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How and Why Schools Should be Using Snapchat Stories

How and Why Schools Should be Using Snapchat Stories

Snapchat, released in 2011, is an image message and multimedia mobile application that allows its users to send and receive disappearing image messages lasting between 1 and 10 seconds. After 10 seconds, the image disappears, never to be seen again.

Over the years, the platform has grown to incorporate features like filters, text messaging, geotags, video chatting and voice calls. Most popular of its features is the Snapchat Story, which was released in late 2013 as a gift (we think of it as a gift, anyway) to those in the education field. Here’s why: Snapchat may not be where the majority of social media users are, but it is where the majority of your target market is, and stories are the perfect way to grab their attention.

higher ed school social media reach students

What are Stories:

Snapchat Stories are collections of photos and videos that play in the order they are taken and, once the video or image is posted, are only available for 24 hours. Every Snapchat user has their own personal Story they can post to, called “My Story,” which only they and their Snapchat friends can view.

Posting pictures and videos of upcoming event opportunities, campus updates and news, sporting event live feeds, and a long list of other things, is a great way for schools to connect with their students outside of the classroom.

Who uses Stories:

As you can image, Snapchat became very popular and other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram became jealous. So, they too launched their own Story features. The popularity of Stories changes depending on the platform, but Snapchat holds the Story crown with about 400 million stories being posted daily. And here’s where that “the majority of your target market” part comes in:

98% of schools use Facebook, 87% use Twitter, 75% use Instagram and only 8% use Snapchat
80% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 12 and 24.

high education school reach student social media

Platforms Using the Story feature:
Facebook Messenger App
WhatsApp (Status)

How Your School Could be Using Snapchat Stories:

Snapchat stories present a valuable opportunity for schools to connect with their students in an exciting and instantaneous way. And, since only 8% of other schools use the platform, this presents a great opportunity for you to connect with your target market without having to compete with thousands of other academic accounrts. So, the question is, what do you post?

Be Spontaneous! Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat doesn’t use an algorithm (a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer) to control or filter your content, so you don’t have to worry about your posts not doing well because you don’t meet the criteria. As long as you post interesting and exciting, time sensitive content, you will gain the attention of your students and they will tune in and connect with your posts.

More Content Ideas:

Campus life- orientation, student of the month, checking in on free period, snow day updates.
Throwback Thursday where you share a fun fact about your school.
Day-in-the-life of a student or teacher, or even the mascot.
Daily lunch updates.
Creating a school themed geotag filter for events like prom or homecoming.

Social Media stories are a great way for schools to keep their followers updated on what they’re doing, what’s happening on campus and what opportunities their students have for getting involved. And like we mentioned before, the best platform for reaching students is Snapchat, because 80% of its 400 million daily stories come from those between the ages of 12 and 24 - your students.

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