By: Sarah Clark

Whether it’s for research or advertising, the student population in Chapel Hill is a valuable resource for businesses to grow and market to. Unfortunately, it can be hard to reach them. There are a few ways you can broaden your reach with UNC students. Let’s break it down.

Know what social media platforms to use and how to use them

One of the best ways to reach students is through social media, but you have to be smart about it. We use different social media accounts for different reasons, and we expect different types of content from each platform.

Instagram is image and video-based. With more than 700 million users, 65 percent of which are between the ages of 18 and 34, your content will be joining millions of other videos and photos. It needs to stand out. You will also need to write good captions to attach to your post that is short and simple. Also consider using Instagram stories for short, temporary updates that can help increase engagement with your account. 

Snapchat is another platform that can be extremely useful in targeting college-aged students, as a majority of its users are ages 20 to 29. Snapchat is exclusively multimedia content in a fast-paced environment. Snapchat users blast through Snapchat posts until something catches their attention, so reaching students through this platform may be tricky.

Facebook is a space that allows for more text, so informative posts work better on this platform. Quick disclaimer, though: Facebook is not as popular with college-aged students as it once was, as only 13.4 percent of users are ages 18 to24. 

Finally, Twitter is very popular and mainly text-based, but it’s easy for content to get lost in the crowd. It is also not a platform for distributing a lot of information, but rather, quick updates or snippets. With over one-third of users between the ages of 18 and 24, Twitter is a useful tool for reaching college students. If you have content that is quick and to-the-point, this may be the platform for you. 

Know where to find us

Knowing the places we frequent or the restaurants we like can be helpful when developing marketing strategies to reach students for many kinds of purposes. 

You can partner with these businesses, hold benefit nights or distribute marketing materials at popular locations.

Knowing students’ favorite places will also help you define your audience’s interests. You can leverage your relationships with other businesses to establish personal connections with UNC students. 

Organizations like the Daily Tar Heel or 1893 Brand Studio are also great resources for reaching and engaging with college students. With experience in conducting focus groups, interviews and more, 1893 Brand Studio is a great place to help you get started.

Provide incentives

It’s true – college students love free stuff. No matter what it is, we’ll take it. 

Stickers, pencils, water bottles and especially food. If you have it, we want it. 

Students are more likely to engage with your business or social media platform if incentives are involved. Investing in merchandise will benefit you greatly and is a sure-fire way to any student’s heart.  

When in doubt, we can help!

If you’re not sure where to start or are having a hard time reaching enough students, the 1893 Brand Studio can help you. We can take over your social media accounts, create content you can use to market and more.

Remember: The 1893 Brand Studio is powered by students, to provide storytelling and marketing strategies in Chapel Hill. No one knows the market better than us. Give us a call today.