Using Social Media to Your Benefit- Making Social Strategic

TalkingEDUSmall.jpgAccording to a 2016 Pew Research survey, 6-in-10 Americans now get their news from one social media platform or another. And, with 67% of all Americans now on Facebook, the importance of the role of social media as part of your institution’s overall marketing strategy can no longer be disputed. Getting the most out of social can be difficult: different platforms require different approaches and different audiences require different messaging. So how do you build strategy that ensures you reach the right audience with the right message on the right social media platform?

Lindsey Reed, writing for the website Inside Higher Ed, offers “five best practices” in an article entitled “Making Social Strategic.” Her approach is to exploit the ability of social to target specific messages to a particular audience as opposed to a more general approach like “growing brand awareness.” By taking a direct approach with topics like “new enrollments, retention and alumni engagement” and defining specific goals you make measuring your success easier, and justify the effort, time and money social media requires as part of your overall marketing strategy.

Once you’ve aligned your strategy with your goals, here are some other points to consider:

  • Specific audiences often favor one social media platform over another
  • Consistency of tone and voice is integral to maintaining your institution’s authenticity
  • As you build your strategy be sure to identify all existing users and be sure that they understand and share common goals

Whether you’ve just starting to build out your institution’s social media strategy or have already firmly established your social presence, you’re sure to benefit from this thought provoking article.


New Use Across Social Media Platforms 2016 BY Jeffrey Gottfried AND Elisa Shearer for the Pew Research Center

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