Social media influencers can teach us a lot about creating content to engage our audiences and reaching more people to grow our following. In today’s social media crazed world, schools are even offering courses on how to become social media famous. So what can higher ed learn from the influencer marketing buzz?
Influencers can spark ideas because they know what your audience finds most interesting—and why they find it interesting. In layman’s terms, an influencer is someone who is able to influence a large amount of people. What generally used to come to mind was celebrity endorsement, but just about anyone can go viral with the right content and promotion. People like Kristina Bazan, who started as a fashion blogger was able to create the right content to get people invested in her ideas. She now has over 2.4 million followers on Instagram alone.
Influencers are people that display their life in a way that is relatable and inspirational for your followers. College campuses are full of influential people. The distinguished MBA professor who led his company to Fortune 500 status. The star tennis player paving the way for the next generation of female athletes. The alum who developed an app that propelled her startup to fame. You know the stories better than we do. How are your influencers engaging in your brand story?
Chances are high that many athletes that attend your school have a strong following on social media. Know who these students are and find a way to engage them in promoting your brand on social. Get your followers excited about the athlete’s upcoming match and ask the student to promote an upcoming fundraiser. Consider hosting regular “takeovers” on institutional accounts where student athletes can recount game highlights or describe a day in the life. Highlight team accomplishments and encourage school spirit.
Students involved in Greek life or other organizations on campus are great connections for social media influence. Not only do these students promote what’s happening on campus to their designated chapters and organizations, but they typically have a direct line to the heartbeat of your campus community. Ask them to promote an upcoming MBA Open House Event and then promote their philanthropy event. UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School recently shared a tweet from their Business Tech Club.
Stories from graduated members of your community help motivate current students and connect your brand to another area of influencers. Connect with alumni who are active in the campus community or who have an interesting post-grad story to tell. This will show students the potential of their degree and share the benefit of staying involved with other alumni. The University of San Francisco began a Changemakers series where they feature members of the community making a difference. They recently shared the story of an alumni who uses technology for good and educates the next generation of students.
Engaging those working for your institution who are already passionate about your brand is an effortless way to expand your reach. Faculty members are already doing cool things for the school, it’s up to EDU marketers to make sure it’s known. Mississippi College recently named English Professor Steve Price Humanities College Professor of the Year and did a feature article highlighting his success at the school, including what makes him such a great addition to the community.
INFLUENCER MARKETING FOR HIGHER ED
Stories at the heart of your institution can be found all around campus. It’s important to take the time to seek these stories out and highlight the personalities and accomplishments of your community. Thinking about using influencers in your video features? Check out our recent blog on YouTube influencers. Have influencer marketing success stories? We would love to hear them. Tweet us your examples @convergeorg.