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Choosing social media channels for higher education marketing

Today it’s no longer a matter of whether or not social media platforms can be a viable part of your institution’s branding and marketing communications toolkit. The questions have evolved: How many social assets should you deploy, and which are the most effective for your means?

Should you go with the almost-mass-market access that Facebook offers, or do you choose an emerging platform like Vine? Have you considered mature-but-sometimes-forgotten social websites like Meet Up? Should you abandon your sexy dreams of an Instagram campaign and be working with a more buttoned-up platform like LinkedIn?

How many social assets should you deploy, and which are the most effective for your means?”

The answers, of course, depend on your goals, your target audience and your strategy. You should definitely be where your audience is now. And you may want to choose a few places where your audience presence is growing. Institutions that choose the right mix based on these focal points will see success.

Keep in mind that the platforms which receive the most media chatter may still be a ways away from attracting mass audiences. We maintain it’s smarter to be integrating fewer carefully selected channels with a high-quality effort than having a scattered, nonstrategic presence on every platform available.

We asked some social media veterans to talk about where they’ve found success — and to highlight any missteps along the way. In each of these examples, Facebook emerged as the flagship platform. When targeting broad college-aged audiences, we believe it’s still the undeniable social force.

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