Acing Higher Ed Social Media in 2023: Webinar Series

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In our recent two-part webinar series, we were lucky to have the stellar social media folks from James Madison University, Tarleton State University, Angelo State University, and Michigan Tech spill the beans on the #HESM strategies that got them to the top.

Higher Ed Social Media Webinar: Part 1

In our first session, we were joined by Rochelle Reed, Social Media Manager at JMU and Gabriella Cortez, Social Media Specialist from Tarleton State University. Both JMU and Tarleton State University clinched a top 10 spot among all the D1 schools in our 2023 Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report, with JMU ranking #4 overall and Tarleton State bagging the #6 spot.

Division 1 Panel: Watch the video for all the insights.

Rochelle and Gabriella are both proud alums of the schools they now serve and share how their insider perspective on campus life has been a game-changer in their roles. Throughout the interview, they discussed different tactics to engage their audiences, from current and prospective students to alumni and staff. Plus, they shared some nifty tips to get students to hit that all-important follow button.

Another common thread in both schools’ successes has been their knack for including the latest pop culture tie-ins. It’s a savvy strategy that has helped bridge the gap between academia and popular trends and boost their engagement numbers.

With TikTok out of the picture for both these universities, Rochelle and Gabriella shared their insights on shifting their focus towards platforms like Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Additionally, Gabriella let us in on HeyOrca, a tool she uses to spot weekly trending sounds. This strategic approach guarantees their content is always in sync with what’s hot.

Rochelle also revealed a somewhat untapped platform for building engagement—the JMU Parents group on Facebook. As Rochelle explains to Seth, this vetted group is hyper-engaged with what’s happening on campus, highly interactive, and creates a tight-knit community on and off campus. Surprised? So are we!

Higher Ed Social Media Webinar: Part 2

In part two of our Higher Ed webinar series, we had the pleasure of chatting with the social media experts from two of the top-performing D2 schools from this year’s Higher Ed report.

Division 2 Panel: Watch the video to dig deeper.

For the second part of our webinar series we were joined by Brittany Miller, the Director of Communications at Angelo State University. Angelo State University reigned supreme, taking the coveted number one position in this year’s report. Alongside her, we have Haley Goodreau, the Social Media Manager at Michigan Technological University, that grabbed an impressive number three spot in this year’s report.

Along with countless eye-opening insights that both of them shared with us, one that deserves a special mention is the impressive success that both schools have found on LinkedIn, proving that this platform is a force to be reckoned with for universities looking to engage their audience and debunking the misconception that it’s solely a professional space.

Both Brittney and Haley also emphasize the significance of student voices in shaping their social media presence. In our discussion, Brittney elaborates on how Angelo State manages a dedicated student team responsible for producing and curating social media content. By working closely with the students, the university gains direct access to authentic student experiences that, in turn, build a deeper connection with the audience.

Regarding tracking and measuring their performance on social, both our panelists are data-driven and choose to look at engagement rate as an indicator of their success (we love hearing that!). Haley explains that engagement rate is her favorite metric because it gives her a good sense of the quality of the content and helps her better explain the numbers to leadership.

Wrapping up

Our two-part webinar series gave us a deep dive into the strategies employed by top-performing universities. From rolling with platform changes and collaborating with student influencers to building strong content pillars and using data-driven insights, these institutions are setting a high standard for social media engagement. We invite you to check out both videos for an in-depth look at our discussions with these outstanding panelists. Happy watching! 📺🚀

If you have more questions about social media analytics or how to be a guest on the Data-Driven Marketer, reach out to us on Twitter or Instagram.

Maria Mundaden

Maria loves digging into all things digital marketing. From SEO to paid ads to oodles of social media posting and analysis, she's constantly trying to reach potential customers authentically with just a mild amount of stalking. Outside of work, Maria loves to travel with her family, spend time paddle-boarding and bake up some fruity goodness.

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