FAQs About Social Media for Higher Education: Part 2

Carnegie Higher Ed Nov 27, 2018 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

In this second installment of our FAQ blog series on social media in higher education, we’ll make sure you head into the holiday season updated on the latest changes different social media platforms have made, address questions that might be keeping you awake at night, and dive into topics you never knew you wanted to know more about!

If you missed the first FAQ post, you can check it out here.

Q: Is it true that Snapchat has different creative needs?

One of the benefits of working at Carnegie Dartlet is that we have built relationships with the various social media platforms we work with daily, including Snapchat. As a result, we’ve been able to get insider information on Snapchat creative best practices that are specific for higher education marketers.

While we typically recommend doing a creative refresh on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn every six to eight weeks, Snapchat recommends layering in new video ads a minimum of once or twice per month. We can attribute this to the nature of the platform and the amount of time prospective students are spending on this social network.

Even with the interface change a few months ago, more than 186 million users are logging in daily, spending an average of 33 minutes per day on the platform. Since these ads appear in between the snaps of their friends and family, ad frequency can grow quickly and our target audiences may begin to tune out our messaging. Having multiple versions of your ads that you can rotate in as you begin to see frequency increase and performance dip will help engagement stay high throughout the flight of your Snapchat campaign.

If you aren’t sure what type of Snapchat ad content will work well for this platform, check out our recent webinar on Video Best Practices: How to Drive Conversions on Instagram and Snapchat With Creative Content.

Q: What’s the next up-and-coming social platform?

This is a question we hear often from our clients and colleagues working in higher education. Facebook has been around for 14 years, and Twitter has been around for 12 years. And while I can’t say for sure there’s going to be a new and shiny platform that’s able to overtake any of the mainstream social media outlets right now, I do think these platforms will begin to update their technology to be more messenger friendly.


In the above chart, you’ll notice a handful of platforms you may never have heard of before, such as WhatsApp and WeChat. Messenger apps like these are the go-to social media platforms for prospective students internationally since western social platforms like Facebook and Instagram are blocked overseas. But even here in the United States, the popularity of these messenger apps is on the rise as well.

Users no longer prefer to post content to the masses (i.e., posting a status update to their Facebook newsfeed) and instead are taking social media conversations into a 1:1 space, so social networks need to adjust their technologies to adapt to this shift. The investment in Facebook messenger is a great example of how Facebook saw what was happening with their international competitors. LinkedIn can see this happening as well and is working on creating new technology to make conversations happen even more seamlessly in a user’s message inbox.

Savvy social media marketers will keep an eye on these updates and begin to incorporate as necessary to ensure they’re reaching prospective students where they’re seeking information about colleges/universities, degree programs, campus life, and more.

Q: Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter all have look-alike audiences. Why doesn’t LinkedIn?

Great news! LinkedIn is currently beta testing look-alike audiences on their platform. The waitlist to have advertising accounts whitelisted is extensive, but due to our partnership with LinkedIn, we were able to add several of our current clients’ ad accounts to this waitlist.

We’ve seen tremendous success using look-alike targeting on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, with the look-alike audiences performing equally for (or in some cases, even better than) the behavioral audiences we’re running side-by-side. We’re excited to be able to implement this tactic on LinkedIn in the coming weeks and months. We’ll report back on how they perform!

Be sure to check back in early 2019 for our third installment in this series. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about using social media to reach your audiences, we’re here to help. You can follow Erika on Twitter for additional higher education social media insights at @e_fields.

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