Everyone has social accounts now, so many of you passed Social 101. But how do you take your social strategy to the next level? Here are five things to consider to transform your social from scatterbrained teenager into a mature young adult.
Social is all about conversations. If you’re not having conversations, you’re doing it wrong. Well, at the very least you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. Every mention or question posed by a user on social is a marketing gift. Someone was so interested in your school that they decided to engage with you directly. The potential students you’re looking to have enroll found you! And you didn’t have to spend a dime. Don’t leave them hanging, feed their excitement with a response. Think about it this way. With one response, you’re more likely to see that student share it with his or her friends and followers – expanding your reach in a way that you could never see with a regular post, and essentially doing your work for you. The goal is to respond to every mention you receive – these are often the people most interested in your school.
— NKU (@nkuedu) December 18, 2015
Everyone wants to build up their follower count. Don’t be selfish, it’s not all about you! As much as you believe your post about your campus event is super exciting, your students and potential students may have no interest whatsoever. Take some time to listen to what your followers are saying, what they’re interested in, and what they’d like to see. Taking a minute to understand who you’re talking to can dramatically increase your engagement. Basically, instead of focusing so much on getting people to follow and listen to you, follow your audience (literally also, if you’d like). The irony…
Organizational Structure for Scale
Once you’ve gotten a good foundation and think you have it all down, it’s time to think about scaling. Doesn’t matter how much of a genius you are, at some point you’ll need to scale to manage the social accounts on different platforms. This means creating best practices, brand guidelines, and having everyone on the same page. Sure every department wants to be heard, but your school ends up screaming at your audience from 20 different accounts. Not good. Ideally, there should be one account on each platform – it keeps everything streamlined, ensures your brand is consistent, and it makes it easier for your audience to digest your message. Short of that, consolidate your accounts to get as close to this ideal as possible with a “hub and spoke” model. Your main account should lead the way, while all other accounts are flowing in perfect harmony.
Sure, you’re not using your own proprietary platform. But that doesn’t mean you can’t customize it to make it your own. Your streams will look infinitely better with a healthy dose of your own consistently branded images, and with the right message, you should see a healthy increase in your engagement. Visual content does better than text.
— WOU Wolves (@WOUWolves) November 20, 2015
Loosen your tie. Really, just take it off. That said, at the risk of throwing out the biggest cliche of all-time, be yourself. Stay true to your brand and your voice. If you have no idea what “dabbing” is or if you want to post Star Wars content just because it’s hot right now, think twice. GIFs? Memes? Go for it, just make sure it makes sense for your audience.
You may be thinking to yourself, “But Chandler, we do these already.” Well that may be true, however, it takes time, consistency, and a lot of work to become great at anything. I know how to play soccer, but I’m certainly no Messi. Keep refining your strategy and while you’ll never be perfect, you can get pretty close.
Questions? Suggestions? Want to yell at me and tell me I’m wrong? Cool, drop a comment below!