Ask any social media manager in the education sector, and they’ll tell you that a lot of work goes into every post on the ‘Gram, Facebook and Twitter.
Summer can be particularly busy. With Clearing campaigns, Graduation promotion and the never-ending task of making your campus look like a sun-drenched paradise, Autumn Open days can often be an afterthought.
So, with that in mind, here are ten tips to get ahead and level up your Open day social media.
1. Early bird catches the worm
By bird, we mean Twitter user, and by worm, we mean audience engagement. For all of its flaws, Twitter is still unbeatable for covering live events, making it a go-to for your open days.
Start early in the day and post as much as you can, you can throw in quick images, videos and GIFs to make your tweets pop and you can really generate an organic buzz.
Come up with a snappy hashtag, and you'll make it really easy for your students (and would-be students) to get involved too. Speaking of hashtags…
2. Create an engaging Open Day hashtag (and keep it consistent)
Nothing says close-knit-student-community like a fun hashtag. It’s like an inside joke that all prospective students are instantly let in on, and it’s a great way to encourage UGC.
When crafting your hashtag, keep things simple, anything too complex will just get lost in the ether. If you can make it witty or playful, then feel free to have some fun, but even something straight forward will be incredibly effective.
Above all though, keep it consistent and make sure the same hashtag is being utilised across platforms.
3. Instagram is your best friend
Instagram is another great place to be during open days. Make sure you shout about your hashtag there and be super generous with your likes and comments - search for your hashtags, as well as geotagged posts and give your UGC some love.
Not only is this a great way to boost your engagement, but it shows the students that your uni is friendly, open and approachable. It may just be a simple “Thanks for coming😄” comment, but it could make all the difference to someone’s Open day experience.
4. Keep Instagram's native video options in mind
Don't make all of your Instagram video content professional and polished! Get out and about, use your phone and make the most of tools like Boomerang and Hyperlapse.
Why? Because it will look more authentic and students will respond better to that. Plus Instagram’s algorithm will most likely reward you for the surplus of content, but that’s just a bonus right guys…?
5. Make the most of Facebook
Chances are your institution's Facebook page will receive a spike in traffic during your Open days, so make the most of those extra eyeballs and share your best content.
For Facebook, that means video. Utilising real students and portraying their real emotion, humour and experiences are some of the best ways to get a reaction.
6. Don't go too mad though
We all know Facebook's algorithm doesn't appreciate spammers, so make sure you adopt a quality over quantity approach. One highly engaging video a day on (along with some subtle nudges towards other channels) works perfectly and sends organic reach flying.
7. Look to alternative sources of inspiration
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Look to pop-culture for inspiration, maybe there’s a film or TV show going viral that you could capitalise on?
Maybe there’s a meme or viral trend making the headlines that you could put your spin on? Maybe you’ve been inspired by that modern art exhibition you went to last weekend?
Boundaries are made to be broken. Don’t be afraid to push your creativity.
8. Tap into your Study Tubers
Another way to create buzz and FOMO around your open day is to show the world your upcoming event through the eyes of their favourite study tuber. Allow trusted influencers and social content creators to share with their engaged audience why your open day is a must-attend. Their recommendation won’t go unnoticed.
What’s more, we discovered that there’s a large proportion of students who simply cannot attend open days, so collaborating with study tubers is a fantastic way of showcasing your campus, without the expensive, and often unfeasible, commute.
Influencers have the ability to cut through the marketing noise with their authentic content that is valued by their large following, and if you can align your institution with their vlog uploading schedule, your open day will be in for a real winner.
9. Throw out a Snapchat filter
This one takes some prep, but the UGC is definitely worth the time and money. Not only does a Snapchat filter provide a fun way for people to get involved on the day, it expands your reach (friends from home are bound to see it after all) and shows you’re an up-to-date institution. Check out how the University of Hull customised a Snapchat filter for World's Ocean Day.
10. Play the alumni card
Who better to tell the story of your institution than the people who’ve lived it? Getting alumni involved is always a good idea because it shows new students what they could achieve.
It proves your institution delivers career-ready, confident graduates. Which will be a big hit with the students (and their parents).
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