5 Tips for Small Higher Ed Marketing Teams

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5 Tips for Small Higher Ed Marketing Teams

Male office staff happily looking at his laptop.

While some universities have several people and teams focused on social media, public relations, and marketing — what if your small department is supposed to do aspects of all three? Don’t stress, we’ve got five tried-and-true techniques to help you maximize results.

Automate.

Make sure you’re using as many automated resources as possible.

    • Schedule social media using tools like HootSuite, Buffer, or Sprout Social for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
    • Create a Google alert of your institution’s name so you get notified once a day for any time your university is mentioned in the news, blogs, or online discussion forums.

Utilize students.

Current students are your biggest advocates. Designate some as “social media ambassadors” and task them with keeping an ear to the ground in social media groups and online review websites like Cappex, Niche, and RateMyProfessor. They can step in and help guide the conversation about your institution. Give your ambassadors info about your university – stats, outcomes, and just plain good news. Any time you can get people talking positively about your institution, it helps lessen the burden of marketing being your department’s sole responsibility.

Empower faculty.

Partner with other departments to educate your faculty on their role in enrollment and retention. If professors understand that they play the largest part in a student’s decision to stay at your university, the burden of recruiting and retention doesn’t lay squarely in the enrollment or student life office. Plus, engaged faculty look for creative opportunities they can share with your team to attract and retain students — which gives you great content for social media, marketing, and public relations.

Invest in your skills.

It can be difficult to stay up-to-date on best practices when you’re wearing so many hats. However, the enrollment landscape changes rapidly, and you need to understand why and how your current students selected your institution. Thankfully, there are tons of great (and free) resources on university marketing online.

    • Read articles about what Generation Z students value (and the upcoming Alpha Generation), how they make decisions, and which ways they prefer to be contacted.
    • Follow other universities on social media that are doing a stellar job promoting themselves to get inspiration.
    • Put a webinar on a tablet next to your work station so you can soak up some professional development while editing photos, scheduling social media, or purging all the papers on your desk.

Have a life.

When the burden of social media, public relations, and marketing fall squarely on your team’s shoulders, it can be very difficult to unplug and turn off. You can be tempted to answer emails, work on your website, create social posts, and tweak your reports until the wee hours of the night. Don’t do this!

Recharge your own batteries when you get home so you have the energy and capacity to effectively promote your institution when you’re in the office. All those emails and projects will be waiting for you!

This article was originally published here by our sister company, FACTS, and has been updated for higher ed teams.



Courtney Haindel is a FACTS SIS customer relationship manager, serving the western side of the United States. She holds her master's degree in educational administration and a CAEP certification (Certified Admissions and Enrollment Professional). Prior to coming to FACTS, Courtney was in education for 17 years, serving as director of marketing and enrollment (without a big staff!) at two large FACTS schools in Louisiana. She loves working with schools and dioceses around the country to use FACTS products to streamline their application, enrollment, and marketing processes.


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