Admissions, Education, Digital marketing

Social Media for Higher Education: Key Stats & Best in Class

Social media is becoming increasingly important when it comes to stakeholder engagement. According to research by Hootsuite, 98 per cent of higher education institutions use social media to share content. Social has the power to increase enrolments significantly, so much so that 41 per cent of university officials say they can attribute a rise in admissions to their university’s activity on social media. This shows how impactful social media platforms are as ‘brand awareness’ tools.

social media for higher education

Source: Sara Kurfeß.

The last few months have been hugely challenging for the higher education sector, and HEIs have been doing all they can to digitise learning to cater to students’ needs. Universities around the globe are also doing a great job in leveraging social media - as well as other digital platforms - to keep students and other stakeholders informed and engaged. The best in class are communicating consistently while coming up with inventive ways of keeping their institution and messaging at the front of followers’ minds. 

A recent study by Singular found that 73 per cent of marketing leaders are focusing on increasing their marketing efforts during Covid-19. 28 per cent are increasing their allocation of budget to online advertising, 15 per cent on organic growth and 12 per cent on marketing on social media. Social media is where most of us hang out most at the moment, after all.

More marketing during Covid-19

Source: Singular

One of the fastest growing social media platforms is TikTok; many institutions have started leveraging it over the last year or so to reach a Gen-Z audience.

Founded in 2016 by Chinese company ByteDance, the platform allows users to upload short videos, making it perfect for content that showcases campuses and the people associated with them, such as lecturers, students and alumni.

It has 800 million active users worldwide, so is a platform well worth exploring. With TikTok and Instagram (which has 1 billion active users) in mind, let’s take a look at the HEIs currently sharing inspirational content across social media.

Social media best practices examples 

1. University of Queensland

University of Queensland uses an image of one of its students (and tags their account) in an educational setting to promote its online open day.


2. University of Glasgow

In the absence of in-person events, University of Glasgow welcomes offer holders to campus virtually with a welcome from the staff.

3. University of Georgia

In this post, University of Georgia students explain why they are wearing a mask, sharing personal stories, experiences and insights.

4. University of Utrecht

A student at the University of Utrecht shares an experience of Covid-19 as part of an ongoing series that aims to raise awareness of the disease. 

5. University of Copenhagen

University of Copenhagen regularly shares different followers' images of its campus, including this hauntingly atmospheric one. 

6. University of Reading

Cute and educational is a winning formula for HEIs! This post showcases a llama which is helping researchers find out more about how Covid-19 operates. 


7. Brigham Young University

Brigham Young has made its mascot, Cosmo the Cougar, the face of their account. At the time of writing the account has 1.4 million followers.


Reply to @snoopy_rareness and to think y’all doubted me. #foryou #foryoupage #cosmocougar #trending

♬ original sound - Ballislife

8. University of Florida

University of Florida was one of the first HEIs to embrace TikTok and was the first verified university account. Cue lots of fun and welcoming content...

Success on social media requires a combination of creativity, strategy and technology. Our admissions technology integrates with social media, creating a more seamless experience for applicants and admissions staff alike.

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Kate Tattersfield

Kate Tattersfield is a former teacher turned content creator at FULL FABRIC, specialising in writing for the education sector.

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