Higher education social media professionals manage multiple channels. Across all universities, Instagram is allocated the most time and budget resource, equal to or closely followed by Twitter.
Mollie Footitt, Social Media Officer at the University of Leicester explains, “Instagram is where our students are and that's where our engagement rate is the highest.”
Our interviewees explained that Twitter is an important platform. Emma says, “a lot of stakeholders are on Twitter.”
Although students and stakeholders are a key audience on TikTok for some higher education social media teams, it’s temporarily taken a back seat. But as the pandemic restrictions lift, TikTok will likely take more of a leading role.
Emma explains, “we had just launched our account on TikTok, and it was doing really well, but then COVID-19 hit and we had to put the brakes on. We’ve got great ideas and we could be doing much more, but as we can’t get on campus, we can’t create that great content at the moment.”
The University of Leicester has incorporated TikTok content into recent campaigns. Mollie says, “we’ve had quite a lot of fun over the past few weeks putting out quite a few city-based TikToks and they’ve done really well.”
Paid advertising serves Lancaster University well, as Cat explains, “we've had real success with our ads on TikTok and this is being reflected in our budget. We get more ‘bang for our buck’ on TikTok compared to other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.”
TikTok videos also play well organically on other platforms, Alistair explains, “posting our TikTok content on Instagram has certainly impacted our follower count, it really gives it a boost.”
Facebook and LinkedIn tend to see lower engagement rates, but Emma says, “LinkedIn is good for rankings content, highbrow research and senior role appointments.”
For Lancaster University, Cat says, “LinkedIn is used almost solely for our alumni and business contacts.”