Get on the 'Gram: 6 Tips to Grow Your School's Instagram Engagement

Pete Schauer

Marketing Director

There’s a reason why people say that Facebook is for old(er) people. It’s because it is.

Facebook continues to grow among older age groups and remains the largest social network in the world. But, if you’re trying to reach a younger audience, as colleges and universities usually are, Facebook may not be the go-to channel. Arguably, Instagram has been the best-performing social network of the last decade.

Looking to increase engagement on your school’s Insta page? Here are six tips to help you do just that.

1. Use Instagram Stories

If your school isn’t taking advantage of Instagram Stories, now is the time. These 15-second highlight reels let you combine photos, videos, text, and graphics to tell a quick story. You can use them for student takeovers, Q&As, behind-the-scene clips, and more. Compared to a static image, Instagram Stories show more spark and personality.

2. Create a Branded Hashtag

Branded hashtags organize the conversation around your institution. Create a unique hashtag that is related to your school and use it when posting content. Make it interesting and unique but not difficult to remember so that students will want to use it. Don’t forget to take advantage of other catchy hashtags like #SpringBreak or #MoveinDay.

3. Try Different Photo Formats

Instagram is a visual platform, but there are many different ways to highlight your visuals. For example, try carousel posts or scrolling slideshows that capture multiple photos at once. This allows you to pack more into each post without taking up space in your followers’ news feeds.

4. Send Direct Messages

Instagram offers its own Direct Message platform that is similar to Facebook’s. You can use Direct Messages to communicate with students in a more personalized manner. Send photos, videos, text messages, etc. to individual users or targeted groups of students. Sometimes, people feel more comfortable responding in a private message.

5. Start a Channel on IGTV

IGTV is Instagram’s new TV app that is intended to be a healthy competitor to YouTube. Each IGTV user can create their own channel on the app and post videos of 60 seconds or less. There are already some higher institutions that are posting video content, so don’t wait too long to check things out.

6. Track and Measure Your Results

No matter how you choose to connect with students on Instagram, be sure that you track and measure your results. Instagram now offers comprehensive analytics data on demographics, engagement, and post reach. Knowing what your audience likes and dislikes will help you create more relevant content.

There’s no question that Instagram should be part of your higher EDU social media strategy. With so many ways to increase engagement, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding something that works for your unique audience.

About the Author: Pete Schauer

Born and raised at the Jersey Shore, Pete Schauer is the Marketing Director at SEMGeeks. He holds a M.A. in Digital Communications from William Paterson University and has 8+ years in the digital space with companies such as Bleacher Report and Social Media Today in addition to SEMGeeks. His background includes creative and professional writing as well as strategic digital marketing communications and management.

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