It is no secret that social media is a powerful tool that can be used to help your institution attract students. However, there needs to be a distinction made between having social media accounts and knowing how to use them. Having a Facebook page and a Twitter account, does not mean that your institution is using social media as effectively as it could. Social media is a tool that is not to be used for marketing purposes, it is meant for engagement. To read more about how to engage your audience click here.
In this two part post, we will be exploring common mistakes made on two popular social sites and will be coming up with easy solutions. The sites being looked at will be Facebook and Twitter.
Let’s start by taking a look at Facebook..
Mistake #1 : Focusing on ‘likes’
Likes on a Facebook page are often viewed as a interest indicator. Sure, it is great to get likes and have people share your page. However, social media should never been viewed as a one-time campaign. Facebook requires your institution to be actively seeking conversations with the users in your community. Instead of focusing your campaign around getting 100 more likes, try to refocus on creating 10 new conversations with current members, Not only will that spread interest faster, but that ‘like’ just might turn into a lead.
Mistake #2 : Self Promotion
It is important to give out information about your institution on the web but it is also important to hear what others are saying. Students will be drawn to your institution if you focus on what they are seeing and shaping your posts to fulfill this need. See what your audience finds interesting and what information they want to know. This will make your institution stand out and be more engaging.
Mistake #3: Avoiding Criticism
International students place a great deal of emphasis on what they hear about a school. Perhaps one of their friends told them a bad story of your institution and they post on your page asking about it. Instead of deleting it or ignoring it, it is important that you address these issues. It is not all about self-promotion but rather about interaction and removing any misconceptions. If it happens to be true, confronting the mistake and showing a solution will go further in terms of helping your brand.
Mistake #4: Using Facebook as a Standalone Campaign
Facebook has more users than any other social media platform out there but it is important to understand that this won’t be able to do all of the work for you. Facebook should be a resource, and not your entire strategy. It is a great place to create the initial connections but then you should follow up with students and send them to your website to get more information.
Mistake #5: Not understanding the amount of resources Facebook takes to maintain
Sure, your Facebook page is free to set up, but it is not free to maintain. Even if you are managing the page yourself, you are still paying for your time. The best Facebook pages are those that are active. Of course, no one likes to be spammed and have it take over their newsfeed, but there should be a balance. Having a couple posts a day or uploading pictures on a regular basis will show activity and give people a reason to keep checking back.
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