Snapchat for Higher Education Marketing


Snapchat has excelled among younger demographics over the years. This young audience reach alone (particularly 16–18 year olds) makes Snapchat a hot topic for Higher Education Marketing.   We have compiled some key facts about Snapchat in order to demonstrate its true capabilities for universities…


Why use Snapchat for Education Marketing? Some key facts…


  • Snapchat is perfect for real-time social media marketing – directing access to live events/stories.
  • 60% of users are aged between 18 and 34 (Snapchat, 2017).
  • Particularly Millennials (who are less affected by traditional platforms) are a dedicated audience of Snapchat.
  • +10bil. Snapchat videos are watched per day (Snapchat, 2016).
  • Snapchat is a relatively new channel and level of completion is low.


How to use Snapchat for Education Marketing? For optimal results on Snapchat, we recommend running organic and paid promotions simultaneously…


Organic Snapchat Growth Strategies

The cheapest yet most effective growth strategies are based on taking full advantage of owned communication channels. Organic promotion ideas on Snapchat include the following:

1 – Find Snapchat users via your audience database

  • Use your CRM or customer database, segment your data by phone numbers; import that data into your address book.

2 – Use Email Marketing

  • Send a targeted email blast to your 17- to 35-year-old audience, asking them to add you on Snapchat.

3 – Add Snapchat to the University Website/Campus

  • Add your snap code somewhere on your site where visitors can easily scan it or include the Snapchat logo.
  • Add your snap code to posters, the student union bar, atrium, computer labs, computer screensavers, toilet ad spaces and so on….

4 – Cross-promote on Other Social Media Channels

  • Make your snap code visible on your digital channels and promotions. Ask audiences to add your university on Snapchat

5 – Team up with Influencers

  • Pinpoint influential people for your niche or industry. Invite them to be featured on your account, ask them to spread the word.

7 – Get Student Brand Ambassadors 

  • Identify your micro-influencers – try to get them to feature your brand.

8 – Ask to be Suggested

  • Make use of Snapchat’s ‘Suggest’ button. Regularly ask your followers to suggest your account to others. Find users on friend suggestion apps (i.e. Ghost codes, REDDIT, etc.).


Paid Snapchat Growth Strategies


Once the university’s organic promotion is established on Snapchat we would recommend focusing on the following paid strategies:

1 – Targeted Facebook/Instagram Ads:

  • Target relevant users on Facebook/Instagram and encourage them to add you on Snapchat.
  • Mobile ads only, optimised for engagement on ad.
  • Use Call to Actions in post copy to get users to screenshot the post and add you within Snapchat.

2- Snap Ads:

  • Snap Ads are an exciting, untapped advertising channel for marketers. These ads offer powerful audience targeting.
  • We recommend using Snap Ads for generating brand awareness and pushing tactical messages for select events (i.e. Open Days).

3- On-Demand Geo Filter:

  • Geo-filters allow you to be where your product is consumed. Create your own filter and drive awareness and engagement.
  • We recommend using geo-filters for on-day event promotions, whether  this be the university’s own event or not.

4-  Further Cross Channel Promotion:

  • Trial other media channels’ targeting capabilities and test audience engagement. Options include Twitter, display ads, email campaigns, native articles and more… 


How do Universities use Snapchat? 


Since 2016, common themes have been seen in the way universities use Snapchat. These themes include…

  • Cross-channel promotion (Facebook) and the placement of Snap codes or promotional materials
  • Student takeovers
  • Using snaps to show campus life (produced by students or the universities)
  • Inviting students to participate with brand items (i.e. Open Day visit snaps, acceptance snaps)
  • Q&A sessions
  • Behind-the-scenes videos for university events
  • Scavenger hunts and contests use snap codes
  • Employee, customer, or influencer takeovers
  • How-to videos
  • Preview of a new product or project
  • Follower-created snaps included in stories 

Snapchat is a comparative new channel and the level of competition is relatively low – particularly among universities.

A standout creative strategy has the potential to gain greater exposure than other social media channels.

Contact our team for help with your next campaign.