During the past few weeks, UK cities have experienced an influx of sprightly young things, hopping from pub, to nightclub, to lecture room, which can only mean one thing…Freshers’ Week.
You may have also noticed the flood of marketing and public relations activity from brands, keen to get their names out there to this new and ever so receptive market. So here at JAM we have been investigating this very subject.
These days, university is big business and institutions face increasing competition to stand out, especially with greater interest in US study and the top universities continually increasing in size . One of the ways they are creating appeal is by using social media. Not only does it give the university the chance to let students know what’s happening around campus, it allows them to establish a voice and personality, letting students know exactly what that university stands for and the benefits of studying there.
Oxford University, for example, was ranked as number one in the Unipod social media rankings of 2013, with a vast 4,109,669 Facebook fans. The Facebook site posts videos of academics talking about their research, photos of famous sites around the university, and clips of the teen prodigies that are soon to join the ranks. This is exactly the kind of content you would expect and adds to the desirability of attending such a world-renowned institution.
It’s not just universities that have realised the value of PR and social media to communicate with the student market, but consumer brands too. And who can blame them? Students are self-proclaimed social media addicts.
A brilliant example of how a brand focused its social media activity towards students is Coca-Cola . This year the drinks brand began a campaign to ‘help students break the ice’. The famous Coca-Cola vending fridge was placed on campuses around the UK, but alas, was filled with unopenable bottles of Coke. The only way to open your bottle was to twist your cap against someone else’s, and lo and behold you’ve made a friend. It was also accompanied by a catchy hashtag of course… #friendlytwist.
PR targeting the student market is one of our areas of expertise. For our client, The Printworks, holding a Freshers’ Fair, complete with stalls full of freebies and a live DJ, was the perfect opportunity to capture the hearts, and data, of the new students arriving in the city.
Read all about it here
We have also been offering advice to new students as part of the #GetFreshCLV social media campaign for our client, Campus Living Villages, sharing ideas on what to pack, where to go, how to settle in, as well as running competitions and giveaways on Twitter and Facebook.
As Freshers’ Week now draws to a close, hopefully this blog has made you want to a) re-live it all again and b) start engaging with this exciting market. If not, then follow all the fun on Twitter and Facebook!
A big warm welcome to all the new students in Manchester!