According to a 2015 Pew Research Center survey, the social network that college students use the most is Instagram.

If this is news to you, then it’s time to get crackin’. Instagram is where it’s at, and it’s one of the best places to connect with students and promote your school’s image through visual content.

Of course, a little inspiration can’t hurt. What are your fellow competitors up to? How are they using Instagram to reach students?

We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite college Instagram accounts and why we adore them. These schools know what they are doing. They have successfully attracted many followers and plenty of engagement, which you will notice on their posts. Go ahead – give them a follow!

By following these college Instagram accounts, we hope that you will be provided with the motivation you need to keep up your own account. Because if you don’t, you’re missing out on some major action.

Let’s dig in.

Colorado State University

What we love about CSU’s Instagram account is that they effortlessly tie in every aspect of their school into one beautiful profile. Whether it’s crystal clear photos of the changing seasons or CAM the Ram showing off his CSU spirit, each photo does a fabulous job of strengthening school ties.

Another thing we like is that CSU has separate Instagram accounts for their sports. This way, their school page isn’t taken up completely by their sports program. As a matter of fact, CSU has a separate account for their admissions department, which helps cut through the noise and reach out to potential prospects.

Dartmouth College

Dartmouth College has an impressive Instagram account that we can’t get enough of. For being a smaller school, their account has over 21,000 followers, which isn’t too shabby.

Right off the bat, we love the color in the photos. Each image is high in quality and seamlessly captures its environment, whether it’s a calming sunset or a vibrant patch of green grass outside one of the campus buildings.

Dartmouth College also captures its school through the seasons, giving prospective students an idea of what to expect year-round. Who would have thought that mounds of snow on a college campus could look so beautiful?

Arizona State University

OK, we have to agree that ASU has the edge on this one. They may not have changing seasons like other colleges do, but no one can be disappointed in the scenery they have to offer. The desert landscape and sunny skies make wonderful backdrops!

That said, ASU does do a great job of engaging students and promoting school spirit that has nothing to do with palm trees and cacti.

Like other schools, ASU lists hashtags to use when students post photos. What we like about their approach is that they have the hashtag #FutureSunDevil. It’s a nice way to welcome new students into the family and cultivate interest in other prospects.

The school was also named #1 in the US for innovation, so you will see this in a lot of their photos. It’s something to be proud of, and it’s something that separates them from other schools.

West Virginia University

WVU tells their story through images that have a slightly historic tone to them. It’s probably the fact that many of their buildings are quite old! These stunning structures are certainly something to be proud of, which is probably why WVU doesn’t shy away from capturing them in different angles.

Each photo posted on the WVU account looks professionally shot and edited, and they don’t shy away from presenting fresh perspectives on simple ideas. For instance, some photos capture the WVU logo in front of a blurred background. It’s simple and subtle but does a nice job of engaging visitors.

Similar to other schools, WVU does an excellent job of capturing the school through the seasons. We can’t get enough of their winter photos that capture snow-covered trees and freshly falling snow – along with students playing in it!

Texas Tech University

For a school that is focused on technology, we figured they wouldn’t disappoint. And they certainly don’t. With seasonal content and videos, the school does a nice job of standing out. They’ve attracted nearly 40,000 followers, and each photo has dozens of comments and thousands of likes.

While Texas Tech isn’t too heavy on images of students, they do a nice job of giving prospective students an idea of what to expect if they were to attend their program.

Out of all the Instagram accounts we recommend following, they probably have the most videos posted. If you’re considering taking this route on Instagram, check out Texas Tech’s posts to see what’s working for them. It could work for you, too.

What Do These College Instagram Accounts Have in Common?

There are many wonderful college Instagram accounts to follow; these are just a few of our favorites. You will notice that these accounts have many similarities that are worth pointing out since they can help with building your own presence on Instagram.

  • High quality photos. The above Instagram accounts all have meticulous photos. Not one is posted “just because.” They are high in quality, capture a unique element of the school and properly edited. Each photo has a purpose.

  • Separate accounts for sports, admissions, etc. The official account for each school is all about campus life. The schools then maintain separate accounts for their athletics, admissions, etc. This gives each account a direct focus, which helps the colleges provide their followers with content that matches their needs.

  • Strong community. It’s amazing how one photo of a school mascot can attract so many comments and likes. That’s where having a community is essential. While these college accounts certainly post beautiful photos, they also have a vibrant online community that stands by them.

  • Consistency. You will notice that the photos tell a story and are consistent with the school’s brand image. They are also posted on a fairly regular timeline.

Do you have a college Instagram account? If not, what are you waiting for? Instagram is an excellent channel for connecting with students through visual content. If you need help setting up an account that rivals the best, call the social media gurus at SEMGeeks.