Sure, everybody and their grandmother has a Facebook page these days. But how’s your Instagram presence? According to a recent Advertising Age poll, brand posts on Instagram are getting TWICE the number of interactions (likes, comments, shares) as those on Facebook. Clearly, Instagram is one of the most popular, fastest-growing social media sites out there. And it’s showing no sign of slowing down.
According to the latest numbers, over 200 million people use Instagram every month, including 51% of high school seniors and 34% of those between the ages of 14 and 34.
So is your higher education institution making the most of it? Does it even have an account? If not, your school’s missing out on a golden opportunity to connect with current and prospective students and alumni—for free.
Here are five ways to make Instagram work for your institution:
- Post photos of important events. Sharing photos of things like sporting events, and concerts is a great way to let people know all the cool things happening on campus, as well as increase participation.
- Create a hashtag campaign. Create your own hashtag based on a theme (i.e. a campus photo contest) and encourage students and others to post their own photos and comments.
- Post exclusive access photos. Share behind-the-scenes photos from school sports events, lectures, and other activities. This is a fun way to give students an inside look at the school they won’t find anywhere else.
- Post historical photos. Engage with alumni and enhance school pride by sharing its history.
- Feed other social networks. Smaller colleges may find it more difficult than larger ones to grow their fan base on social networks. Sharing images from Instagram to other social media sites allows them to reach a wider audience.
With marketing budgets constantly being pinched, social media remains an excellent way to promote your school and your brand. Plus it has the added advantage of encouraging participation from the school community. Maintaining an Instagram account takes a little time and effort, but the results are worth it.