If the first half of the year has reminded us of anything, it is that the nature of higher education is always changing. However, one thing that is certain is that social media will continue to play an important role in the way colleges and universities recruit new students and connect with their current students. In fact, the importance of social media within student recruitment is growing with each passing year.
Today, the most savvy university marketers are using social media to reach students in creative ways with everything from Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. The accounts that stand out from the rest are the ones that have moved beyond simply posting a photo or graphic to harnessing the power of branding, user-generated content and videos to attract student attention and keep it!
We’ve compiled a list of the top university social media accounts from around the world. These schools are adept at using emojis, hashtags and reposts, and will be sure to inspire you to take your school's social media to the next level.
1. Harvard University
If size is anything to go with, Harvard University takes the cake. With over 5 million Facebook likes, 1.6 million Instagram followers, and 1 million followers on Twitter, there are a lot of eyeballs on Harvard’s content. However, beyond the numbers, what stands out the most is their consistent showcasing of student stories. Nearly every post highlights a student’s experience at the college and uses that student’s photos and words to do so. This is a great way to show prospective students what their experience can be like too.
2. The University of Florida
While an engaging social media presence is now expected of universities, not all of them are created equal. The University of Florida soars above the rest with its clever, fun and humorous Facebook page. UF shares an array of videos shot around the university campus and by students at home. With students in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UF has gotten creative with videos recorded on Zoom. One post involved the entire UF band who each recorded their parts from home.
Another creative post celebrates graduating students and the furry friends who helped them get there!
3. The University of Sheffield
This UK university shares a mix of bright, high quality images from its campus and surrounds. This is a great example of how to show off your university grounds to prospective students. More recently the university has shared a series of fun, educational videos for students during isolation. The simple daily videos focus on student wellbeing. This is a good example of how you can diversify your social media content to focus on other areas of a student’s life apart from just study.
4. The University of Glasgow
The marketers behind this account have taken a very creative approach to engaging prospective students. They have used cutting edge design to create a meaningful video for prospective students. The video includes tips for offer holders and applicants from faculty members and students during this unpredictable time. The message reminds students that although there are changes, university life is still continuing and that faculty members are preparing to welcome new students. This video received 6,500 plus views and plenty of engagement. This is a great example of how universities can take a personal approach with their social media accounts.
5. The University of Georgia
There are not so many universities on TikTok right now, but the University of Georgia is paving the way! They include posts about their American football team, the Georgia Bulldogs, as well as cheer routines, campus tours and student-generated content. More recently, they have included fun dances and content that students have created while at home during isolation.
As TikTok is a platform that is yet to be used by a lot of universities, it could be a powerful addition to your social media suite. Like the University of Georgia, you could show off your campus, share student videos, celebrate the achievements of alumni, create quick, humorous videos about different courses, and create day-in-the-life videos of your students’ experiences.
So there you have it: five of our favourite university social media accounts spanning across Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Take inspiration from these schools to learn how you can connect with your prospective and current students in new, engaging ways!
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