Case studies

This is a take over (of your social media channels)

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

For higher education marketers, social media takeovers have transitioned from an innovative twist on social publishing to an integral part of any professional’s social media strategy.

*This post originally appeared on the eCity Interactive blog and is reproduced here with permission*

That’s because, at a time when authenticity is everything, content for and from your current students and alumni trumps anything your marketing team can conceptualise and create.

“No matter how human your social tone of voice is, or how good your copy is, chances are that if you get a real student on your social account, they’re going to be far better at it than you will be and they’re going to create content that is going to resonate far more strongly with your prospective students,” says Dave Musson, our very own editor-in-chief.

In this episode of the Hashtag Higher Ed Podcast from last summer, a talented group of panelists joined the show to discuss the ins and outs of social media takeovers. In addition to Dave Musson, we talked with Anice Barbosa, Integrated Marketing Coordinator at Wheaton College, Tim Schwarz, Head of Creative and Digital Marketing at Surrey University, and Rebekah Winkler, Social Media Manager at the University of Tennessee.

The panelists shared their reasoning for implementing social media takeovers on their campus, how they each go about sourcing and evaluating takeover candidates, how to logistically handle account access, cross-promoting content, evaluating takeover success, and their top tips and advice for others considering social media takeovers on campus.

Listen to podcast right here

TIM SCHWARZ ON TAKING INSPIRATION FROM THE PRIVATE SECTOR

I see parallels with the rise of influencer marketing. Delivering a fun, authentic, and interesting perspective from someone obviously passionate about your brand is a powerful and infectious tool. It can be expensive and challenging in commercial industries, but I feel it’s simpler in higher education with the opportunity to tap into the passions and experiences of potentially thousands of influencers living on your doorstep.

ANICE BARBOSA ON WHY WHEATON COLLEGE IMPLEMENTED SOCIAL MEDIA TAKEOVERS

Most of our social media channels are outward facing. They serve alumni, prospective students, and the parent constituency. Our students wanted to see campus life through their own lens. They didn’t want the brand voice behind it. They wanted to hear from peers.

REBEKAH WINKLER ON SOURCING AND VETTING CANDIDATES

I try to reach out to any faculty or staff I know on campus who may have a relationship with the student. Maybe I know they have a particular major or work in a particular office. I also spend a lot of time just looking at what they’re tweeting or instagramming. That helps you get a feel for their interests but also their decision making. And we of course have an agreement that they have to sign, and meeting them face-to-face is a big part of vetting students.

DAVE MUSSON ON EVALUATING TAKEOVER SUCCESS

I certainly look at likes and comments and compare those numbers against our weekly average benchmarks. But also, I look at the actual content. Was it good content? Did people engage with it? Did it teach us anything about the kinds of things that prospective students are really interested in that could help shape future marketing campaigns?

For full show notes from this podcast episode and more information about eCity Interactive, check out the original post.

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