industry spotlights

Higher Ed Social Media Strategy with Liz Stahl: Part 1

Social media is without a doubt the number one tool at an alumni engagement professionals disposal right now. Your reach and impact on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more is imperative to pushing upcoming events and initiatives.

With that being said, in higher education, we don’t always know the best practices for using social media and sometimes it just falls on your desk. That’s why we reached out to Liz Stahl from In Haus Consulting to talk about higher education and the things you should be thinking about when using social media.

Where should you start when building a social media strategy and what does success look like?

“The best way to start is to lean into data you already have,” Liz said. You can import your email list and generally, you’ll see that about 85% of your emails match with someone on Facebook.

“You can immediately build a presence and start targeting content to those people. Which can be a great first step in getting them to follow your page and engaging. It creates a groundswell where you'll get people very quickly who are very relevant, who have a connection to the university.”

Liz notes that this group will start sharing a post and will help you build an audience that organically grows from month to month. It’s also a great asset in building lookalike audiences that match demographics.

“The overall importance in universities trying to start out in social, the key first step is to build a qualified audience. It doesn't require an enormous financial investment and it's starting... Sending groups of people messaging, seeing who interacted with what, and then retargeting and retargeting again down the funnel. That's a really good place to start and really will get you, sometimes, very small groups of highly engaged people who can then help to create quite a bit of buzz. The importance of what it means to qualify an audience is really key when it comes to attacking Facebook.”

So what do you do after you’ve built your audience?

“After that, it's really focusing on what is the type of content to really properly hit these custom audiences. Make the audience feel connected. You have to build benchmarks early on. Taking your first month, looking that through and building initial benchmarks will be key to success.”

What type of digital content should engagement professionals start with?

“When it comes to any type of digital programming that requires quite a bit of a financial investment, my thought is always start with other things that are very small that would be indicators of potential success for that before jumping into it.”

“Shorter form content is the ultimate indicator for longer form content. When someone invests in short form video content and starts to disseminate it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter they are going to start to see trends. It's over the course of 6-8 months that type of content resonates, then you might have an argument for a short term 6 episode short podcast scenario to set up.”

“I think leading with large, creative investments and leading with long-form content creation on any digital medium without some indicator is generally a mistake.”

Check back next week as we complete our interview with Liz and talk about mobile first trends, the best times to be posting your social media, and how to gauge the success of your campaigns.

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Learn more about Liz and In Haus Consulting

In Haus is a digital media marketing & social media consultancy build to help clients master the real-time marketing landscape. Liz Stahl is a seasoned digital executive with 10+ years leading digital marketing teams for multi-national brands like Apple, Disney, Acura and Live Nation. Liz attributes her success to spending ample time both in-house with brands as well as on the agency side, providing a uniquely well-rounded perspective on the real-time marketing landscape. LEARN MORE about Liz and In Haus,