ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

3 Ways Colleges Can Use Instagram to Retain Students

Instagram is a mobile app that allows users to take photos, add filters, and share them with social networks. Since its launch in October 2010, it has grown to more than 30 million users in the iPhone and Android markets. In April 2012, Facebook purchased the app for $1 billion.

Instagram offers an alternative to social networks that are heavy on text by allowing users to share their stories by using pictures. The app is a great way to share your college’s story with students, graduates, and prospects. It also allows for your current students to feel like they’re a part of the community. If you’re wondering how to retain students, asking them to post photos with a #hashtag unique to your college is a great start.

Below are three ways your college can use Instagram to retain students and engage with prospects and graduates:

1. Engage your audience

Just like on other social media platforms, you want to engage with your audience on Instagram. Ask them what kinds of photos they want to see in captions of photos you’re posting. You can extend this question to your already existing social media sites as a way to not only engage, but to help promote your college’s Instagram profile.

2. Integrate Instagram with your college’s other social media sites

Instagram will easily allow your college to share photos on other social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. This will help grow your Instagram audience and engage your existing audience on Facebook and Twitter.

3. Encourage participation

Encourage your students, graduates, and even prospects to participate on Instagram! Prospects can post photos from tours or an open house that they attended. Ask students to post photos from around campus and in the classroom or lab. Have graduates post photos from job fairs they attend on campus or from their job site. Always make sure a unique #hashtag is being utilized so that these photos can be easily searched for on the app and so that people can identify your college by them.

Is your college already using Instagram? We want to hear your suggestions on how to retain students using Instagram. Let us know by commenting below!