Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers



Social Media Spectacular Part Three

Posted by Liz Schulte on 7/7/17 5:30 AM
Topics: social media, Marketing to Students, social media marketing

A variety of content is always a good idea. Offering a combination of images, links, videos and statuses is the best way to reach a broader market of students. Everyone likes different things on social media. I love memes that make me laugh; I stop to read all of them as I am scrolling through my feeds. However, I have friends who watch every video that comes through their feed. By offering a variety, everyone can find something on your page that interests them, which increases their chances of interacting.

Social Media Spectactular Part ThreeVariety is the spice of life

  1. Takeovers
    Student or faculty takeovers are a great way to gain followers, grow interactions and save time. Social media can be consuming. There are ways to save time, but it still requires an investment. However, if you have a trusted employee, student or member of the faculty, who already has a good social media following, post for you for a week, not only will it provide wonderful content diversity, it will also give the account a fresh voice while letting you take a break.

  2. Vibrant images
    It doesn’t matter if you are on Instagram or Twitter, better pictures will get better interaction. Look for bold colors that will stand out of the screen. Try to frame the pictures you take to tell a story. The University of Edinburgh has a beautiful Instagram page worth following for inspiration. Its pictures are eye-catching, it hosts student takeovers and it expertly uses hashtags.

    Also, keep an eye on the current battle for the smartphone camera. It’s an example of the developments happening across platforms. The company that proves more successful, might become your students’ new favorite platform.
     
  3. Call to action posts
    Ask for comments directly in your post. For example, post four different t-shirt designs and ask the students to vote for the one they like best. These informal polls can be about anything. People love giving their opinion especially if it is a neutral topic and easy to do. It can be done through images or words; the responses are what’s important. This sort of post is a great way to build interactions and to keep your page on more timelines. Try to keep your inquiries visual and simple.  

  4. Humor
    Don’t forget to be funny. Sharing a humorous meme is one of the easiest ways to get interactions or shares. Laughing is also a great stress release for students. Laughter soothes tension, and it can leave you feeling good and relaxed. Those positive emotions can then be associated with following your page. 

  5. Student ambassadors
    Embrace body positivity and use students to help model your merchandise. People like to see images of people who look like themselves and students are no different. In fact, Generation Z is more influenced by YouTube personalities than traditional celebrities. Why? Because the people on YouTube aren’t polished. They are imperfect average people who are speaking directly to people who are like them. It’s a compelling connection.

  6. Behind the scenes
    Stocking new merchandise? Snap a picture and give people a sneak peek of what’s to come. Setting up for an event or having an employee meeting? Take a picture. As uninteresting as these events may seem to you, people love to know what happens behind the scenes. This insider knowledge can build excitement and inspire an active interest in your store. It also reminds people that the college store isn’t just a business; there are real people there.

Embracing all three aspects — platforms, audience and content — can help you grow your social media accounts faster than ever, but don’t get too caught up in the idea of needing to grow fast. Having 10,000 fans who don’t care about what you are saying isn’t better than having 400 interested people. There are lots of easy ways to buy likes or clicks, but that doesn’t translate into sales. While it may be slow-going at times, it is better to plug away and do things right than to skip ahead. When people follow your store who don’t have an interest in what you are doing, they aren’t going to respond. Those uninterested followers make it harder to reach people who do care because the algorithms have no way to distinguish between the two groups.

Develop a strong platform, post signs around the store letting people know why they should follow you (the promise of exclusive deals always works well), and then follow through by offering your followers great content that keeps them connected to your store and school.

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About Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte is an author and business owner with a background in customer service, marketing and higher education development.

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