Snapchat has over 300 million monthly active users, with 45% of users falling in the 18-24 year range. In fact, 71% are under 34 years of age! What does this tell you? Your audience is most certainly on Snapchat. Without question, your higher institution should have a presence on the social app.

Snapchat is still somewhat of an enigma for marketers, so knowing how to use the channel effectively for student recruitment can be unclear. In this post, I’ll teach you how to warm up to Snapchat and take advantage of the built-in tools for higher education marketers.

Highlights of Snapchat

Snapchat is truly in a league of its own, as you can tell from the interface. The main highlight to the social app is snaps, which are images and messages sent through the application. When a user opens the snap, they can view it twice and then it self destructs. Users have appreciated this feature as it makes the content more exclusive and personalized.

Snapchat also has a Stories feature that allows users to share snaps from the last 24 hours. After this time, the content is deleted. People can view this content for 24 hours, so it doesn’t destruct like regular posts do. It’s also fun to see a compilation of snaps from throughout the day, which is great for storytelling.

Using Snapchat for Student Recruitment

One of the hardest part about putting your school on Snapchat is knowing what content to post. Like other social channels, you’ll have to experiment with different content to see what your audience responds best to. Here are a few ideas to get your feet wet:

  • Cross promotion. Snapchat opens you up to a new audience, so it’s a great channel for cross promotion. Share your Snapchat username on your other social media pages to start building a following. As you grow your fan base, you can start promoting your content.

  • Campus life. Prospective students like seeing how they’d fit in at different schools. Give Snapchat users a firsthand look at your campus by sharing snaps of your dorms, athletic fields, science building and others. Use the editing tools to write the names of the buildings on each snap.

  • Q&A session. Ask prospects to send their best questions to you and you’ll answer them back with a snap. This generates conversation regarding your school and allows you to share valuable content that students are truly interested in.

  • Incentives. Students who choose to engage with your brand could be eligible for bookstore discounts, application fee waivers or tickets to local events. Incentives are a great way to keep students’ eyes on your school and create excitement.


Snapchat looks different from other social channels, but don’t be intimidated by it. Start by experimenting with the app and sharing posts with people you know. Don’t forget to use the filters and editing tools, as this is what makes Snapchat the app that it is. As you get more comfortable, begin sharing your username on your social profiles and posting varied content to see what is most engaging. Before long, you’ll be a pro at higher education marketing on Snapchat.