Common Social Media Challenges and Solutions
Apr 25, 2016
Social media can be a challenge for any organization – but for many colleges, social media is a challenge because you have extremely limited resources and an incredibly large demand placed on top of those resources. Here are some ways to overcome those challenges and improve recruitment and retention performance.
“Why aren’t we on The Facebook?”
For those of us old enough to remember, it was a question just like this one, that forced many colleges to jump head first into social media. But that was almost 10 years ago so you would think that we’ve gotten more strategic in our decision making.
For most, that’s not the case. So before you start chasing off on trying to maintain a presence on Blab…check out these key factors to greater success on social media.
Common Social Media Struggles
Know your audience – and segments within. Who are they? What social media do they use? How do they use social media during their pre-student, student and graduate phases? What opportunities does this provide you for communication and engagement and achieving your goals?
Be specific! Be relevant! Be timely!
Set realistic goals and objectives – then strategies and tactics to achieve the goals and objectives. Too many are just pushing out content, hoping that quantity will make up for the lack of quality. Well, “…it weighs like an A…” might have worked when you were an undergrad but it doesn’t work in the wonderful world of social media. For more details, please see the reason listed above.
If you lack the resources, don’t bother. We all have limited resources and limitless opportunities – but there has to be a point where you say “No”. A great example of that is the Facebook Page that hasn’t been updated in a couple of months, and the Instagram account that has a few photos over the past 4-years. (For a possible alternative to this, skip to the last challenge/solution below.)
Test. Measure. Analyze. Modify. Repeat. As marketers, that’s what we should be doing all the time. But for some reason with social media, that disappears because of the resources required to make it happen. Check out A/B Testing for Facebook. And on LinkedIn. And here are 12 things you should be testing on Twitter.
Recruit Others from Across the Organization. Social media requires accurate, relevant information in a timely manner- and marketing cannot know everything or be there all the time. So get others involved. Yes this requires training and a formal process with policies which is, for now, more work – but over the long-term, it’s your salvation. Get the Dean or head of the program involved. Get faculty involved. Heck, get some students involved – if it makes sense. But recruit those that have the knowledge that your audience needs and then show them how to use the platforms – you will be happy with the results.
Alright, what do you think? Practical recommendations that you can follow? Have we overlooked anything? If you have a question or a suggestion for another important point that should be added, please share it in a comment or reach out to us. We’re always happy to talk with our readers!
Patrick McGraw is VP of Higher Educaton Marketing Services and has more than 25 years experience in market research, competitive intelligence, business intelligence including database marketing and CRM, strategic planning, brand development and management as well as operations/campaign management. His work has consistently helped his clients and employers develop and implement more efficient ways to attract and retain profitable customers, enter new markets and launch new products. His areas of focus include the education, hospitality, travel and tourism, hi-tech, telecommunications, financial services, and retail industries on both the agency and customer sides.