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Connecting to Prospective Students Is (Literally) a Snap

For a few years now, we marketers have touted the benefits of social media as a way for colleges and universities to connect with prospects, current students and alumni. As this trend certainly hasn’t slowed, it’s become important to keep up with which platforms your prospects and current students (and maybe some alumni) are using. Enter Snapchat: a social media must-have for higher education institutions.
Snapchat has become an immensely popular social media platform, with over 166 million daily active users sending Snaps every day. To top it off, around 83 percent of 12- to 17-year-olds and 79 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds use the app at least once a month. That’s pretty impressive—and there’s a very good chance your school’s prospective and current students are using Snapchat.

So how can colleges and universities effectively reach their target audiences on Snapchat?

  • Post Snapchat Stories for your school. Higher education institutions should have as much of a brand presence on Snapchat as on other social media networks—and can leverage those other accounts to gain Snapchat followers. Use the account to give an inside look at the campus. Post campus photos for a Snapchat tour of your university or Snap videos at events. Take it a step further and engage current students or alumni as influencers for Snapchat takeovers. This gives prospective students a real glimpse of student life through that day’s Snapchat Story.
  • Consider Snapchat ads. A seamless way to have a brand presence on the platform, one of these 10-second video ads will play immediately after someone views a friend’s Snapchat Story. Snapchat also includes the option of an attachment, so the user could swipe on the ad to learn more about your school, making it easy to include information about admissions or an on-campus event.
  • Don’t see Snapchat ads in your future? Look at Snapchat Geofilters. Custom Geofilters are a fun and easy way to connect with your audience—and have great reach. Colleges can create a Geofilter and have it available on campus within a specified time frame. Anyone using Snapchat on campus will see the Geofilter, and if they post a Snap with it, all of their friends will see it, too. Custom Geofilters could be created for different on-campus events like move-in day, graduation or even admissions events. Geofilters are inexpensive and easy to create—a good way to have a brand presence on Snapchat and connect with current and prospective students.

So, rev up your social media team and claim your school’s handle on Snapchat. It’s OK to take things slow at the beginning—no need to Snap a dozen photos or videos a day. Integrating Snapchat with your other social media platforms gives you yet another way to engage current and prospective students through an informal, but personal, channel.

Many of our higher ed clients are leveraging this informal, but personal, channel. In fact, Austin Williams is one of the few agencies with the strategic and technical abilities to successfully execute Snapchat ad buys. To learn more, call CEO Rick Chiorando at 631-231-6600 or email him at today.


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