August 30, 2022
The Social Media Machine
NACA Marketing & Communications Manager
We’ve all seen the Alabama rush videos on TikTok right? If you haven’t, it’s quite entertaining. For not the obvious reasons as to why it’s so popular, there’s a subtle truth in the power of how social media can make your organization popular. Many people may watch those videos and think “Goodness that is so weird” or “This is so unbearably cringy to watch” yet… you still watch it.
We all know that social media is powerful, but how powerful is it actually? Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube have roughly 16.4 BILLION users A MONTH and on average, users spend 17.5 hours a week on social media. So how does that correlate with higher education?
With the increasing amount of the need to be on social media to be in front of those 16.4 billion eyeballs we must be more in touch with our audience, it’s now more important than ever to study the psychology of the internet and play the game.
Here are my tips on how to stay relevant in the world of higher education with social media:
Connect with your audience: This may seem pretty darn obvious, but the reality is, is that we have our own egos. I may love sports but if my organization doesn’t want to talk about the game this past Saturday why would I bring it up? You need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable about not putting your own opinions into what your audience likes. If your followers don’t like what you’re posting, try to find out why. You won’t be 100% on all the content you put out but if the majority are either unhappy or happy with your content you should know why.
Vary your content: While there is something to having a “brand look” that doesn’t mean you need to go outside the lines a little bit. Let’s say you are business fraternity on campus. Not every social media post needs to be an infographic telling you where the next meeting is. Some of the content needs to be the actual meetings in video format, maybe a picture of someone studying and a great message, or even a cool mash up of pictures IN a video of a recap of a meeting with a speaker. This is not to say you abandon your brand completely but to have some variance is always a good idea.
Consistency: Unfortunately, we live in an era where if you don’t capture your audience’s attention within 3 seconds, you’ve lost them. There’s a reason as to why they are following the page so give them a reason to stay! Posting content on a regular basis will keep you in the spotlight, it’s up to you how often you post but posting multiple times a week will generally keep your audiences sticking around.
Trends: Earlier, I talked about Alabama rush and how it’s taking the world by fire and that’s what you need to understand, trends matter. While you don’t have to jump on EVERY single trend, understanding the trends that relates to your audience is crucial to the social media engine.
Audience Timing: This may mean some extra leg work of your team but posting your content during your followers most active time makes all the sense in the world, right? You’d think so but we sometimes get caught up in doing our job as creating the content and thinking the job is done… WRONG. Think about it, when do people go to purchase a car? On the weekends or after people are done with work, it would be quite unfortunate if the dealerships said, “Yeah nobody has showed up so I’m going go home now” when the customers REAL time to come into the dealership is when it’s convenient for them. Do the same for your social media!
Authenticity: This is probably the most important one. Nothing drives people up a wall then to see their favorite influencer or organization not stay true to their values because that’s all we care about as humans is to make meaningful connections with other humans. You need to be an extension of that in your social media. Sure, you won’t attract EVERY single person to your page because of your personality or your organization’s personality, but you sure will drive the current followers away if they think you aren’t being the best version of yourself. At the end of the day, that’s why they chose to follow you, it’s because they like YOU!
All in all, social media is the most powerful engine this world has ever seen. Use it to your advantage, make higher education as cool as the invention of sliced bread, and have fun!
Stephen Skrocki is the marketing & communications manager of the National Association of Campus Activities. Skrocki has over 5 years of marketing experience focusing on social media management and marketing within the private and public sector.