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Twitter Strategies For Success in Education Marketing

A Few Interesting Facts About Twitter

Twitter needs no introduction. Since its launch in 2006, the 280 character limit social networking and microblogging service has definitely come a long way. It has rapidly gained a worldwide popularity in creating user generated content.

During 2016 U.S. elections, Twitter proved to be the largest source of breaking news. In March 2018, Twitter is ranked the twelfth most visited website by Alexa’s web traffic analysis. Its global user base in 2017 was 328 million.

A few years after its launch, Twitter quickly transformed the way marketers reached their target audiences. Today it’s not just a platform for social engagement but a great source for advertising in real time. The social network platform, which initially appeared as a medium to share thoughts and experiences, slowly transitioned itself into an advertising platform for all.

37% of Twitter users are between the ages of 18 and 29.  India is among the leading countries in the world based on number of Twitter users as of April 2018.

For education specifically, Twitter has emerged as a highly valuable social media communication tool to engage millennials.

Some benefits of using the microblogging platform for education marketing include – staying connected with trending topics, involving your College community (faculty, staff, and management) in creating a greater connect with students, engaging your prospective students through branded hashtags etc.

You can use following best practices to generate engagement on Twitter and build a successful social media strategy. Consider these strategies for using Twitter in your College.

1. College Branding Using Hashtags

Hashtags can play a key role in branding your college. You can create a hashtag for your audiences to find more information about your educational service. Whether it’s a branded term, phrase or call to action, hashtags increase social media engagement and brand awareness.  Or users simply engage in the conversation happening around that hashtag

By using branded hashtags in your tweets you can not only keep an ongoing conversation with your followers alive but also start new conversation around your Institute.

Using branded hashtags strategically can increase your brand awareness overtime.

Hashtags you create can be used across all of your social networks to leverage cross promotion benefits. You can also integrate hashtagged content into your website feeds. In this way, you are able to pull promotional content to your website by default. Try integrating twitter feeds from different departments, faculty and staff into your website homepage.

You can even monitor performance of your branded hashtag through twitter analytics or any other third party social media analytics tool.

Another added benefit of using hashtags is its ability to connect all through user driven content. By using hashtags, you can certainly see an increase in engagement with your community.

2. Branded Visual Content

Twitter is a great platform to build brand personas through colours and visuals.  But this will only happen when all of it is in consonance with the brand positioning and its unique identity. This will help in unifying the content you’re posting.

Showing your University’s USP with original and branded visual content including pictures and infographics make it easy to increase brand recall. You can include your logo colours in creative copies for this purpose.

By using similar font type and size along with brand logo in all the creatives you can successfully create a branded visual content that is both appealing and aspirational.

3. What Type of Content Increases Audience Engagement on Twitter?

Content such as photos, videos and live videos or motion graphics are increasingly becoming popular content for user engagement on Twitter. In fact, video has become increasingly popular on Twitter these days. Most of the Twitterati, watch video content on the platform and therefore it is among one of the best practices in social media to tell your brand story through videos.

You can also retweet videos from others in the community. For generating video content, it is not always necessary to invest in video production. Motion graphics containing photos of events or carousel ads based on this theme can be easily made to create interesting story boards for your target audience. Alternatively, you may think of developing live video content in case there is shortage of time and money both.

Live streaming can be an additional content on your feed.

4. Create Your Own Trending Moments on Twitter

Twitter is a great platform to build your audience base by following what’s trending on Twitter. This can be a smart addition to your existing Twitter strategy. For e.g. you can create alumni events for a specific set of alumni, say, for instance, a meet especially organized for alumni residing in a particular geographical area both national and international and build hashtags around it to make it trending. Ask your alumni to post photos etc. to rekindle past memories of campus life.

This will make it a fun activity for people to join in and make the whole brand experience on Twitter exciting and engaging.

5. Be Clear on Deciding Timing and Frequency of Your Tweets

Find out the best time of the day to tweet to get highest audience engagement. Based on the insight, you should be setting the frequency of your daily tweets to reach your follower base at peak hours.

6. Use Twitter Analytics

For the above mentioned insight and many other such things you can use Twitter analytics.

Twitter provides a free analytics dashboard to view and analyse performance of your tweets. Analytics enable your College to know your target audience in a better way and learn useful insights about their social behaviour. You can have a comparative analysis of your tweets to know the best and weak performers. This will help you to modify your content strategy is required and make improvements as you progress.

