Your website is chock-full of information about your institution and all it has to offer. However, your website isn’t the only touchpoint students experience during their college search.

Social media is a primary channel that younger generations use to connect with the world. They interact, share experiences and gather information on many social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SnapChat.

Fortunately for your institution, you can leverage this digital tendency (or addiction) to communicate with your audience via social media. It can be an effective tool to engage with prospective students, while also maintaining relationships with current students and alumni.

With a dedicated social audience, your institution can capitalize on these networks to attract more prospective students to apply. Here’s how:

Paint a Picture for Prospects

Your audience may use social outlets to get a peek into life at your school; the campus appeal, the student body, the academic buildings – everything that makes it unique. To showcase these elements through social media, your institution can post photos and videos that illustrate the campus energy. If your school has a bustling city life surrounding it, highlight this through Instagram or SnapChat stories. Using these digital opportunities, you’ll allow prospective students to build a picture of your school with themselves at the core of it.

Inform Your Audience

This younger audience is more likely to gravitate to social media for news, rather than traditional news outlets. In fact, a recent study discovered that more people aged 18-24 look for news on social media rather than traditional news. Therefore, your school can leverage this by becoming a reliable resource for your target audience. Provide content that keeps them in the loop with world topics and trends. You will educate them and simultaneously keep your institution top-of-mind when prospects browse through their social accounts.

Build an Active Online Community

In addition to relaying important news stories, your social media accounts can house content specific to your own school community. By posting content regularly, you will build an active online community with your school at the center of the conversation. To execute this via social, share interesting content from your school’s blog or newspaper. Furthermore, capture videos of students on campus to give prospects a look into your school’s student body. With this connection to your school, your prospective audience will gain insight from people who already live there, empowering their decision.

Add Value to Your Content

With content flooding into your social feeds, you need to ensure that your posts hold value. Rather than solely posting promotional posts, look to add value for your audience with every post. For instance, link white papers and relevant information that can provide students with an educational experience on social. Topics such as, “Tips for a Smooth College Transition” or “Applying for Financial Aid: The Do’s and Don’ts” can engage new and prospective students on a deeper level.

Conclusion

Your institution has a big opportunity to connect with prospective students through social media. Cultivating an active audience is easy when you provide relevant content to users at the right time. Whether you’re posting content that paints a picture, informs your audience, builds a community or adds value, just be sure to cater to the needs of your audience to find success on social.