Your prospective students spend nearly 6 hours a day on social media. Doubt their usage will dwindle anytime soon. The good news is you know where you can find your audience. It’s just that wrangling their preferred platforms can feel like a lot.
That’s why we look to social media management tools to help organize our many, many social campaigns. The OG being Hootsuite. A global platform for all platforms, helping you and your team manage accounts from a single dashboard. It’s a really great shepherd for your flock of content. What Hootsuite brings for large institutions ranges from:
- Monitoring all social accounts
- Scheduling posts in advance
- Team Collaboration
- Analyzing social media performance
- Targeted Ads
This Hootsuite primer is a great read for the members of your team tasked with managing all the details. Be sure to pass it along. And do take a minute to check it out for yourself. It’s a quick, practical read.
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One of the most critical components of staying connected with students - prospective, current, and otherwise - is response rate. Chances are you have multiple tabs open from LinkedIn to Twitter to Facebook, on top of Instagram on your phone. Hootsuite’s all-in-one-place dashboard can allow you to connect your channels in a singular place, easily keeping track of comments, messages and mentions quicker than if you were to log into each account separately.
By responding swiftly, your audience feels valued and heard. It also means your team can address any potential fires quickly and appropriately. For instance, social listening is part of Hootsuite’s services, which means you can monitor conversations and pick up keywords in order to stay in the conversation, whether it be marketing related or more urgent in nature.
We know the importance of consistency in content. A benefit to a third-party management tool like Hootsuite is that you can ensure posts are geared up for the week or even month. Having the ability to properly schedule posts in advance gives your account a leg up with publishing relevant and engaging posts on the regular. It can be a lifesaver during admissions season!
Hootsuite is a great tool for harmonizing correspondence across departments. Whether it is your admissions team, student services, or IT team, Hootsuite helps sync brand messaging and various needs. There are tools available to assign tasks within different team members, manage workflow and track performance metrics. This consistency is key when it comes to how your channels come across to the student body.
Instead of posting blindly hoping your message effectively reaches its audiences, proper social media analytics via Hootsuite can give you a better idea of how your posts are performing. Their features help you track the performance of social media activities through metrics such as engagement rates, follower growth, and click-through rates. This detailed data can help you identify what is working well, what needs improvement and adjusting with overall strategy.
If ads are an important asset to your online traction (and we bet they are), Hootsuite’s ad-creation tool can be utilized across channels, cutting a large chunk of advertising costs. This ensures your brand awareness is being seen by the right demographic, interests and behaviors. Specific ads can bring more traffic to your website and reach interested applicants.
Examples can be the best teachers. Below we share successful Hootsuite-involved campaigns to help put this type of tool into perspective.
Hootsuite in Action
Georgia State University turned to Hootsuite to streamline their communications on the single platform to tell their university story and grow their reputation. They simplified this through one trending hashtag that became the destination: #TheStateWay.
Terry Coniglio, the director of content strategy at GSU, said of the campaign that, “#TheStateWay is more than a tag line – instead it has become the way that our community encompasses the personality and difference at Georgia State.”
According to Hootsuite, the campaign experienced growth in their rankings each year, including more than 6,500 shares and millions of impressions across the social channels.
GSU made the most out of Hootsuite by using their Hootsuite Amplify feature that allowed for employees, students, and influencers to share the university’s on-brand messaging from their devices. They achieved this through having two-full time staff dedicated to social media, organized analysts, writers, designers, and photographers/videographers who contributed creative content.
Or take St. Andrews University. They wanted to increase engagement, especially during orientation and graduation week. So, they used Hootsuite Enterprise to help coordinate their posts so other departments within the university knew what was being sent out in advance.
Collaborating through the single platform helped them achieve their objectives in posting frequently and seamlessly. Christine Tudhop, St. Andrews’ senior communications manager said, “As an institution, we now work more closely together than ever before, meaning students are always up to speed about news and announcements that they otherwise may not have known about.”
Using Hootsuite’s analytics feature, St. Andrews was able to adjust their channels based on how students interacted with them. For instance, they could see that students used Twitter for news and links to scholarships whereas on Facebook they wanted community interaction and Instagram they sought inside, authentic looks at university life. These learnings helped bring 90 new followers on Twitter, 205 new Facebook fans, and 12,000 likes on Instagram.
Lastly, if you’re wondering about how much this could cost your institution, Hootsuite offers four different pricing plans, including a free option, though that may not be equipped with all the features you’d want to take advantage of. Professional, Team, Business and Enterprise range from $99 a month up to $739 a month with the option of creating a custom cost strategy for your business. The difference of the price plans comes down to how many users and accounts can be stored on the same plan.
To be sure, we are not in cahoots with Hootsuite. We just see the many advantages it provides and want to pass it along. If you have an active social media strategy with another tool, for example Slate, Buffer, or Sprout Social, we don’t suggest jumping to Hootsuite right away. What’s important when choosing is to consider factors such as your institution’s specific needs, budget and social media platforms you intend to manage.
If you’re not familiar with this or other social media management tools, be in touch. We work in the weeds of social media everyday and can help you discern which tools make the most sense for your team now and in the days ahead.