When I set out on my college search 12 years ago (yikes!), I remember following the same steps with each new university: quickly review the academic requirements before hunting for every photo or description I could find of campus life. Course listings were necessary, but it was the glimpse into a dorm room, the cafeteria or a campus event that helped me envision being a college student and focus on my favorite schools.
The Internet plays a vital role in higher education recruitment, and its visual focus remains unchanged. Students today have grown up in a digitally driven world and are looking for the same for their college experiences.
Generation Z—the next swath of college students—also exudes enthusiasm for community and relationships, and your social media efforts are the perfect way to help students become familiar with campus and plug in.
Make high-quality, clear images part of your daily social media posts and weekly blogging. Ensure that most of the images include a clear marker for your university—a well-known campus landmark, your mascot, students wearing your logo and colors or a watermark or logo—to increase brand awareness.
The higher-ed industry loves Facebook posts, but don’t forget your other social media options! Plan new images throughout the week on your various social media platforms, and don’t be shy about using different photos for each audience. Sharing images from students and faculty (while clearly sourcing the work) is an easy way to both acknowledge the talents of others and keep new content arriving in your followers’ feeds.
Also, don’t feel like you have to wait for a new semester to publish new images on your website or social media. From campus events and important meetings to peeks at student life and faculty highlights, your school has an abundance of photo and video ops. Take advantage of the recognition factor: online visitors who recognize faculty and students will associate positive emotions with your university and share the images, which boosts traffic and improves credibility.
Always keep in mind that you can saturate your audience with too many images, so pay close attention to traffic and engagement and adjust your posting schedule accordingly.
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Harvin Bedenbaugh—Content Writer