What do you think of when you hear the word 'tribe'?

The historical definition of a tribe used to be physical; a family or community united by a common goal. Now we usually refer to tribes as something less critical, a group of people united by social interests.

Marketers use tribes to create a feeling of attachment, an integral element in creating brand loyalty in their potential consumers. Engaging a tribe doesn't necessarily mean you need to lead them, but rather provide a platform and opportunity to bring like-minded individuals together and facilitate conversations.

Take a look at how ASICS are building a tribe by creating "community connections and igniting the passions of young people through sport and social good" with their #IMoveLondon campaign.

The key is to appeal to unique ties that connect individuals to existing tribes by creating valuable content and memorable experiences. This is where open days offer the perfect opportunity.

Use your open days to orchestrate interactions in a way that will allow your prospective students to create meaningful, long-lasting connections before, during and after your open days, with your brand at the centre of these relationships.

But do you know which tribes exist (or have the potential to exist) amongst your open day visitors? And how you can facilitate people forming tribes on the day, or even use the event to strengthen a tribe?

Research and identify your tribes

That all-important data you've collected from your open day campaigns and sign-up forms can give you the insights with which to identify tribes, groups and shared social interests.

By segmenting your audience based on their interests, you'll be able to create content that will engage and shape your event to meet expectations whilst providing potential students with the opportunity to connect with other like-minded attendees.

Once you have a good understanding of who your tribes are, you can then start to shape your open days in order to influence them. We've jotted down a few ideas to get you thinking...

Create valuable content and memorable experiences

Encourage your influential alumni to get involved in running workshops. Has a successful author graduated from your university? Ask them to run a creative writing workshop for your attendees interested in a similar career path. Bring those who have a passion for sport and fitness together for an unforgettable workshop hosted by a sports star, utilising your cutting-edge campus facilities.

Of course, not every university has a claim to fame. If this is the case, you can always use your own data to find micro-influencers who have shared interests. We've written a handy whitepaper on how to find your influencers which you can download here to help you get started.

Just don't forget to provide a platform or channel for those that attend your workshops to connect before, and after the event - keeping the conversations going.

Everyone loves a competition

Now you've brought your tribes together; use this chance to organise something shareable and engaging.

Utilising Instagram as the creative platform that it is, you could organise an interactive scavenger hunt. Post clues dotted around your university and use Instagram's Stories feature to show off your campus and encourage visitors to engage with every aspect of your institution. Make sure the prize is Instagram-worthy too! This will encourage participants to share the whole experience across their social network.


Experiment with proximity marketing at your open days using Beacon Technology or Geofencing. Trigger push notifications to certain tribes, updating them on talks and workshops running throughout the day depending on their interests and movements around your campus, and bring them together. Read our blog here to find out how you could use Beacons for proximity marketing at your open day.

Connecting and influencing tribes is a long-term strategy that goes beyond open day season. If you'd like to hear about more ways to engage your tribe using open days, speak to one of our digital experts.

Article by


Megan Dillon

Content Marketing Executive