Snapchat in Higher Education: An Essential Part of the Mix

Snapchat marketing strategies for higher education

Lend EDU cites Snapchat as the first port of call for 58% of college students when they get up in the morning. ‘Rise and Grind’ has officially become ‘Rise and Snap’.

The numbers:

  • 4.6 million daily active Australian users
  • 60% of users under 25
  • 40 minutes on average per day spent on the Snapchat machine.

In short, Snapchat is taking the higher education marketing world by storm with its authentic, engaging content and in-built creative tools that are now native to the millennial vernacular.

Geo filters, lenses, bitmojis and geo location stickers alike are unleashing a new generation of real-time content creators from across the globe onto the vertical storytelling machine.

Buffering: The Skinny on the Slow Uptake

As with all things worth doing, using Snapchat advertising is not always straightforward – particularly not for universities.

With its mobile-only interface and lack of analytics, the storytelling platform can be a tricky beast to master, and this has meant a slower uptake from many Universities.

The good news: you’re not alone. The other good news? Mish Guru can help.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the main obstacles we’ve found for universities dreaming sweet, Snapchatty dreams, but who are still unsure of how to get there:

Limited resources

Unleashing the management of another social media platform on an already busy social media team can seem daunting for a lot of universities.

Digital, it’s a blessing and a curse. But, with those 4.6 million daily active Snapchat users in Australia we mentioned earlier, it’s now climbed up the priority ranks from ‘nice to have’ to ‘initiate Project Snap, stat’.

The old media model is broken

The data shows that teenagers have fled Facebook and traditional media platforms like TV for Snapchat.

However, priority media spend for many universities is still centred around print and Facebook. It’s time to reallocate that media spend and play in their playground if universities want to reach their target audience.

Keys to the Castle

One of Snapchat’s major strengths lies in the power of User Generated Content (UGC).

But unlocking this power natively also opens up big risk to universities when they have to start doling out passwords like flat whites on a Monday morning.

The extra good news: Mish Guru offers up a central dashboard to manage and moderate content from multiple users, mitigating the risk and unlocking the power of the UGC.

Get in the Game: How to Start

We’ve got several good news stories for you. The first one: it’s easier than it looks.

The second one: Everything you could ever want and need is in here.

The third one: there’s a dancing hotdog bitmoji waiting to welcome you to the Snapchat advertising party.

To whet your Snappetite (see what we did there), highlights of the e-book include:

  • How to set up a Snapchat account
  • What kind of content to post
  • Measuring a Snapchat marketing campaign
  • Best university examples

Success Stories

The New Zealand market is really developed in this area – we’ve seen nearly the full stack of NZ’s largest universities migrate to Snapchat using Mish Guru with great success, including Otago University and AUT.

The North American market is a lot further ahead, and it’s exciting to see them trail blazing the way for universities using Snapchat marketing with some really innovative vertical storytelling examples.

Western Sydney University has been an early adopter in the space in Australia and we’re seeing some Snappy results coming through from them, too.

Key sweet spots of success

UGC: When it comes to Snapchat social media marketing, UGC is not only a powerful way to involve your audience, but also opens up a whole new world of unique content for minimal effort. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

Student Takeovers: There’s nobody better to tell your audience why life at your university wins than the students themselves. Genuine, authentic brand stories are the way forward on Snapchat for redefining the student experience.

Contextual linking: Snapchat allows you to attach links to Snaps, allowing your audience to simply swipe up to be redirected to an external web address. Enter traffic-driving, tangible results-delivering, beautiful storytelling. The ability to drive web traffic from your Snapchat stories is a game changer for transforming engagement into action.

Mish Guru provides the tools for universities to be able to tell better stories by unlocking the power of all of these Snapchat features. Through one central dashboard, content can be collected, moderated, uploaded and scheduled in for maximum storytelling impact.

It then provides the analytics from all that Snap goodness so you can provide some tangible results to the powers-that-be (and get major kudos for your Snapchat wizardry while you’re at it).

Snapchat, Mish Guru, and the Evolution of the Vertical Story.

Alice, Director of Education at Social Garden, spoke to Mike about what’s coming up for Snapchat marketing, the Mish Guru platform and beyond?

Our amazing dev team are constantly building features to help brands tell better stories. We’ve just introduced linking attachments where we’ve seen huge uptake from the higher education sector, helping them drive some real tangible business results.

Legendary examples we’ve seen so far include direct linking to pre enrol and a call to action to read more about the course being referenced in Snap Stories.

As we see Snapchat morph more and more into a new age broadcasting channel, we’ll increasingly see teenagers go here first to consume content, replacing TV/radio as a primary media channel by which brands will direct their ad spend.

This is a guest post by Head of Development (APAC) at Mish Guru, Mike Mullins.

Social Garden is partnered with Mish Guru to create and deliver innovative Snapchat solutions for universities and higher education providers, in a time when they need to market like a commodity to compete.

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