Social Media Strategy,

Guide to Social Media Marketing for Education Companies

Terez Tocheva

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In today’s digital age, social media marketing has become an indispensable tool for educational institutions and companies. Platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn allow schools and consulting firms to reach a broader audience and engage with them meaningfully. According to the Social Admissions Report, 63% of students use social media to research universities and colleges, highlighting the importance of a robust social media presence.

This guide provides practical insights into how education companies can effectively leverage social media marketing to attract and retain prospective students. We’ll explore industry trends, discuss the role of social media in long conversion cycles, and offer strategies for segmenting content to cater to students, parents, and professionals. Whether you’re just getting started or looking to refine your approach, this guide will help you make the most of your social media efforts.

Industry Trends in Social Media Marketing for Education

Increasing Investment in Social Media Ads
Education companies are increasingly allocating more budget towards social media advertising, recognizing its high engagement rates and the ability to reach specific demographics effectively. According to eMarketer, education advertisers in the US are expected to spend over $2 billion on social media ads by 2023, driven by the need to connect with tech-savvy students and their parents.

Leveraging Influencers and User-Generated Content
Collaborating with influencers and encouraging user-generated content can amplify your message and build trust among prospective students. A study by Influencer Marketing Hub found that influencer marketing can deliver 11 times higher ROI than traditional forms of digital marketing. By leveraging current students, alumni, and faculty as influencers, education companies can create authentic content that resonates with their audience.

Emphasis on Video Content
Video continues to dominate social media. Institutions and consulting companies are creating more video content to showcase campus life, student experiences, and informational webinars. According to a Cisco report, video traffic will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2023, highlighting the importance of incorporating video into your social media strategy.

The Role of Social Media Marketing for Education in Long Conversion Cycles

Sustaining Engagement Over Time
Social media is ideal for maintaining student and parent interest over extended periods. Regular updates, interactive content, and real-time engagement keep prospective students connected and interested.

  • Instagram: Use Stories and Reels to share behind-the-scenes content, student takeovers, and live Q&A sessions. This approach helps build a personal connection with potential students.
  • TikTok: Leverage creative short videos to highlight campus life and unique programs. TikTok’s algorithm favors content that engages users quickly, making it perfect for capturing attention.
  • LinkedIn: Share professional and academic content that showcases faculty achievements and career outcomes. LinkedIn is particularly effective for engaging older students, graduate students, and professionals seeking further education.

Focusing on Upper-Funnel Conversions
Social media excels at generating awareness, interest, and desire among prospective students and parents.

  • Awareness: Use paid campaigns to introduce your institution to a broader audience. Highlight key selling points such as campus facilities, student success stories, and unique programs.
  • Interest: Engage students and parents with detailed program information and virtual campus tours. Provide valuable content that answers common questions and showcases what sets your institution apart.
  • Desire: Create compelling content that encourages students and parents to take the next step, such as signing up for a webinar, downloading a brochure, or following your social media pages for updates.

Segmenting Content Between Students, Parents, and Professionals

Instagram

  • Content for Students: Highlight campus life, student activities, and quick tips with visually engaging content. Use Instagram Stories and Reels to provide a dynamic and authentic view of student life.
  • Content for Parents: Provide information on safety, financial aid, and academic support services. Share testimonials from current parents and detailed posts about the institution’s reputation and career outcomes.
  • Paid Strategies: Use Instagram Ads to target specific demographics with carousel ads showcasing multiple aspects of your institution or consulting services. Leverage Instagram’s targeting features to reach both students and parents effectively.
  • Specific Tactic Recommendation: Use Instagram’s shopping feature to allow parents to purchase school merchandise or books directly from your posts.

TikTok

  • Content for Students: Create short, creative videos that capture attention quickly with trends and challenges. Highlight fun and engaging aspects of campus life, such as events and student organizations.
  • Content for Parents: Address parental concerns indirectly, such as student safety tips and testimonials from current students and their families. Provide content that reassures parents about the wellbeing and future success of their children.
  • Paid Strategies: Invest in TikTok Ads and collaborate with influencers to extend reach and credibility. Utilize TikTok’s precise targeting options to connect with the right audience segments.
  • Specific Tactic Recommendation: Use TikTok’s branded hashtag challenges to increase engagement and participation from prospective students.

LinkedIn

  • Content for Students: Share professional and academic-focused content like research opportunities, faculty expertise, and career development programs. Highlight success stories of current students and alumni.
  • Content for Parents: Provide information about postgraduate success rates, financial aid options, and the institution’s overall value. Share articles and posts that address common concerns and interests of parents.
  • Content for Professionals (MBAs and Professional Courses): Focus on career advancement opportunities, executive education programs, and industry partnerships. Highlight success stories and professional outcomes of MBA and other professional courses.
  • Paid Strategies: Use LinkedIn Sponsored Content to target professional groups and industries, promoting academic achievements and alumni success. Leverage LinkedIn’s advanced targeting capabilities to reach prospective students, parents, and professionals effectively.
  • Specific Tactic Recommendation: Utilize LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Forms to collect information from interested prospects directly through sponsored content.

Practical Tips for Paid Social Media Marketing for Education

  • Set Clear Objectives: Define your goals for social media campaigns, whether it’s increasing brand awareness or driving sign-ups. Clear objectives help guide your strategy and measure success.
  • Use Advanced Targeting: Leverage targeting options to reach your ideal audience by age, location, interests, and behaviors. This ensures your ads are seen by the most relevant people.
  • Monitor and Adjust Campaigns: Regularly review performance and adjust based on what’s working, using A/B testing to refine your ads. Continuously optimize your campaigns to achieve the best results.
  • Allocate Budget Wisely: Distribute your budget across platforms based on engagement and conversions, running smaller, highly targeted campaigns. Focus your spending on the platforms and strategies that deliver the highest ROI.

Conclusion

Effective social media marketing for education requires a strategic approach that includes understanding industry trends, engaging different target audiences, and leveraging paid campaigns. By implementing these strategies, educational institutions and consulting companies can maximize their social media impact, attract prospective students and parents, and stay top-of-mind throughout the educational journey. For more insights on optimizing your digital marketing strategies, explore resources such as Hop Online’s Content Marketing Strategy Guide and Competitor Analysis Guide.

Terez Tocheva
Terez Tocheva

Chief Marketing Officer

I help my clients achieve better business results by improving the way they think, act and communicate online.

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