Social Media Webinar Q&A – Part 2

For everyone who missed our webinar last week, here is the link to the recording. And now for part two of the Q&A that Taylor and I did not get a chance to get to last Wednesday. Have any other questions our audience didn’t ask last week? Shoot either one of us an email – our contact info is below!


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What is your opinion or experience with student social media ambassadors?

Ambassadors have a tendency to lose consistency as the year wears on, so select students with a real vested interest in creating consistent content. Think leaders of organizations, teams, and groups across campus that would benefit from a strong incoming class. Also consider using students who truly love social media or are pursuing a degree in digital marketing or communications. For them it’s a resume builder and for you it’s a teaching opportunity and a huge help!


Are community colleges using this social media devices to market themselves?

They absolutely are! The successful community colleges know their strengths, how they differentiate themselves from other institutions, and translate that into their social strategy.


I have a fear of a student changing the password of the Snapchat account. Is this is a trust issue?

That is a very valid question. Snapchat required a valid email and password for an account. Therefore, if at any time a temporary password is compromised, the primary email account holder can request a new one which would logout the current user. There is definitely trust involved with this process. I recommend going the extra mile of requiring an application and/or interviews for any social media ambassadors. This would create a heavier weight of importance on the position.


How do we get students interested in following us on Snapchat?

In short, create interesting and applicable content. Organizing a contest could generate some excitement and draw students to find the account. You should also promote your Snapchat account across your other social channels.


What social media devices would you use for parents vs student to influence them more about your school?

Facebook has a large number of adult users, so if you want to start somewhere, that would be it. Keep in mind though, just like the students are ready to leave the nest in real life, they don’t necessarily want their parents by their side on social (one of the theories as to why Snapchat is so popular). I would start a small, private group for parents who want to know more about your school and monitor the engagement from there.


Should we eliminate individual team pages in athletics and consolidate to make one athletic page?

I recommend this to help streamline your social strategy. The closer you can get to one page, the easier it is for your audience and prospects to follow you and understand your messaging. While this is the goal, whether this is feasible or not for your school will really depend on the communication between teams and departments.


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Social Media Webinar Q&A – Part 1

Thanks to everyone who attended our webinar, “Social Media in Higher Ed: How to Get Results for Your Institution.” I hope you enjoyed it and took a few things away that you could apply to your school. By the time we got to the Q&A portion, everyone had responded with some great questions that we couldn’t get to in time, so Taylor and I wanted to answer them for you afterwards. Here is the first set of the answers, and if you have any others, feel free to email us or leave a comment!

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I’m interested in learning how other institutions are using Snapchat and how they measure its impact on enrollment.

Snapchat is notorious for disclosing minimal statistics on its usage and engagement. However, you can view the number of followers you have and the number of users who view your snaps. With this info, you could compare to see if there is a correlation.


How do you use social media to encourage students to look at community colleges versus your traditional four-year institutions?

We recommend placing your social media account information on publications and emails so students know how to reach you.  It’s all about selling your school and programs with the student’s best interest in mind.  If you keep a healthy social presence, they will notice.


What are the best times to post for each media, and what are each media’s followers looking for (what will make them like our posts or our page)?

We are firm believers that great content is far more important than trying to time your posts to hit a theoretical “golden hour.” If you post great content, your followers will find it and respond. Social is just a medium, think about what’s exciting on your campus and translate it online.


Do you recommend Pinterest as a platform for students? Boards can include health tips, dorm room ideas, etc. (just as a fun and interactive way to gain and retain students)

We recommend it as part of your overall social strategy if you have the bandwidth to support it, and have a content strategy specific to Pinterest. It sounds like you do, so great start!  Make sure to always include your institution’s name and link to your website for gaining better traffic.


With a small staff and so many platform options, what are the best choices? I maintain FB and Twitter -with success- and would find it hard to add another channel and do it well.

