Graduate program managers want to grow their program’s social media followers. Why else would they have social media accounts and buttons on their websites? But that’s all many program managers do to increase their number of followers. Growing a following, though, requires more than a passive effort.
Yet, sometimes the simple things can work best. Here are two things you can do to grow a social media following: First, give a reason someone should follow your program and second, just ask them to follow your program on social media.
Above all else, you need to give people a reason to follow your program. Putting a social media button or icon on a web or blog page is not enough. The reason to follow may be obvious to the program manager and staff, but it may not be so obvious to others. Here are examples why target audiences in your pipeline may want to follow your program on Twitter:
- New leads: You share program information session information.
- New applicants: You give general updates on the overall status of application processing.
- New admits: You announce various deadlines for completing pre-enrollment activities.
- New enrollees. You share program information updates.
- Alumni: You share program news.
While you will have your reasons, you can see that each reason listed above is specific to that group.
You know what you want a visitor to your website to do, but do they know what you want them to do? If you want them to follow you on social media, then sometimes it may be enough to “just ask.”
Let me give you an example that illustrates my point. The MBA News Digest has had a Twitter account since 2013. I have Twitter buttons everywhere, on the website, email updates, etc. This past Sunday, while writing this article, I thought I would follow my own advice, and give subscribers a reason to follow the MBA News Digest and then ask them to follow. During the next four days, I had a 6 percent increase in followers.
There is a time and place for everything, and there’s a time to ask people to follow or connect with you via social media. For leads, new applicants and new admits, ask them to follow soon after customer relationship management (CRM) classifies them in a new category. For the newly enrolled students, try the first time you have them face-to-face for full-time, and for EMBA students and all others send an email as soon as they enroll in their first class. New leads, applicants, admits, and enrollees are excited about the program and will respond to the invite. More importantly, once they start following they will likely follow for life, especially if they graduate from your program.
Published with permission of Rodney Alsup, MBA News Digest. Visit here for a free subscription to MBA News Digest.