Academic Branding Using Social Media: Choose Your Content Wisely


People mostly recognize you for what you say and what you do. Your actions reflect your thoughts and shape your whole personality. The same happens with brands as well, irrespective of the industry they are in. In the age of social networking, the content you post online eventually becomes your brand identity. And you may not be even aware of it that it is happening. It results as a default action of your online activities.

Most of the academic institutions in the country especially in higher education sector are using social media either to drive admissions or placements or just for creating awareness about their brand. But little do they realize that unknowingly their social media postings are also helping them in creating a certain brand image in a subtle manner.

Are We Simply Following What Others Are Doing

Ask this question while brainstorming with your social media team. Ask them further to show you a few social media creatives and the messages/post copies that go along. Ask the audience there if they can give any tangible attributes to your online activities. Does those attributes give your institution a certain identity. After the interaction you will see that most of the content that you are broadcasting to increase your social presence online is also shaping your brand image by default.

How does that happen? It is not the result of one action alone. There are several elements that drive consequences in a subtle way. But predominantly, there are two key elements which influence the process of institutional branding as a consequence of social media presence.

Let us see how it happens.

First and foremost is the color scheme that is used in designing social media creatives. People recognize colors first than plain text. Human mind is attracted towards colors faster than any other form of sensation. Colors build perceptions of the visual object in brain. Colorful images help attach strong emotions and create brand affinity or detachment. If your creative team is not aware about the effect of colors on human psyche then they will not be able to design impactful visuals. While too much use of soft colors may create a dull perception about your brand, excessive use of bright and vibrant colors on the other hand may lead to aggressive image in mind. There has to be a balance between the two which should gel with the context of the message being communicated.

The spoken language of social media is keyword driven. It is primarily crafted for optimizing search engine results so that the web properties you create are discoverable by your audience. However the text should be drafted carefully as the choice of words will decide the kind of opinion it is going to build in a viewer’s mind. Action oriented words, powerful words, words of popular parlance, passive and active voices etc. all lead to the way your brand will be perceived, interpreted and understood.

If This Is The Case, What Is To Be Done Now

It is therefore important that your creative and content team should work in tandem to produce the desired campaign impact with overall branding of the College/University in mind. The goal of the team should be to make your content not just informative but it must also extend your brand image. The language of communication and overall design should help in establishing relationship between the brand and its intended audience. Your strategy should always center around getting your website/app/video content or any other online marketing collateral in sync with the overall brand identity. Your audience is going to consume content and form opinion. Therefore, you need to make sure to convey the right brand image.

Social media space is overcrowded with a lot of lousy messaging. You need to create a unique identity that stands out in the crowd. The above content strategy will help differentiate your brand from the ordinary Make sure your visual messages are disseminated in a coordinated manner across all channels, while ensuring uniformity with your brand image. Consistency in image projection will enhance brand recognition and increase brand recall. So choose your online content wisely.