to interact with your brand, so put CTAs and prompts </p><p>directly in your content. UGCs impact can be much stronger when its placed next to </p><p>social prompt buttons and CTAs that encourage users to share their own content on social </p><p>media.</p><p>21</p><p>Social Hub Best Practices</p><p>* Meritus Hotels</p></li><li><p>*TINT is an easy to use content display </p><p>platform, and a number of higher education </p><p>institutions like Stanford, Northwestern, Duke, </p><p>and more are currently using TINT.</p><p> You can contact us to learn more here. </p><p>Knowing what your community is saying is essential to helping your community grow.</p><p>22</p><p></p></li><li><p></p></li></ul>