What we heard at CASE D2: Digital & Social Strategies

Did you know?

  • More than three-quarters of the online conversation around higher ed comes from the audience, not the campus1
  • Social posts with video get viewed nearly 1.5 times more2 and are shared 12 times more than links and text posts combined3
  • On Twitter, a video viewed for three seconds is considered successful
  • The average Twitter user has 700 followers

It’s no secret that online engagement is a crucial element of any successful development communications strategy. Here are a few ways colleges and universities are leveraging these tools:

Utilize all of your institutional social media accounts—and influencers—to get your message out.

Rather than only sharing content on your giving accounts, partner with colleagues who run your main college/university accounts and those of specific schools and units, which likely have many more followers. Proactively share content that may be of interest to their audiences.

Externally, pay attention to your influencers—active social media users who are highly engaged with your school. Princeton found success promoting its athletics giving day through athletes and coaches who shared giving day content with their followers.

Reach people through channels they are already drawn to.

For the podcast enthusiasts among your alumni, consider producing a program that rounds up exciting news and research from across your campus, or in a particular area of interest. The primary goal is to provide stimulating news in an informative and lay-friendly format—but that doesn’t mean you can’t also emphasize your funding priorities, namedrop endowed positions and facilities, and illustrate the impact of philanthropy. New to podcast production? Thepodcasthost.com is a one-stop resource for getting started.

Virtual book clubs are a new tool colleges and universities nationwide are using to engage their alumni, many of whom do not engage in other ways. The format reinforces your role as a convener of thought-provoking dialogue, provides a community for knowledge-hungry lifelong learners, and—especially important for institutions with far-flung alumni—doesn’t depend on geography.

How are you using social media and digital tools to enhance engagement? We’d love to hear from you.


1 Campus Sonar
2 HubSpot
3 Simply Measured