Successful Social Media Strategies in Higher Ed: The University of Iowa & Utah State University

Social Media Best Practices The Data-Driven Marketer

In the first round of our special edition webinar series, we welcomed the social media marketing teams from The University of Iowa and Utah State University.

We were thrilled to hear from our guests at The University of Iowa: Michael Benning, Director of Digital Marketing, and Social Media Manager Alex Bush, about how they’ve been topping the charts for the fourth year in a row in our Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report.

From Utah State University, we had the absolute pleasure to chat with Social Media Director Matt Gerrish, who has been overseeing the program for more than four years and has been driving killer engagement rates on social media with a small but mighty fan-following.

Our conversation kicked off with all three of our guests attributing their overall success to a strong emphasis on creating audience-focused content. Matt shared his 90/10 approach to content creation where he believes that 90% of social content should provide value to the audience and only 10% of the content should consist of asking something from your followers, like entering a contest.

Watch the video for some expert-level Higher Ed social media tips.

We had a TON of audience interest in the Hawkeye Influencer program that Alex manages. Alex even spent a few moments with us off-air so we could get all your questions answered. She let us know that there are around 50 influencers on the UIowa campus, all of whom are first-year students. Admissions sends an email to all incoming students inviting them to apply after which her team reviews their applications and invites the students selected to participate. While making their selection, they try to have diverse representation across ethnicities, races, gender, major, and more.

The on-campus influencers are entrusted to post about their lives on campus on their own social channels, and their content belongs to them. There are guidelines in place that state that the content they post should not affect the safety of the students and not reflect poorly on the university. If they violate these guidelines, the university discontinues its relationship with them as an influencer.

Michael, Alex, and Matt had great insights on all things #hesm, including making data-driven decisions on social media, employing a strategic approach to everything social media, building trust with university leadership, and harnessing the power of user-generated content.

In the second and final part of the Higher Ed Social Media webinar series, we sat down with the social teams from Georgia Tech and Ohio University. If you missed the live session, you can watch the recording here.

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

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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