Using Snapchat in Higher Education

Using Snapchat in Higher Education


Since 2011, Snapchat has grown by leaps and bounds. With the largest demographic of users between 13 and 25 years old, Snapchat has become a marketing tool that can no longer be ignored by higher education.

Early adopters of the tool have experienced nothing but success. Schools such as the University of Michigan, West Virginia University, the University of Arizona, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (to name a few) have discovered Snapchat to be both their fastest growing and most engaging social channel.

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Check out these 6 uses for Snapchat in higher education:

1. Chat with Students

If you are going to bring Snapchat to your institution, I encourage you to dedicate a staff resource to the social channel. Have a “Snapchat Ambassador” who can respond to students’ snaps and private messages in real time.

Snapchat offers a unique chat feature that is great for quickly answering questions and offering friendly advice to incoming and current students. The perfect channel for relationship building, Snapchat allows you to engage with students in a more fun and relaxed manner.

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2. Drive Traffic to Events

Snap photos of posters promoting events and add them to your story, informing students and encouraging them attend.

Live-snap athletic events to keep students up to date on the game score. Feature snaps from students who are having a blast attending the game and offer an experience for other students who are unable to physically attend.

3. Provide Exclusive Coverage of Campus Activities

Give students a behind-the-scenes look at concerts and other activities. Before concerts, feature event planners and set up crews to create buzz and excitement. During and after concerts, provide backstage access to performers.

4. Have a Contest

Encourage students to send in a #selfie with the school mascot or add a doodle to a campus monument, then offer free swag to the winners.

Snapchat is a great tool for crowdsourcing user-generated content. Instead of pushing out content, Snapchat brings content to you from all over campus.

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5. Inform Students of Their Admittance

Eastern Kentucky University has found great success in using Snapchat to inform students of their admissions decision.

Beth Brashears, Digital Media Student Recruitment Specialist at EKU, requests to add newly admitted students on Snapchat. She then sends those students a snap with a picture of EKU’s mascot and the caption, “Congrats! You have been accepted to EKU!” Students receive this message before they even get their admissions email or letter.

Beth says, “Approximately 1/3 of students screenshot this and share it on another social network, and each time we get more follower requests.”

6. Showcase Your Students’ Daily Lives

This is the most important use of Snapchat. Encourage students to share their #highered moments. Your students have great stories to tell about their experiences at your institution. Let them share those stories with everyone on Snapchat.

Additional Resources:

For more information about using Snapchat in higher education check out this blog series about Snapchat early adopters in #highered.

Mikayla Wilson
Mikayla Wilson
July 20, 2015