As the competition for attracting new students intensifies, many universities have now considered Instagram to engage with prospective students. This is a smart move, as 61% of 12-to-17-year-olds use Instagram weekly.
So, if your higher education organization already has an Instagram account, you’re on the right track. Your task now is to level up your Instagram content game to maximize the impact of your posts and reach more potential students.
From academic programs to city living, student-generated content, and alumni success stories—there are various ways to promote your university creatively. Discover all the neat tricks in this blog, plus the tool you need to embed your Instagram feed on your website with just a few clicks.
6 Best University Content Types That Boost Engagement
1. Academic Programs and Activities
Giving glimpses of the major selections, the topics students will study, and the impact they’ll have on their future is a great way to promote the excellent quality of your university. Interview a faculty member or a student to introduce a class and highlight the extraordinary class activities that aren’t only educational but also fun.
Get inspired: students from the Greek and Roman Warfare class of the University of Virginia are having a blast advancing on the university lawn, demonstrating the Macedonian phalanx formation while bearing shields and spears.
2. Campus Culture
Does your university have iconic buildings? Or a favorite hangout spot? Take a snapshot of the campus area, featuring the grand infrastructure and day-to-day students’ life. This will accurately represent what it is like to study at your university.
Get inspired: Brown University is proud to give a short video tour of its five most beautiful spaces on the campus, including the famous Sayles Hall and the modern health and wellness center.
3. City Tour
University life isn’t just about studying. It also includes discovering new restaurants, books shops, parks, and other new places in the town. Share more insights on how the city runs, the people you’ll meet, and its unique culture. This is particularly interesting for prospective students who live in another city or abroad, as they can feel the city vibes even from an Instagram post.
Get inspired: University of Sydney posts a short video about how the students celebrate Diwali at Harris Park. They go from an Indian food stall to a crafts market to grocery shopping—showing viewers a peek at the city and its amenities.
4. Event Promotions
Every meaningful moment is worth celebrating. Share the events happening in your university to represent the diverse activities that enrolled and future students can participate in. This could be sporting events, exhibitions of students’ works, workshops, and milestone celebrations.
Get inspired: University of Auckland celebrates the winning of its men’s football team in the FISU Continental Qualifier by posting several candid games and team photos.
Who doesn’t love a freebie? To gain more traction and engagement from students, organize a competition. This could be a photo competition, video competition, or other creative ideas that relate to your university values.
Combine this with seasonal events, such as the first day of the new semester, graduation day, sports games, or one-time events (workshops, open houses, etc.). Don’t forget to ask the participants to share it on their Instagram account, add a specific hashtag, and tag the university’s Instagram account.
Get inspired: University of Melbourne asks the students to share their pictures, stories, or reels telling their participation in the Diwali Festival to win a gift card.
6. Alumni Success Stories
People love to hear success stories! Put your alumni in the spotlight and ask them to share their life after graduating. For instance, how your organization has helped them shape their future, their favorite campus spots, and most funny or memorable moments. Genuine, personal recommendations are often the best promotional tactic.
Get inspired: University of New South Wales created a short Q&A alumni video, asking about things they miss the most from their time at uni. The answers vary from building friendships to eating at a favorite place to going to sporting events.
3 Best Practices for Using Instagram for Higher Education
The six content types above should keep your Instagram feed rich with different messaging. However, you still need proper strategies to unlock the full potential of Instagram in attracting students and parents. Here are three tips and tricks to keep the content creation process sustainable and effective.
Leverage User-Generated Content
The content you put on Instagram doesn’t always have to come from the university staff. If you hold Instagram competitions, you’ll have student-generated content ready whenever you need extra posts.
Additionally, take advantage of the beautiful posts the students, alumni, and visitors share about your university. They usually tag your university IG account when sharing or using specific hashtags (e.g., #UNSW and #UCL). So, be sure to check them regularly.
Vary the Content Formats
Square photos or carousel posts can still capture the viewers’ attention, but if you want to reach more Gen Z users, create dynamic content, such as Instagram stories or reels.
According to a survey, Gen Z makes up 70% of Instagram stories viewers. This is definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Combine IG stories with add-on features like polls, Q&As, and ask me questions to promote more interactions from viewers. Don’t forget to create reels or stories with sound, as nearly 70% of viewers enjoy watching reels with the sound on.
Add Instagram Feed to Website
Don’t let all the amazing posts you put on Instagram only be consumable from the native platform. Show them on your website by creating a social media wall!
To embed Instagram feed on website easily without a complicated technical setup, use a tool like Juicer. The tool helps you choose which posts or hashtags you want to show on your university website, and Juicer will automatically collect and display any new posts (created by you or user-generated content) that match your settings. This will richen up your IG feed as you can display fresh content with zero effort, especially when you source user-generated content.
Need tighter control? No problem. You can review each post manually before it hits the social media wall on your website. Accept posts that are relevant to your university values or reject those that don’t. The control is in your hands.
Instagram is more than just a compilation of beautiful photos. Your university Instagram feed represents the lives of your current and future students. Use this tool to give your target audience meaningful information that is authentic, refreshing, and engaging so that they can make smart decisions about their education.
And don’t just stop there. Let Juicer—a social media aggregator tool trusted by Stanford, Princeton, and Georgetown University—help you aggregate what your university’s Instagram feed has on your website. Get started from $0 – no contract, no risk, just a beautiful social media wall!