Universities to watch on social media


With a growing number of social media platforms to connect on, (TikTok, IG, LI, FB, X, Twitch… wait what about YouTube?) it’s no wonder most universities now have their own teams dedicated to translating their proposition across every different channel. Hey, it’s still a tough job to express and portray your university brand in an authentic way on TikTok whilst still keeping that consistent identity when you’re connecting with Class of ‘88 alumni on LinkedIn.

You’ve got to stay on brand, but also platform native, without forgetting why your audience is there in the first place but also how you’re going to contribute meaningfully to that space.

Nobody said it was easy, but some institutions out there are putting in the work, and it’s coming through in how they’ve maximized their social reach, whilst still keeping an identity that is intrinsically theirs. Here are some of the universities knocking it out of the park:




You’ve worked so hard to establish your brand look and identity, so why not make the most of it? Maintain a cohesive visual theme for your Instagram feed by using consistent brand colors – a visually appealing aesthetic will contribute to a professional and memorable brand image. But make sure to mix it up by using a mix of formats!

Colorado State University

The university has used its story highlight covers to create continuity in its branding, to ensure a consistent and unified look. While TikTok values authenticity, Instagram tends to be a little more squeaky-clean, styled and edited.

Whilst your team is busy planning post content, it’s easy to overlook Instagram Stories. But these can provide daily snapshots of campus life, events and student takeovers. By creating story highlights for different aspects such as academics, extracurriculars, and student testimonials – your audience will be able to easily access content that’s relevant to them.

University of Miami

Authentically promoting your university by collaborating with student influencers and alumni is a fantastic device to provide a personal touch. Adding in easily visible, branded hashtags, you’ll encourage the creation of user-generated content which will not only expand your reach but also allow students to see authentic perspectives.

University of Miami recently collaborated with TikTok star and alumni Alix Earle, and used Instagram to promote the relationship between the university, its graduate and her new scholarship aiming to support prospective students. Win, win, win.




Embrace trends, think outside the box, embrace (brand-sanctioned) chaos. Those wacky social media ideas that get put on the back burner? This is the platform for them, so let loose and get experimental – as chances are they will be met with open arms, views and high engagement.

Boston University does this well – by jumping on trends and relating them to campus life, it makes a relatable joke for students to appreciate and engage with. It’s the type of content that can’t really be planned weeks in advance, but is off-the-cuff and doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Indiana University

If there’s one thing that we know about Gen-Z, it’s that they value authenticity. Heck, we’ve said it about 20 times this week alone! By sharing behind-the-scenes, raw and unedited glimpses of campus life, student stories, and faculty highlights, you can build a genuine connection with your audience.

Indiana University showcases real student stories via its TikTok, focusing on individual college experiences – it offers unique perspectives on the kind of opportunities available at the university.

Louisiana State University

One of the positive parts of social media is the sense of community it can create for people. Get involved with your institution’s student community by responding to comments, engaging with user-generated content and participating in conversations.

Take a leaf from Louisiana State University’s TikTok - its social media team regularly replies to comments form current students and engages with prospective students to stimulate a conversation, conversion and to drive home the feeling of community.




Is it or isn’t it a social platform? Over the years, YouTube has evolved to keep up with what other newer social media platforms have to offer. By introducing Shorts and Live Streams, it’s now a one-stop-shop for all things video. And its massive audience has followers, hitting 2 billion users monthly on Shorts in July 2023, more than Instagram or TikTok. That same month, YouTube streamer Casimiro hit the platform’s highest-ever stream audience with 6 million viewers. Oop.

Columbia University

By leveraging live streaming for example, your team could conduct Q&A sessions, virtual campus tours, or interviews with professors and students. By announcing live events in advance, it gives an opportunity for anticipation to build and to attract larger audiences. Make sure to also engage with viewers during the live session to make it an interactive experience.

Columbia University is a good example of a slightly different use case, with them using their live stream to showcase university ceremonies like graduation.

New York University

Develop video series’ that showcase different aspects of university life and ensure consistency in your content to help build a loyal subscriber base. Share success stories and unique campus experiences.

NYU, for example, has a consistent video series called ‘Neighbourhood Gems’, which looks at local secrets nearby campus. Covering everything from food markets to cobblers - it showcases the mass of uniqueness that New York has to offer (in case anyone had any doubts!).


And remember – always optimise your videos for SEO by crafting video titles, descriptions, and tags thoughtfully and in line with your SEO research to improve search engine visibility. Encourage viewers to like, comment, and subscribe, as engagement metrics contribute to YouTube’s algorithm and can enhance the visibility of your videos.