The VPM Blog

Universities with Flawless Higher Ed Inbound Marketing Practices

Posted by Rachael Gamlin on Feb 6, 2015 9:28:35 AM
Trust me, I know this inbound marketing stuff can get confusing. It becomes difficult to keep all of the inbound marketing tactics that we’ve thrown at ya straight in your mind. Don’t worry though, because at this point if you’ve been following our latest blogs posts, you’re on your way to learning the ropes and are quickly training to becoming an Inbound Marketing Jedi.

However, as Yoda once said, “Named must your fear be before banish it you can,” so the ultimate fear we’re naming and eliminating is implementing a higher ed inbound marketing strategy. How, you ask? By featuring the universities that are seasoned pros at higher ed inbound marketing tactics. These are the universities that get an A+ for student and alumni interaction, relatable posts and putting up appealing pictures of campus events. 

So without further ado, here’s our list of the top 3 universities that have hit the nail on the social media marketing head:

  • Harvard - I know, you’re probably tired of hearing this Ivy lauded for all of their accomplishments (ditto). However, you can’t deny that they’ve got mad skills and great social media managers. Keeping up their world-famous image is hard, but they do a great job by balancing posts ranging from features of famous guests that visit their campus to students doing activities associated with their major. They post fairly regularly (about twice every day) and normally in the morning. This is when they know their target audience is just getting to work, checking their social media pages and seeing their posts. Harvard also does a great job of keeping up with current events and using them to interact with followers. For example, on the recent Super Bowl Sunday, Harvard took the opportunity to post an old picture of their 1892 varsity football team with a caption that related it back to the Superbowl. By following and posting about nationwide events, Harvard keeps its social media up-to-date and relevant.
  • Texas A&M - The Aggies are reppin’ the SEC (because would it even be a competition if we weren’t included?) with their suave social media skills. The university’s communication team does a great job with user interactions on all forms of their feeds. When it comes to replying to tweets from students and alumni, they’re on the ball with the quick responses. Those who run the Twitter account are pros at reaching out to students. Not only are they rockstars at the tweeting, but their Snapchat game is on point. They keep their Stories updated and publicize them on their other feeds. By varying the ways they reach out to students and keeping current with the popular platforms, Texas A & M is proving they know what they’re doing.
  • Stanford - We would expect nothing less from this tech-savvy school. It seems that the Trees (or Cardinals? who knows…) use automated marketing to understand the demographic of the people checking out their Facebook page. By using tools like these, they can understand when the best times are to get their target audience to see and interact with their posts. Stanford also earns high marks when it comes to the image powerhouse app, Instagram. With more than 56 thousand followers, the Stanford Instagram account is always fresh with fascinating pictures and engaging captions. They showcase different activities students and alumni are doing or events happening on campus. They recently ran a campaign on their Instagram where they featured students doing undergraduate research and then encouraged alumni to answer, “Where in the world did #UndergradResearch take you?” By highlighting current students, Stanford has strategically created a way to engage alumni and bring them into the conversation.


Hopefully this helps clarify some of the great practices we've been encouraging throughout the week. It may seem difficult to master at first, but keep at it, and soon you'll be a pro at higher ed inbound marketing too.


Download Your Free Guide to Twitter for Higher-Ed Today! photo credit: Social Media Class via photopin (license)

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