9 Social Media Marketing Strategies for Universities

Social media is a key tool for universities in today’s digital age. If your goal is to enhance your university’s online presence, this article is for you.

In this article, you will learn:

  • Using student ambassador programs for effective social media reach.
  • Combining paid and organic social media strategies for better engagement.
  • Making TikTok content more discoverable and engaging with SEO tactics.

Let’s explore these strategies to elevate your university’s social media presence.

Strategy 1: Student ambassador programs

Tapping into the power of student engagement, universities can significantly enhance their social media marketing. A comprehensive student ambassador program invites all students to become active participants in promoting campus life. Here’s a step-by-step approach:

  • Wide Invitation: Use QR codes around campus, emails, or solutions like Spitche to reach out to all students, inviting them to join the ambassador program.
  • Points and Rewards System: Establish a system where students earn points for various activities such as engaging with social media posts, attending events, or referring new students.
  • Leverage Organic Growth: Universities using these programs have seen organic reach grow by as much as 30% month over month.
  • Double Down on First-Party Data: The data gathered from these activities can be invaluable. Feed this information back into paid social or remarketing campaigns to personalize and improve conversion rates.

Such a program not only boosts the university’s organic social media presence but also creates a deeper connection between the institution and its students, enhancing the overall marketing strategy.

student ambassador program

Strategy 2: Embracing zero-click and native content

Social media platforms and their users share a common preference: staying within the platform. Most users, especially students, prefer scrolling to clicking out. This is where the concept of zero-click content comes in.

Imagine a student lounging on their couch after midterms, scrolling through their feed. They’re tired, they want to zone out. They’re not going to “click a link in bio”, and they certainly won’t hit follow if you’re sending them away.

What is Zero-Click Content?

  • It’s content fully consumed within the social media platform itself.
  • It avoids external links, focusing instead on storytelling within the platform.

How to Craft Zero-Click Content:

  • Tell a Story: Use relatable narratives that resonate with your audience. For instance, a day in the life of a student, campus legends, or recent achievements.
  • Platform-Specific Adaptation: Each social media has its vibe and content style. Create content that feels native to each platform, whether it’s short videos for TikTok or image carousels for Instagram.

Benefits and Success Measurement:

  • Higher Engagement: Zero-click content typically sees higher engagement rates as it aligns with user behavior on social media.
  • Measuring Success: Track engagement metrics like likes, shares, comments, and time spent on posts to gauge the effectiveness of your zero-click strategy.

By focusing on zero-click content, universities can create a more engaging and relatable social media presence, encouraging students to interact and stay connected.

Strategy 3: User-generated content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is a cornerstone of effective social media strategies for universities. It showcases the authentic experiences of students and faculty, making social media channels more relatable and engaging.

Implementing UGC in University Social Media:

  • Encourage Broad Participation: Invite the entire university community to share their experiences. This can include classroom moments, extracurricular activities, and personal achievements.
  • Role of Student Ambassador Programs: Incorporate UGC as a component of these programs. Offer points and rewards for content submissions, making it an exciting part of being a student ambassador.
  • Simplify with Tools: Use solutions like Spitche to streamline the process of collecting and managing UGC. This ensures a consistent flow of diverse content from various perspectives.

Why UGC Works:

  • It provides a genuine look into university life, directly from those who experience it daily.
  • UGC builds a stronger online community, encouraging prospective and current students to engage more deeply with the university’s social media presence.

By wisely integrating UGC into their social media strategies, universities can significantly enhance the appeal and effectiveness of their online presence.


U.S. News & World Report and Forbes has ranked us as the #1 Public University! πŸŽ‰πŸ»πŸ’›πŸ’™ GO BEARS! #ucberkeley #gobears #collegerankings #forbes #usnewsandworldreport #1publicuniversity #berkeley #college @University of California

♬ original sound – UC Berkeley

Strategy 4: Jumping on TikTok trends

TikTok offers a unique platform for universities to engage with students in a fun and trendy way. By tapping into popular TikTok trends, universities can create content that resonates with the younger audience and boosts their social media presence.

How to Use TikTok Trends Effectively:

  • Stay Current: Keep an eye on trending hashtags, challenges, and formats on TikTok. Being timely is key.
  • Get Creative with Trends: Adapt these trends to showcase university life. For example, use a popular dance challenge to highlight a campus event or a viral song to showcase different study areas.
  • Examples of Successful Trends: Universities have successfully used trends like the #FlipTheSwitch challenge to show different campus scenes or the #LearnOnTikTok to share educational snippets.

Tapping into TikTok trends allows universities to create content that’s not only engaging but also shareable, widening their reach and appealing directly to the student demographic.

Strategy 5: Use SEO for TikTok

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) isn’t just for websites; it’s also crucial for platforms like TikTok. By using SEO tactics, universities can enhance the discoverability of their TikTok content, making it easier for prospective and current students to find and engage with their videos.

