STATESIDE: Natives at UPCEA – 3 of the latest social media developments to recruit students and inspire

STATESIDE: Natives at UPCEA – 3 of the latest social media developments to recruit students and inspire

Our US Natives are heading to the UPCEA Annual Conference in Baltimore, from March 14th – 16th, ready to share the latest developments in student marketing and digital innovation.

Ahead of the event, US Native and Senior Account Manager Holly Rich has given us a bit of a tease as to what delegates and visitors to our stand can expect. If you can’t make UPCEA, and you want to talk to one of our experts about your campaigns, then get in contact and one of our Natives will get right back to you.

Over to Holly!

The implementation of a holistic digital advertising strategy to recruit students is more important than ever. 2018 is set to be the year Colleges and Universities really feel the pinch on their social organic reach. With dramatic changes to algorithms, it’s possible that said reach will be much more limited in 12 months. How then, can education institutions ensure that their budgets for 2018/2019 are being allocated to advertising initiatives that are going to generate a tangible return on investment?

To help with your budget planning, Net Natives has outlined some of our favorite social media developments to inspire you.

Facebook Messenger Ads and Chatbots

We couldn’t possibly start discussing Facebook without addressing the elephant in the room that is the new algorithm. For those of you that haven’t yet heard, Facebook is now placing emphasis on ‘meaningful social interactions’, which means less from pages you’ve engaged with, and more from that uncle you haven’t seen since Thanksgiving 2014. Essentially, the priority lies with people over pages.

The change means that if you’re purely relying on organic content, then your brand may struggle. With content from Pages being removed from the Newsfeed, this clears up plenty of room for paid-for ads.

So what should you be investing in on Facebook to make your mark? Alongside paid for newsfeed posts, lead generations ads, canvas ads (we could go on…), Facebook Messenger ads are a brilliant way to reach prospective students online. These ads sit on the homescreen of the Messenger app and will ensure you aren’t just relying on the Newsfeed to generate those graduate inquiries or event sign ups.

To make your lives easier, why not drive prospects to have a conversation with a Chatbot? According to Facebook, there are 100,000 monthly active bots on the Messenger platform. Click-to-Messenger ads are a perfect way for institutions to provide around-the-clock student support and advice without your marketing team slogging away 24/7.

The recent surge in Chatbot’s effectiveness makes them a genuine proposition to cut costs and drive student engagement.

Instagram Event Scheduling

Facebook’s younger sibling Instagram is a channel that should also be in the mix when it comes to paid-for advertising, especially with the introduction of appointment scheduling on Lead Generation Ads.

Do you have a Preview Day that you’d like to drive sign ups for? Or an international event in-country to meet prospective students? With the introduction of appointment scheduling, you can pose questions such as “When would you prefer to be contacted for a follow-up conversation?” or “What Campus Tour would you like to attend?”.

This feature is invaluable for any College that is looking to schedule an actual meeting with students as part of their lead generation efforts. Including this custom question will populate a calendar for students to enter a date and time in their response. Now there’s no excuse to not only capture student’s data but schedule a time to meet them face-to-face too, which as we know, leads to far higher conversion rates to enrollment.

Snapchat Lens Studio

It’s been a tough time for Snapchat since the introduction of Instagram Stories and 2018 may be make or break for the platform. However, with it’s most recent app redesign, Snapchat is looking to take back the user-generated content shaped crown.

Though arguably not the most fundamental platform to own a presence, it’s important that it is at least considered as part of a wider mix of social media content/advertising.

With the new redesign, the revamp puts relationships at its core (anyone see a trend starting here?) with dedicated pages to friends on the left and brands and publishers on the right. The point being to set the boundaries between professional content creators (in this case, educational institutions) and personal friends.

The argument is that the revamp will provide the Discover tab with a greater purpose and in this instance, Colleges and Universities will have no choice but to ensure their content is spot on to encourage users to venture to the right side in the first place. It’s a no brainer that Snapchat isn’t the platform to invest in if your aim is to drive inquiries and applications, but if your objective is to keep warm prospects engaged or to create fun, playful content, Snapchat has got you covered.

Take the development of the Snapchat Lens Studio for example. Launched by Snapchat itself, the Lens Studio is a developer tool, enabling anyone to create lenses that place interactive, imaginary 3D objects into users’ photos and videos. The creation of QR codes alongside this, enables brands to promote their lenses for users to unlock for 24 hours. If you’re a Snapchat user, why not give it a go with the QRs below?. Think of the fun you could have with a 3D image of a College Mascot at a Preview Day! It might not be the paid-for advertising that is going to generate an influx of qualified inquiries, but what it will do is keep warm prospects engaged with your brand so they go on to enroll.

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Speak to an expert

Come and see us at the 2018 UPCEA Annual Conference

Natives Group is going to be at UPCEA, ready to share insight and tips like those above to help you recruit students via digital advertising. Come and say hello at booth 404.

We’re also offering UPCEA attendees a free digital advertising planner to help with those upcoming budget conversations. The bespoke annual strategy will outline recommended channels, spends and messages to hit your enrollment targets.

Request your free digital advertising planner