“Find us on: _____”
Nowadays, these are three words you might often see on your favorite band’s website, or your favorite blogger’s site. “Find us on:” is usually followed by a combination of Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, the person/group’s email contact, and even Instagram.
There is a lot of significance in that short phrase. It gently encourages individuals to further get acquainted with a person or organization. I’m excited to see more and more higher ed institutions with these icon links on their websites; they’ve realized that it takes more than just a standard, static website to actively engage with both prospective and current students. The aforementioned social sites are built to allow you to develop a personality for your college or office, while also reaching out to students, alumni, and prospects.
Today, I thought I’d focus on the University of Kentucky. Most sports fans are familiar with the Wildcats because of their premier basketball program, but today I want to give their Office of Admissions some love. I think they deserve a “big blue” ribbon for their superb grasp on social media presentation and interaction.
- On Twitter, they are not just pumping out information and retweeting links. If there’s one word to describe future students’, it’s “clueless.” @UKYAdmission gives these kids a place to go to ask all their questions and get a quick response.
- On Instagram, via @seeblue, they promote their school - not surprisingly, their basketball team - but it’s the way in which they promote: a family’s snowman in the front yard sporting Cats’ gear, for example. They also get in on trends, like the Throwback Thursday (#TBT, #throwbackthursday) pics, with vintage pics of the school.
- Tumblr is essentially a combination of Twitter and Instagram. It gives students another way to approach UK Admissions with questions via the Ask Box. It also is a way to show the highlights of other organizations on campus. Kentucky’s isn’t as informal and humorous as Chicago’s (which has been featured here, before); I think UK’s Admissions’ blog is lacking: CAT VIDEOS. I mean, you guys are the Wildcats. That’s a perfectly good excuse for more highly informative information such as videos of cats being downright cute and silly. I really do believe Tumblr is one of the top social media sites being underused in higher ed. Schools either aren’t on it altogether, or their posts are bland, due to infrequent posts or just plain uninteresting posts. Two schools in the SEC have Tumblr blogs, but their most recent posts are a year old. The point of Tumblr, besides being a great procrastination tool for me, is to post frequently - anywhere from 3 - 8 posts a day is reasonable.
Students (and alumni) know how to navigate the web. Make sure they can find you in several different places. Be available.
It’s necessary to have a strong presence on so many various social media sites because not every student uses each one equally, or at all. Each platform affords your institution an opportunity to connect with a different audience, in a place where they are comfortable talking and sharing.
Author: Gray Gill is our Spring Editor & Word-Smith here at Verge Pipe Media. Verge Pipe Media assists public institutions, enterprises and the non-profit sector with Imaginative Inbound Marketing strategies + campaigns. We also have a development team chock full of Marvelous Mobile Migrators, poised to help transition our clients into a mobile + social world with custom software, iOS and Android mobile apps.