How universities are using Instagram Stories during COVID-19
With social distancing, lockdown restrictions and the upheaval of university lectures, millions of students and prospective students around the world are in a position of uncertainty.
As universities adapt to the evolving circumstances brought upon us by the coronavirus pandemic, the transfer of physical to virtual classrooms is not the only area in which they need to focus on.
With 74% of 18-24 year olds* as active users on Instagram and Snapchat, a university’s online presence is now more important than ever to engage with their audience, feed them vital information and provide light-hearted entertainment.
From learning-from-home setups, to virtual coffee breaks, daily workouts, student and faculty takeovers, universities all around the world are creating a new wave of content by sharing student experiences and encouraging more online interaction through the use of Instagram Stories.
@unsw - student well-being
Since COVID-19 started to make an impact, the University of New South Wales has taken fantastic steps across Instagram Stories to continue to interact with current and prospective students on a daily basis.
Student well-being is of high priority for every university at the moment, so to gauge how their students are feeling in the current climate, UNSW has used Instagram Stickers. Reactions from this content have enabled the university to analyze and create relevant solutions for students, in a way they may not otherwise have been unable to do. In addition, UNSW has shared student and staff takeovers with tips & tricks from a variety of faculties, including medical insight about what research is taking place to tackle coronavirus, as well as sharing content that their followers send in, giving them a sense of inclusivity and community.
@ucsandiego - virtual orientation
Similarly, UC San Diego is utilizing the university’s wellness ambassadors to share advice about how to deal with the unsettling circumstances across the Instagram Stories function. Raising awareness of the university’s psychological services has been an important factor for UCSD to ensure the students understand who they can reach out to and how.
Engaging new and prospective students, UCSD has delivered virtual orientation days for newly admitted students. This has been a fantastic way to capture the student’s attention and inform them about university life, not only enabling them to familiarize themselves with the campus, but also hear from current students and staff, as well as ask any questions.
In addition, UCSD has been sharing positive news stories about current students and staff members to showcase the work the community is doing to help others during this uncertain time.
Overall, UCSD has seen an increase of 105% for Swipe Ups and a huge increase of 323% in received messages - showing the importance of community engagement and support.
@universityoflimerick - student perspective
Another university that is engaging prospective students is the University of Limerick. An example of this includes a student takeover by one of the university’s international student ambassadors who used Stickers to interact with followers and enabled them to ask questions directly. The ambassador also showed ‘a day in the life’ to demonstrate how university life has changed, what it’s like to learn in a virtual classroom, along with how to stay organised while learning from home. In addition, a staff member also hosted a takeover with a Q&A for students. This not only helped the students asking the questions, but through the use of Mish Guru this information can be stored and seen within the platform at any time, which gives the university insight into what students want to know and / or see from the social media content as well as the university as a whole. This function has enabled the university to see 41.23% increase in received messages on Instagram, which shows how engaged the audience is.
UL has also been sharing relevant news stories to inform its students about important information, with examples such as ‘all you need to know about wearing face masks in public’, as well as how the university's researchers have examined the effects lockdown is having on the mental health of children and teens. Sharing this style of information has seen a 683.46% increase in Swipe Ups, which is a clear example of increased engagement and shows the students use the university’s Instagram Stories as a trusted news source.
@monash_uni - ugc from home
Using an interactive call to action (CTA) like Monash University, whereby students have been asked to share their #monashfromhome experiences can also engage followers effectively. Giving followers the opportunity to become content creators by submitting their content directly through tags or DMs, can create a more inclusive environment and increase engagement. Throughout this user-generated content (UGC) campaign, Monash University has seen an increase of 58% in received content over a 30 day period. Using Mish Guru has enabled the university's social media team to capture the content and store it in order to re-share at a later date, enabling a more efficient work stream.
These universities have adapted to the new circumstances very successfully by reacting and executing new styles of content rapidly. Working to achieve internal strategies combined with the capabilities of Mish Guru, the social media teams within the Higher Education space have been able to successfully engage current and new audiences by sharing relevant content.
Mish Guru allows these universities and all of our clients to create eye-catching content efficiently, schedule the publishing of posts, capture, store and re-share UGC at a later date, as well as analyse the data received from reach, impressions, completion rate and direct engagement including received content and Sticker responses.
The Mish Guru software enables peace of mind on reporting with live data analysis to enable teams to focus on their content and their audience, to grow their reach and to improve their engagement rates.
If you’d like to find out more about how Mish Guru can power your next story, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.