4 Tips for Social Media Marketing Targeting College Students

Today we’re excited to have the opportunity to share a blog post written by one of Zen Media’s content marketing interns, Kaitlin Bain. Kaitlin is a journalism student at Texas Tech University. In this article, she gives businesses unique insight into how they can better reach college students through social media marketing.  

When high school students graduate and move away to college, they are suddenly faced with making new decisions – and buying new things. Where they once never would have considered which brand of laundry detergent was the cheapest but still managed to get their clothes clean, this is now a thought at the forefront of their minds. Marketing to these new consumers is a different beast altogether. Where paper advertisements and commercials worked best for their parents, they now pay to watch shows without commercials and never pick up a paper. A growing new way to attract college students’ eyes is through social media advertising.

Exchange coupons for “likes”

Most college students will like a company’s Facebook page and then unlike it after they get whatever giveaway is being offered. Instead of giving them a coupon just once for clicking like, keep the coupons coming. College students notoriously have less money than the rest of the world and are trying to spend as little as possible. If you offer a coupon each month, not only will they not unlike your business’ Facebook page – they’ll continue to buy, and bring their friends, too!

Have a hashtag      

Decide on a unique and appealing hashtag for your business. Make sure to display it in your storefront as well as on your website and in your own tweets. This way, students will be encouraged to use the hashtag as well and will spread the word to their friends, basically creating a social media database for other interested students to see what your business is all about.

Follow students first

This doesn’t mean following them home from school; follow them on each of your various social media platforms. Many students won’t follow your business first if you don’t offer them something. However, if you follow them first, a lot of the time they’ll think, “Sure, I’ll follow them back; why not?” Now your specials are showing up on their timeline, enticing them to visit your shop.

Respond to posts

Once every couple of days, look at relevant local tweets, Instagram posts, or social media trends. If you can reply to a tweet, do it! Say you own a restaurant and a student tweets about being hungry but not wanting to make their own food. Tweet them back, “We’ll make your food and have it to you fast!” Then don’t forget to add the hashtag. Even if they don’t run out to your establishment right away, you’ll be on their mind the next time they’re hungry and not in the mood to cook. 

Social media doesn’t have to be a daunting new world. Students are using it every day, so why not you? By making your business accessible, personable, and right up their ally, you will be sure to bring in more business from college students.  


She is the founder & CEO of Zen Media. She has been named the “Zen Master of Marketing” by Entrepreneur Magazine and the “Millennial Master of the Universe” by FastCompany.com. Forbes, Businessweek, and Inc have all recognized her as one of the Top 30 under 30 entrepreneurs in the field of marketing. Shama has built a global audience and is known for helping brands succeed in the digital age. She is a bestselling author, an international keynote speaker, and has been named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Voices in Marketing for four years in a row.



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