Keeping social posts authentic is the key to making it valuable for prospective students. Students turn to prospectuses and marketing material for glossy and polished information.
What makes student blogs on Unibuddy unique is their authenticity. They are written by students, for students. This has the added benefit of increasing engagement and can give prospective students a better sense of belonging.
Here are some tips on how to ensure the blogs come across as authentically as possible, while still keeping students on message:
(i) Use photos taken by students
It’s always tempting to illustrate blogs with the perfect marketing photo - but these photos don’t have the same authenticity as real photos taken by students. That will give prospective students a more accurate and genuine look at university life. It will also mean that they trust the content in the blog more.
(ii) Don’t overcraft
The Unibuddy administrator will always be able to approve blogs before they are published - but don’t overcraft students’ blogs. Let students speak in their natural voice and using their own words. If the blog doesn’t read like it was written by a real student, prospective students will lose trust in it. Over-editing can also knock the confidence of ambassadors, particularly those who don’t consider writing a strong point, which might put them off writing blogs in future.
(iii) Encourage personal stories
When it comes to authenticity - nothing beats a personal story. Ambassadors can sometimes feel like they can only relay the facts, so encourage them to tell their own stories and give their own opinions. Prospective students, and even parents, value stories they can relate to. Even a factual blog - like a campus tour - can have personal stories peppered throughout.
(iv) Let students guide the process
Above all let students lead the way with blogging. They will be happier and produce better content if they are writing about the things they care about. Title or topic suggestions are a good way to keep the blogs on-message at the right stages of the cycle, but assigning specific titles tends to reduce the authenticity of the content and the ambassadors’ willingness to write!