How Can Academic Institutions Effectively Segment Their Social Media Audience – ASMA


Social media is like an ocean.  Its great expanse often confuses marketers to locate the relevant audience for their business. The huge number of people who use these platforms on a daily basis make things difficult. And, therefore it is necessary to know your online population so that your content reaches those who are more likely to consume it. So, in order to seek out this audience, you have to learn to segment your social media audience.

Learning to segment your social media audience will cut through the noise and help you reach your target audience in less time and money. It will also help you understand their behaviour to serve them better.

Why Do Academic Institutions Need To Segment Their Social Media Audience?

Educational institutions cater to a generation that grew up with internet all around them. This has made easy for Millennials to adopt new dimensions of internet technology such as social media. The development has completely transformed their mode of thinking and also the way of segmenting people on social media.

Education marketers hence need to better understand how millennials view social media and categorize its various elements. Here it is also important to understand that according to the general rule not all social media users actively create content. In Internet culture, only 1% of the users actively create new content, 9% of the participants edit content or provide advocacy to the 1%, while the other 90% of the participants stay dormant, simply consuming what rest 10% produce.

So, it is important for edu-marketers to focus their social media segmentation strategy on these three segments. Although attracting the attention of the 1% is key to success, but it is not always easy. These people are usually high influencers having celebrity status and hence difficult to consider without significant expense. So, for educational entities the alternative is to concentrate on the 9%. The remaining 90% should also be viewed as potential audience that can be migrated to the next level through innovative content marketing.

The key to understanding social media segmentation lies in creating top of mind brand recall through your messaging. So, one should selectively use content tactics to engage that segment of audience which is more likely to spread word of mouth. For example, you can circulate content that makes the 1% to express independent opinion. Rest will automatically react to it triggering the desired conversation around it.

Similarly, the 90% of your online audience needs to be engaged in your academic brand through content that creates a cohesive social media feed and encourages engagement around it for a longer period of time.

Without understanding this segmentation dynamics, one might simply hover around but reach nowhere, wasting time, money, and effort. Understanding the minds and online behaviour of millennials is therefore crucial for educational institutes to make their brand more successful and known all around.

Its important for educational organisations to know which categories most of its audience fall into as the communications media they select should appeal to the widest group possible. So, for instance, if most of your target market simply falls under 90% category who are mere online spectators, you would perhaps need to revise your social media content strategy to focus more on 10% influencers. Your job should be to encourage your potential audience to spectate less and be more active participant of your posts, tweets and other social stuff.

4 Ways to Effectively Segment Your Social Media Audiences

  1. Selecting a suitable platform

Choosing the right social platform is the best way to segment your audience by default. For example, millennials mostly use Facebook, so your major marketing campaigns for this community must be posted on Facebook to generate maximum traction.

Similarly, LinkedIn and Twitter users are supposed to be more professional than users of other social platforms. So, if you wish to connect with alumni or want to tag an industry guest, these platforms will be the right choice. Choosing platforms based on intended outreach could be a distinguishing characteristic to segment your audience.

  1. Targeted campaigning

Another best way to segment your audience is through paid advertising on various social platforms. Almost every social media platform offers option to filter your target audience based on demography, location etc. Through these options you can narrow down your audience and ensure efficacy of your paid campaigns.

Take advantage of social media targeting. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. provide effective targeting services to suit your purposes.

  1. LinkedIn groups and Twitter Lists

LinkedIn groups are a nice way to segment different audiences. For example, if you are organizing a particular event, you can float related info on specific groups interested to attend it. There, you will be able to connect with people having similar interest.

Twitter lists also offer one of the best ways to organize your followers on social media. They are extremely handy for finding out what certain segmented demographics are talking about and are interested in.

  1. Create Your Own Groups

Social media has given rise to virtual communities. So, why not take advantage of it. If you want to segment your audience further, you can opt for creating multiple groups on social media platforms to connect with the right audience.

These groups can either be closed or open where you can interact and engage your audience effectively. For example, during admissions, a specific group of admission aspirants can be created to reach out to those prospective students who have been offered admission but are still contemplating their options.

Final word

Rome was not built in a day. Similarly segmenting your social media audience will require you to set a dedicated time every day.  Develop focussed campaigns so that you precisely know which segment is interested in which content.

Create separate groups and lists to target audience in a much more efficient way. The entire point of segmenting your social media audience is to maximize campaign outreach and effectiveness. Segmentation can help academic institutions to attract the right audience in less marketing budget. And it also helps them to engage their prospective applicants in a better way.

So get up and engage with your set of audience using segmentation strategy to grow your community.