7. Use The 280 Character Limit to Your Advantage

Twitter is really one of the best social media platforms to have conversations with your followers in a to the point manner. This means that you need not waste extra time and effort in creating lengthy posts. It allows you to save lot of time and valuable effort.

Make sure that you follow some best practices and tactics while tweeting to standardise the whole process. This standardization will help in increasing brand recall on Twitter.

8. Use Twitter for Admissions

On Twitter you can make a direct connection with prospective students. Develop interesting admission campaigns to engage prospects. Instead of sending them admission announcers, give your future students a chance to know your University better.

It’s important to appoint dedicated staff to spearhead the Twitter strategy for building greater connect with your target audience. As such, you might also think of hiring an external agency to initiate the whole process.

9. Show a Student’s Journey in your College

You would want to keep your prospective applicants informed about what’s going on at your University.  It also acts as a valuable resource for prospective students and parents; and gives them an idea of what they can expect from the stay of their ward.

You can also create a hashtag to help students looking for support on essential services.

10. Show off your brand using Twitter

Twitter is a powerful tool to spread awareness about your college brand in quick and effective way.

Twitter is a more swift platform in generating online engagement. It’s a great platform to congratulate star achievers of your college. Accordingly, faculty, staff, alumni and new students can also be congratulated on any of their achievements

11. How to use Twitter for student recruitment and engagement

Twitter can be very effective in fuelling admissions. The microblogging site attracts millions of millennials worldwide. The higher the number of millennials, the more the chances to find the right audience mix.

With the right targeting strategy it can be an important element of your social and digital marketing campaigns for bolstering admission intake.

12. Use Twitter Advertising

Before starting you need to work out the objectives you want to achieve by using Twitter. Is it focus on gaining more followers or simply increase traffic on your website or just increase brand awareness. For purpose such as these, you can use promoted tweets. This will give greater flexibility to your campaigns. With promoted tweets you have more targeted options.

Prospects who are engaging more with a certain keyword should be given more information to take informed decision about their choice of course etc.

Reach new students based on who they follow. With device targeting you can maximise your  audience reach.

13. Choose your content wisely for promoted tweets

Twitter is a micro blogging portal that proves extremely useful across stakeholders in academia. Institutions can benefit greatly by using Twitter in education. The short tweets can be used to inform students about any changes and to collaboratively work as a great team.

14. Tweet about projects and assignments. 

Both teachers and students can use Twitter to quickly tweet updates on assignments and other things related to their course. You can also include links to important online sources/pages, and don’t forget to mention the due dates in your tweet. This way, everyone with an account will receive a notification, and they can share, forward or respond to the tweet.

15. Get important educational resources. 

By searching for “Twitter for Teachers” resources, you can get instant access to hundreds of important links. Get insightful ideas from other teachers around the world, follow the good examples or share your own efficient teaching methods. Twitter is a good tool for professional development.

16. Enhance Student collaboration.

Motivate students to use Twitter to work on collaborative assignments. This way, you can engage your audience for building capacity by helping them with important resources for research.

17. Organizing Contests.

Let your students stretch their limits by participating in online contests.

For increasing engagement, incentivise your twitter audience and motivate them participate in Twitter contests. Students love to interact through social media, and you will get a great number of participants in your University related contest.

18. Smart Tool for Students’ Research

Students can easily access relevant research material using Twitter in education. All they need to do is type in the search bar relevant keywords, and they will receive a list with dozens of relevant websites and blogs. There is also the option to search for specific phrases, key figures, discussion topics, relevant discussion forums, etc.

19. Create some dedicated hashtag for your classroom.

Create a unique hashtag for your classroom. Then ask all students and faculty to tweet using that hashtag. This can be your virtual online classroom. Hashtags can be used intelligently to create new interest groups.  You can then use them to network with people.

20. Organize Survey Polls

It can be worth engaging students into a poll to gather feedback on many fronts for academic purposes. Take feedback of students form improving course quality and content delivery. It is an amazing way to learn more about your students’ likes and dislikes.

Key Takeaway

Twitter has become an integral part of social media strategy of academic institutes. It allows them to collaborate and share information in real time with their target audience, and engage with their prospects more easily.

If you’re new to Twitter or may be looking for some guidance on how to fit in social media in your overall marketing strategy, our experts can work with you based on your goals!

Reach us by writing in the comments section.

Swapnil Jain
Forward-thinking Visionary Entrepreneur with 16 years of successful experience. As a Founder and Director of FMA Digital, Swapnil helps academic institutions embrace the power of Digital Transformation and increase their ROI through digital strategies.