Introduction: Social Media Marketing for Small Academic Groups

About: Any idea who can help our intern learn about marketing on social media? When I got this question twice in one week, once from an academic journal and next from a college dorm, I realized I'd found an assignme…

At our university, there are small groups on campus--academic journals, college residences, on-campus restaurants, student-life groups, and more--who are also interested in using social media to help connect with their people and communities. This set of Instructables is written for you! That said, this overview of social media for community-building and marketing will benefit any small company or group who wants to connect with their audience using social media. We want to hand you a virtual toolbox of social media strategies, along with some helpful tips and steps for each one. If you prefer videos, most linked Instructables include at least one video.

Step 1: Build Community and Share Information With Social Media

First, decide who you want to include and attract to your social media campaign. If you're an academic journal, consider starting with your current subscribers. If you're a college, consider building a social media campaign with your existing students and alumni. Of course, soon you'll want to work on expanding your reach, but it's helpful to start building your social media campaign with a known audience so when it comes time to think about expanding your reach you have a foundation to work with.






As you think about how to start your social media marketing approach, here are two great sources.

And, to end of this step, now that you have an idea of what you want to do, you will quickly find yourself needing top-quality images and videos. Here are a couple of Instructables to help:

Generating Graphic and Infographics for Social Media:

Generating Videos for Social Media:

Step 2: Buy Adspace and Promotional Placement in Social Media

You've seen the ads, and now it's time to wonder if you want to place them yourselves! Yes, this costs money, although most social media apps require you to pay per click or per view, meaning that you only pay when people see or read about your product. For example, instead of printing and distributing paper pamphlets advertising available dorm rooms, you could make sure that a link to your residency website pops up in Google everytime someone searches a term like "housing for U of M students."

Facebook Ads:

Google Adwords and Search Console:

Instagram Ads:

Twitter Ad Campaigns:

Step 3: Analyze and Improve

Once you've invested time and possibly money in social media, you'll want to know things like: which of my posts are popular, what information gets spread to others, what are the demographics of my audience? You can also use analytic tools to market to an audience with particular traits. Learn more about using analytic tools within your chosen social media applications, and also learn about additional analytic tools you might want to start using.

Facebook Analytics:

Google Analytics:

Instagram Analytics:

Twitter Analytics:

Step 4: Learn About In-App Marketing, Content Marketing and Curation, Integrating Accounts, and Content Management Software

As you continue with social media, here are some resources you might find helpful:

In-App Marketing:

Content Marketing and Curation Tools:

Integrating Social Media Accounts:

Content Management Software: