Twitter is known for its real-time platform that works well for delivering quick, instant content. Yet with over 350,000 tweets being sent per minute, getting your higher institution noticed by prospective students isn’t easy. How do you cut through the clutter and reach prospects on this busy social network?  

As with other social networks, the goal is to find your niche within the Twittersphere. With the right posts geared toward the right audience at the right time, you can build a following that is happy to interact with your higher institution.

Let’s take a look at a few of the different ways that higher education marketing firms are finding and connecting with students on Twitter.

Use the Built-in Search Queries

Twitter offers a search platform that works well, but you may not know all of the features that it has. You’ve probably used it to search for popular hashtags, keywords or user names, but there’s more that you can do with it.

Using the same search box, you can identify people who are talking about your program, topics related to your program or even your competitors. To do this, familiarize yourself with a few query shortcuts:

  • Username queries – to: and from:

    • To:@semgeeks “higher education”

    • From:@semgeeks “higher education marketing”

  • Geolocation – searching within the boundaries near: and within:

    • “Digital marketing” near:Belmar within:10 miles

  • Exclusion filter – put the minus symbol (-) before the keyword/user you want to exclude

    • “Digital marketing” -@semgeeks

For more information on what you can do with the Advanced search tool on Twitter, check out this Help Guide.

Maintain an Active Presence

You should be checking your Twitter account daily. This may seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many schools put their accounts on autopilot thanks to automated tweets. While it’s fine to automate some of your posts, you should be checking in each day and making sure that all feedback has been responded to, or at least acknowledged.

It doesn’t matter which times of the day you check your profile, but many experts recommend peeking in three times – morning, noon and night. While this may sound like a lot, it’s really not. If a prospect has a question and posts it on your Twitter page, do you think that your response will have the same impact if it’s posted an hour later versus three days later?

Checking your account only takes a few seconds. Do so daily and maintain an active presence. Don’t rely on automated tweets entirely.

Include a CTA in Your Bio

Adding a call to action to your Twitter bio is a fast and free way to attract prospective students. Before you throw just anything together, there are a few tips to keep in mind.

First, put the CTA directly in your bio rather than in the section where your website URL is meant to go. Second, create a CTA that is interesting but easy to understand. Finally, make your CTA a clickable link. This way, users can click directly on the link if they’re interested and be directed to your landing page.

Post Shareable Content

Great content is the way to prospective students’ hearts. As they search for schools that might fit their needs, they crave interesting, engaging content that helps them along the enrollment journey. What major are they best suited for? How long will it take? What types of classes will they need?

Post content that your young audience will find valuable. Since each audience is unique, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You’ll have to post different types of content and see what works best for your followers. In general, the best Twitter posts are short, engaging, direct and include an image.

Take Advantage of Twitter Ads

Advertising on Twitter is something you should think about, and it can be surprisingly affordable. Using Twitter Ads, you can boost tweets, promote accounts and design Twitter Cards that drive traffic directly to your website or landing page.

Twitter’s advertising platform allows you to reach highly targeted audiences so that you can recapture lost leads, improve the open rates of your newsletters and connect with qualified prospects.

You can also create your own Twitter Cards that bring prospects to your website where they can register for a campus tour or connect with an admissions counselor. Not only is the advertising platform lucrative but also effective. Twitter Ads have a click through rate that is 8-24 times higher than Facebook Ads.


Most of these tips aren’t difficult to employ, and you might even be using them already. The main takeaway from this article is that Twitter remains an important channel for reaching prospective students. When you take advantage of the various features available, you can gain a competitive edge over other institutions and move past the clutter that can make Twitter intimidating at times.