Driving EDU Leads Using Social Media Brand Ambassadors

  • Alen BubichJanuary 4 2018
A complete playbook to help you launch your Student Advocacy program today.

According to Uversity and Chegg, 75% of students surveyed claimed that conversations with current students on social media influenced which school they attended.

Let’s let that sink in for a minute.

75% of the students surveyed made their university “purchase” decision after they talked to friends who went to school there.

It’s not that hard to imagine how a conversation like that would go:

Hey John, you go to UWO right?

I sure do.

How do you like it?

Dude, if you don’t apply to come here, you’re gonna kick yourself. This place is amazing.

So if these types of social media conversations are instrumental to enrollment decisions – it’s pretty obvious that the goal is to kick off as many of these conversations as possible.

The average College or University has 4,224 students.

Social Media Engagement – What does it Look Like?

If you want to get someone pumped about something you’re offering don’t talk about yourself – you talk about their wants and needs.

You need to give them something of value.

How do you deliver value online?

Traditionally marketers turn to Value Added Content and Inbound Marketing.

What is Value Added Content?

Value Added Content is “you-first” instead of “me-first” content.

It’s content that serves the consumer. It’s answers questions and concerns. It’s content that “truly listens”.

It offers expertise and demonstrates domain authority.

What is Inbound Marketing?

Wikipedia defines it as promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, eNewsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of Value Added Content marketing which serve to attract customers.

According to HubSpot, Inbound Marketing is especially effective for businesses that deal with high dollar values, long research cycles and knowledge-based products.

That’s literally the definition of Inbound Marketing from the company that effectively invented it.

I challenge you to find a product that has a higher dollar value and longer research cycle for the average consumer. Aside from their home, a College degree is probably the most expensive thing a person will ever buy in their life.

The average person has 338 Facebook friends.
Pew Research Center

STEP 1 – Craft An Inbound Marketing Plan

So now that we know our most effective tool, drive folks to our website though Inbound Marketing and effective Value Added Content.

Now it’s time to create an actionable plan.

Let’s use Higher Ed as an example and let’s start off by creating at an exhaustive list of critical factors that motivate people to start an MBA:

  • Career change
  • To make more money
  • Compensate for youth and inexperience
  • Exposure to successful leaders
  • To expand your horizons
  • Networking
  • To learn about the global economy
  • To improved public speaking/communication skills
  • Learn how to manage people
  • Get challenged by mentor/professor
  • Achieve a personal goal
  • To sharpen your business acumen
  • To help with immigrate to another country
  • Learn to manage your own personal finances/wealth better
  • Knowledge / lifelong commitment to learning / self-growth
  • Personal branding

As soon as we understand people’s motivation for making this purchase decision, it’s easy to create “value added” content that speaks directly to their motivation to enroll.

For example:

Why Studying a Master’s in Business Will Enhance Your Career
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STEP 2 – Create Your Content

To make it even easier for you to get started, we analyzed 1,000 posts from 25 of the most powerful EDU brands on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The posts widely fell into the following broad stroke categories:

  1. How to get a job post-graduation
  2. Student success stories
  3. Pioneering research and breakthroughs happening at the university
  4. Insight into campus life
  5. Scholarship/funding opportunities
  6. Diversity programming
  7. On-campus support network and infrastructure
  8. How to successfully apply for the program of my choice
  9. Volunteering/community involvement opportunities

Here are some of the best examples we found:

Example 1

Example 2

Example 3

Example 4

Example 5

Example 6

Example 7

Example 8

Schools that actively use social media spend an average of 25% less on print, radio, and television ads.

STEP 3 – Convert!

Once you’ve gotten the prospective student to click, this is where the fun part happens.

Time to convert.

There are tons of conversion systems available to you – here are just a few of the most common ones:

Landing or Squeeze Page
Most likely you’re currently using this method. This is probably one of the most traditional methodologies available. When used in conjunction with split testing tools (Unbounce.com, VisualWebSiteOptimizer.com) landing pages can product quite a bit of bang for your buck.

Blog Article
When done properly, the blog article essentially becomes a long-form sales lander (sometimes referred to as advertorial). This type of format gives you an opportunity to present a lot of detail for the type of buyer who needs a significant amount of information before making a purchase decision.

A “tripwire” is basically a low-cost product someone buys and then, offered more products as upsells. It’s a way to get a prospect buying with a low-friction offer. And you get them into your funnel.

A great example would be to maybe sell them a lower-cost certificate first, then upsell them on a full post-graduate degree later.

Lead Magnet to One-Time-Offer
A “Lead Magnet” an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information. Very similar to a TripWire but with a zero-cost offer generally. A great example would be something like: “The ultimate MCAT Study Guide -> Download it FREE!”

Evergreen Webinars / Education Bridge
The Education Bridge and Evergreen Webinar sales funnel often work very similarly. Both typically rely on an email lead capture to unlock valuable/educational video content. The video is the bait. The email is the catch. Once you’ve captured the email, it’s turned over to your email marketing team for conversion.

Multi-Part Video Sequences
Similar to the Evergreen Webinar and Education Bridge, the Multi-Part Video Sequence use the recipients email address as the medium for delivering high-value content in logical sections that helps build trust with the consumer over time.

Survey Model
A sales funnel that’s been recently picking up steam is the Survey Model. Consumers are qualified though a series of probative questions designed to helps set expectations.

An example of how this specific tool works would be something like:

Discover The Post Graduate Course You Should Take Right Now
Answer 3 simple questions and we can tell you EXACTLY the post graduate degree that’s RIGHT for you.

Once you’re done the survey, we’ll tell you EXACTLY the steps you need to take to SUCCESSFULLY apply for your area of expertise

72% high school students use social media to research colleges and universities before applying.

STEP 4 – Measure, Repeat and Win

The average school in American has an opportunity to reach 1.4 million people (4,224 students x 338 connections) right now with exactly this type of conversation using only the social media resources at hand.

The challenge? How do you kick off and more importantly manage 1.4 million conversations?

How do you keep track of what content is the most successful?

How do you identify what ambassadors are driving the most traffic to your site?

The answer is Social HorsePower.

Social HorsePower is an assisted content sharing tool designed specifically for student advocacy.

We can help you build, amplify and grow your brand on social media.

Best of all, with the click of a button, you can get started today – absolutely free.

Ready to socialize your student-body? Let’s go!

Social HorsePower gets awards recognition from Capterra and GetApp

Looking for software that’s easy to use and offers great value?

Social HorsePower Feels the Love from G2 Crowd

Social HorsePower just racked up a bunch of awards from G2 Crowd recently, with actual users as the judges.