Implementing SEO on TikTok:

  • Keyword Optimization: Include relevant keywords in your TikTok video descriptions and hashtags. Think about what terms students might use when searching for university-related content.
  • Engaging Titles: Craft titles that are not only catchy but also include key search terms.
  • Consistent Content Creation: Regularly post content that aligns with trending topics in education and student life. This consistency helps in building a strong presence on the platform.

Using SEO tactics in TikTok allows universities to increase the visibility of their content, ensuring that it reaches the right audience and garners more engagement.

Strategy 6: YouTube for long-form videos

YouTube provides an excellent platform for universities to share more in-depth content. Long-form videos on YouTube can help in showcasing the university’s programs, facilities, and campus life in a detailed manner, engaging prospective students and alumni alike.

Effective Use of YouTube for Universities:

  • Showcase Diverse Aspects: Use YouTube to give a comprehensive view of university life, from academic programs to student activities and special events.
  • Educational Content: Share lectures, seminars, and educational material that can be valuable for both current and prospective students.
  • Engagement with Alumni: Feature alumni stories and career success videos, which can inspire current students and strengthen the alumni network.

By utilizing YouTube, universities can provide a rich, engaging experience that complements their other social media efforts, offering depth and value to their audience.

Strategy 7: Repurposing podcast episodes

Podcasts offer a unique way to engage audiences with in-depth discussions and insights. Universities can maximize their content by repurposing podcast episodes into various formats for social media, thereby reaching a broader audience and enhancing engagement.

Strategies for Repurposing Podcast Content:

  • Create Bite-Sized Clips: Extract interesting or informative segments from podcast episodes and share them on platforms like Instagram or TikTok.
  • Visual Elements: Add visual elements or captions to these clips, making them more engaging and accessible.
  • Drive to Full Episodes: Use these snippets to intrigue viewers and direct them to the full podcast episodes for more detailed information.

This approach not only extends the reach of the podcast content but also caters to different audience preferences, increasing the university’s presence across multiple social media platforms.

Strategy 8: Fun on-campus TikTok interviews

On-campus TikTok interviews are a fantastic way for universities to create fun and engaging content. By asking a variety of people the same question, universities can compile entertaining and insightful videos that highlight the diverse perspectives within their community.

Ideas for On-Campus Interview Questions:

  • “What’s your favorite hidden spot on campus?” This question can uncover unique and lesser-known places, showcasing the campus from a personal perspective.
  • “Share a funny or memorable classroom moment.” These stories can range from humorous misunderstandings to inspirational incidents, offering a glimpse into daily campus life.
  • “What’s the one thing you wish you knew before coming to university?” Responses to this question can provide valuable insights and advice for prospective students.
  • “Describe your major in three words.” This fun challenge can lead to creative and interesting descriptions, highlighting the diversity of academic programs.

By circulating these questions around campus and compiling the responses, universities can create TikTok videos that are not only entertaining but also provide a mosaic of campus experiences.

Strategy 9: Showcasing classroom expertise

Universities have a unique opportunity to highlight their academic strengths through social media. By bringing clips of classes with experts into their social media mix, universities can showcase the knowledge and expertise available on campus, providing value and insight to their audience.

How to Showcase Classroom Expertise:

  • Select Engaging Clips: Choose segments from lectures or workshops that are particularly informative, engaging, or showcase a unique aspect of the university’s academic offerings.
  • Highlight Expert Insights: Feature professors or guest speakers sharing key insights or groundbreaking research.
  • Create Series or Themes: Develop series based on different academic departments or thematic topics, offering viewers a deeper dive into specific areas of study.

By sharing these educational snippets, universities not only enhance their reputation as centers of learning but also provide valuable content that can attract and inform both current and prospective students.

Social media marketing for universities is getting more fun

In this journey through social media marketing strategies for universities, we’ve explored a variety of tactics to enhance engagement and outreach. From leveraging student ambassador programs for authentic content to embracing the dynamism of TikTok for both fun and education, each strategy offers unique benefits:

  • Student Ambassador Programs have shown their effectiveness in boosting organic reach and creating relatable content.
  • Zero-Click Content keeps users engaged within their preferred platforms, enhancing user experience.
  • User-Generated Content (UGC) builds community and showcases real-life university experiences.
  • TikTok Trends and SEO strategies ensure your content is both engaging and discoverable.
  • YouTube and Podcasts provide depth and repurpose valuable content across platforms.
  • On-Campus Interviews and Classroom Clips highlight the vibrancy and academic rigor of university life.

As we close this chapter, the next step in your social media marketing journey could be delving into the world of social media analytics. Understanding the impact of your strategies through data will not only refine your approach but also maximize your outreach efforts.

Remember, the key to successful social media marketing in the educational sector lies in authenticity, creativity, and constant adaptation to the ever-evolving digital landscape.

student ambassador program