April 30, 2019 Debbie Misra

Value of Social Media Grows

Finally, social media is getting its due in the higher ed community. The majority of schools are active on multiple social media networks, and most higher ed professionals now appreciate the value of social media in communications. In fact, according to a new study, 50% of higher ed pros say social media is the most effective way to increase engagement with target audiences.

Facebook is the most-used social media network used by higher ed institutions, but Instagram the up-and-coming player, according to the fifth annual CASE/Huron Education/mStoner social media survey.  In 2014, an overwhelming 95% of schools are using Facebook, followed by Twitter (82%);  LinkedIn (76%) and YouTube (68%). Instagram is used by 42% of schools, but that’s up from just 27% in 2013. That increase correlates with Instagram’s rapid growth among younger Americans — one of the key groups that universities and colleges are reaching out to on social media.

According to the study, which surveyed 2,000 higher ed professionals, the top five uses for social media in higher ed marketing are:

  • Engage alumni (84 percent)
  • Create, sustain and improve brand image (77 percent)
  • Increase awareness, advocacy and rankings (61 percent)
  • Engage current students (56 percent)
  • Build internal community (49 percent)

Social media is becoming a very popular tool for higher ed fundraising. These platforms are quick and effective ways to disseminate news about fundraising goals to large groups. Schools can also tailor messaging to specific recipients, such as certain graduating classes, or alumni from particular colleges or departments.  In addition, social media removes barriers to giving, making giving easier.  Facebook, for example, now allows direct links to donations on its pages. That feature allows a college or university to create a page for a specific campaign and invite users to respond immediately.  According to the survey, 47% of schools are using social media for fundraising, up from 41% last year. In addition,  82% say one of their goals for social media is to raise private funds.

However, higher ed institutions still face some obstacles maximizing social media. In the survey, some schools said they do not have enough staff to maintain social media networks, postings and site development. If your school is facing that challenge, Sanmita can help. Contact us to learn more about our social media services.



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