How Universities Should Be Engaging with Audiences on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is one of the fastest-growing networks of professionals with over 660 million members in 200 countries and regions. Given that two new members sign up for LinkedIn every second, the platform is full of marketing potential not just for businesses, but for universities too.
To ensure your university stands out, you’ll need to optimize the platform’s features to build relationships with prospective students, current students, and alumni. In this article, Claire White, social media manager at Wiley Education Services, provides tips on how to boost your school through some of LinkedIn’s features.
The university page is your school’s primary presence on the platform and a great way to reach your audience on LinkedIn. The page should include the institution’s logo, overview content (such as description of the institution, key characteristics, and a mission/vision statement), address, phone number, and other essentials. Because this is one of the first places that prospective students will visit, it’s important to incorporate crucial elements such as the university location, size, and specialties. A link back to the university website is a convenient path for prospective students whose curiosity is piqued.
Tip: Use a photo gallery or video to showcase life on campus, which will help humanize the university brand. LinkedIn posts that use visuals tend to get the most engagement.
The LinkedIn Groups feature helps build communities of professional support for institutions and their followers. University populations could benefit from groups in various ways. For students, a group is a powerful way to learn about industries. For alumni, it is a great way to keep in touch and share professional accomplishments.
Tip: Set up a group for student-alumni networking. This group could touch on topics including resume writing, interviewing, and job search strategies. Members could also join a subgroup related to their chosen career path.
LinkedIn’s powerful Alumni Tool allows users to view career paths of alumni, read testimonials, and compare skills based on information gathered from their profiles. Prospective and current students learn directly from former learners who have gone through the program.
Tip: The Alumni Tool provides valuable information for your institution’s marketing team. Based on popular career trajectories, location, industries, employers and more, your institution can work to promote its most lucrative programs and opportunities.
Showcase Pages are extensions of the main LinkedIn page, which show up as Affiliated Pages on the main page. For your institution, Showcase Pages are an effective way to target audiences and highlight specific programs and departments. With dedicated space, Showcase Pages allow a department to promote its programs more effectively. Prospective students can access this content easily, increasing the chances that a view will lead to action or even application.
Tip: The names of Showcase Pages are crucial because only the first 22 characters will appear on the Affiliated Pages sidebar. Be sure to use a couple of keywords in the first part of each Showcase Page title.
Other Tips for Marketing on LinkedIn
You can promote your institution on LinkedIn in numerous ways. A few other best practices include:
- Ensure that administrators, such as the president, have active and engaging presences on their profiles.
- Use LinkedIn’s analytics tools to consistently review metrics such as views and interactions so you can learn which types of posts have the biggest impact on audiences.
- Check out LinkedIn’s higher education marketing resources to learn how to develop effective content and to download helpful guides.
Understanding LinkedIn’s full potential can be overwhelming, but using some of its basic features can greatly impact your university’s marketing goals. For more ideas and guidance on other higher education marketing strategies, such as content marketing, visit our resources page. Read more tips for using social media at our social media blog.