Something to consider when feeling overwhelmed with managing social media is rethinking your collaboration. It is possible for the school’s marketing department to manage the main Facebook account which would allow admissions to drive students there.  I vote Instagram being an absolute must. Snapchat is quickly becoming the new Twitter for Gen Z.

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Social Media Acceptance Strategies

With all the focus on getting the rear ends in the seats so to speak, it’s easy to look at your potential students as another number to meet your quota for the year. When you’re dealing with incoming classes in the hundreds and thousands, it makes sense and you can be forgiven for using this train of thought.

But with increased competition and declining yield rates, you also need to stand out to nab your best and brightest applicants. While direct mail still works, making full use of the power of social media to add a personal touch during the acceptance process can do wonders.

There isn’t a better time to use social than when an accepted student posts about how ecstatic he or she is about the news. For them, it can quite literally be validation for a lifetime of hard work, and they want to share their accomplishment. There isn’t another time that they will be this excited about your school, so take advantage of it.

How? Tune in next week at 11:30 am CST to our webinar, “Social Media in Higher Ed – How To Get Results” to learn about some specific strategies using social. You can register here.


Should You Pay Attention to Peach?

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It’s gotten a generous amount of buzz over the last couple weeks across the interwebs, but what is this new messaging app that is apparently the next best thing? Peach. Cute name, basic interface and functionality. Seems simple enough, but you’re probably either rolling your eyes right now or shuddering at the thought of having to add another platform to your workload. “Chandler, do I really have to pay attention to this one?” The short answer is maybe, but read on to find out more. You could end up a full lap ahead of your competition in the higher ed world.

In a nutshell, Peach is a messaging app. Think along the lines of the seemingly millions of them out there. Yes, there’s yet another one trying to make a splash. It allows users to send simple messages to their friends who they add on the platform. Send text, pictures, and GIFs to your friends quickly on a clean interface. There isn’t a main stream on Peach like there is on Facebook or Twitter, so you won’t be inundated with posts you don’t want to see. It gives it a more intimate feel.

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There are three central sections – friends you follow, friends of friends, and your profile where you can see all of the posts you’ve sent. Your friends can see, comment and like your posts, just like on the other major platforms.

What’s different about Peach, and what it has to be banking on for its success, is its Magic Words feature. Whenever you type “GIF” for example, it will allow you to automatically search for and post a GIF. The intriguing part of the feature is that while there are plenty of commands that are well-known (draw, shout, move, etc), there are plenty left to be discovered.

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As it is, it’s hard for me to see a direct translation to the world of higher ed. Not sure there will be enough students willing to become friends with you to make it worth your while, but that was also the case with Snapchat. Peach says it “reads every review to make Peach better for you.” If it can stay around long enough to evolve and not become another casualty in the failed app cemetery (RIP, Meerkat), it very well could be an app you don’t want to ignore.

Creating a Golden Spark

High school teenagers looking to embark on the long and arduous journey that is the college application process, are constantly bombarded with messages, and have to provide personal information so many times that if they didn’t already know their parents’ birthdays or social security number, it’s now burned into their memory. With all of the noise and monotony inherent in the application process, how can a school stand out and stay at the top a student’s mind?

Well, while you can dream of having students tripping over themselves to provide you their information, don’t quite get your hopes set that high. But there are a few tactics like interaction and strong branding that can help improve your results. Combine this with a consistent, comprehensive campaign across social, print, and email, and your message will actually have a chance to stand above the noise.

TWG Plus utilized these tactics to create a website for Northern Kentucky University designed to mine information from potential students, and won gold at the 2015 Education Digital Marketing Awards for its successful project.

In developing the Northern Kentucky University landing page, it was imperative we create a site that engaged students and encouraged them to submit their information.  The landing page we developed for NKU integrated their new brand while at the same time utilized “gamification” as an added tool to entice the student to take action. 

The site, combined with the coordinated mailers, have resulted in building the NKU inquiry and application pool with students who are interested in NKU for their many fantastic academic programs, campus facilities and student activities!

Find your Spark: NKU Landing Page