Instagram can be a bit of a mystery for higher institutions. It’s highly visual nature makes it easy to understand and enjoy, but it’s not exactly clear how brands can use the channel to promote their product, or in this case, an education. However, Instagram boasts a younger audience and lots of engagement, so it’s not a channel to overlook.

With so many ways to market your college – Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, Carousels and more – you can continuously create new content that reaches a diverse audience. First, let’s take some time to better understand the top Instagram marketing strategies for your higher EDU marketing strategy.

Include Hashtags in Your Strategy

Hashtags are important on Instagram. Check out some other colleges and universities and how they are using hashtags to promote engagement. Capitalize on popular hashtags such as #firstdayofschool or #campuslife so that you have the best chance of getting searched. You can also use less popular but highly relevant hashtags. Though you’ll get less traffic, visitors will be more targeted. Finally, it’s not a bad idea to create a branded hashtag. This way, anytime someone clicks on that hashtag, all posts from your school will come up.

Optimize Your Profile

It doesn’t take long to optimize your Instagram profile and it can have a huge impact on how many people visit your site. To optimize your profile, start with these simple but effective tips.

  • Review all photos and make sure they fit with your higher institution. When looking at your profile, your posts should tell a story about your campus.

  • Include a link back to your website. You may even want to create a landing page specifically for Instagram visitors to promote a particular campaign.

  • Add your official logo somewhere on your profile so visitors know your page is authentic and managed by your university.

  • Include the address and phone numbers of your different campus locations.

Be Active in the Instagram Community

Instagram is just like other social networks in the fact that it’s used to develop relationships with your audience. Posting images may be necessary for engagement, but don’t forget to be active on the site in other ways. Follow accounts that relate to yours and comment on their photos. When you do post an image, ask a question so that followers can leave a reply. You can also participate in Instagram campaigns that support worthy causes and share pictures and videos from your events.

Instagram is a great addition to your marketing strategy. You can connect with your target audience, share engaging photos of your higher institution and boost qualified applicants. There’s a place for your university to be on Instagram so get out there and find it! College students want to hear from you!