College stores can benefit from using social media to market to students. However, finding the time each day, week and month to fully maintain your social media pages can be a challenge. One way college store managers can maintain a robust social media presence without taking on a lot of extra work is to recruit student help.
Your store’s social media pages are a representation of your store and school. Naturally, you must be careful that what you post aligns with the voice, goals and priorities of your college store. However, that doesn’t mean students can’t help you maintain and add to your social media presence, getting valuable real-life social media marketing experience. We have gathered some easy tips for delegating social media responsibilities to student employees while still maintaining oversight.
Learn five ways students can help maintain your college store social media
An easy way to benefit from student participation is to encourage ideas for how the store could better engage the student population. Keep in mind that just by simply asking students for ideas, you might not get the results you hope for. Try to start a conversation with student employees about what catches their attention on social media. What’s the last ad that they bought something from? When they make a purchase online or in-store, what features are they looking for (i.e. reviews, seeing merchandise on other people like staff or other students, price matching, getting their friends’ input, etc.)?
Once students are thinking about their actions through a marketing lens, talk about what stores they follow on social media and why they follow them. Ask what they like and don’t like about what they do. This input can be invaluable to better understand student expectations and develop ways to appeal to them online.
If you have a student employee who has an interest in social media or marketing, he/she could be a good candidate for taking over posting responsibilities. If you are nervous about the transition, start slow. Create a social media content calendar for the student to follow for a month or two. Ask the student to submit each post to someone to check for errors until you feel comfortable? As the student progresses, show him/her how to create the calendar and then let the student create his/her own and submit it to you for approval.
Learning these skills in an applicable way can be a great resume booster for the student and will give real-world marketing experience — eventually taking the responsibility off of your plate. Also, keep in mind that if your store typically goes through the same month-to-month routine each year, you might be able to recycle the content calendars the following year with just a few minor tweaks.
We have said it many times and it is still true: video content is a great way to engage students online. However, it is also time-consuming to create. If you have an outgoing, creative student employees, ask them to work on creating a few simple video projects.
You can start small by letting students recreate fun TikTok videos in the store or choose a project that will have long-term benefits for the store like a commercial for a game-day sale or a video about how to order textbooks online and schedule a pickup. Most importantly, let students have fun with their videos. Viewers will see how much fun they are having and respond to that more than a polished, over-scripted video. Also, encourage students to wear store merchandise in their videos.
Seeing familiar faces and campus locations on your website and social media helps shoppers better picture themselves in your merchandise. Student employees who are willing to model merchandise can help your store boost sales and add diversity to your marketing efforts.
Set up a simple student modeling program that you can open to employees and anyone else who might be interested on your campus. Consider offering models monetary compensation, free merchandise, or a store gift card for their time and help.
Another way students could help with your social media is behind the scenes. By periodically evaluating your posting trends (the types of posts you make, the days of the week and times that you post, and the platforms you use), your store can continue to hone its social media strategy.
Ask a student to review your analytics on each platform to discover the types of posts that get the most engagement, the best days of the week and the best time to post. All of this can help inform how you continue to manage your accounts. Also, if you have one platform that lacks engagement, consider whether or not it can be revitalized or if it is worth the time to continue to maintain it. At the end of the evaluation, ask the student to prepare a presentation for you and any other interested people.