In the digital age it is important for organisations to connect to their audience through social media. For universities, the need to impress on social media is crucial, not only to entertain their current students, but to convince applying youngsters that their offer is the one to accept.
The University of Salford are looking to Instagram to connect with their audience by posting images of their own, including collages of images from events, like this:
As well as posting their own images the Instagram page look to user generated content to fill out their feed, like this:
Social Media Officer at the University of Salford Joe Harker told me more about how the university are using Instagram to entertain their current students, and to show those applying what they could be seeing if they join:
“I think it’s quite important that we maintain a popular presence across all social media channels.
“Prospective students looking at Salford will often look at our social accounts to get a feeling for what it’s like here, so we have to make sure our accounts and the content posted on them is good.”
He also added, “On Instagram we can share beautiful pictures of our campus and facilities, those wanting to apply to Salford can look through them and get an idea of where they’ll be studying and some of the facilities they’ll get to use.”
“In particular Instagram allows us to show off the more picturesque locations on our campus, and promote the photography done by our students.
“Our students take some brilliant pictures, we ask if we could share them on university account (with credit of course) and they’re often among the most popular posts. More of our students see that and take pictures around the campus, then we share those.
“If students take up photography as a hobby, developing their skills on the campus and facilities around them is a good thing. If they’re encouraged by the possibility that we might share and promote one of their photos, then that’s fine.”
Recently, Instagram have introduced features like Instagram Stories and Instagram Live. The university is looking at using these features to stay with the times, and provide an even better social media experience for their followers.
“Using Instagram Stories to do live updates of an event is an important part of our social media strategy. If the event is visually engaging then we prefer to use Instagram Stories, it lets us show what’s going on and where it’s happening. Often an image works better at telling the story than a series of tweets.”
“We haven’t done much live video work, and we haven’t used Instagram Live, but it’s something we discuss when planning how to cover an event. Perhaps in the future we’ll use it more often.”
You can follow the University of Salford on Instagram here. Post images using the hashtag #SalfordUni and tag @SalfordUni to be in with a chance of your campus photography being shared on their page.
By David Clarke; @DavidUoS