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The Glacier Team5 min read

SMS Summit Higher Ed x Glacier

A Q&A with Glacier's President, John Reid

The Glacier team is honoured to be included as a featured speaker at the upcoming Social Media Strategies Summit for Higher Education virtual conference this October 24-27.

At the summit, John Reid, Glacier’s President, will share actionable tips on how Higher Ed institutions can create meaningful youth engagement based on extensive research.

Read a sneak peek blog below about the opportunities in Gen Z marketing!

Question 1: When and how Gen Z consumes content differs from past generations in unique ways. What would you say are some of their unique differentiators regarding content consumption?


What are some of the top websites you visit? Would Wikipedia, a news site like CNN or NYTimes, be in there? Or maybe a local forum on Reddit? What about your top social media sites? Are you reading about family, friends, and influential people on Facebook and Twitter?  Those habits illustrate how Millennials and GenX view the internet: as a place to gather information, often through reading. 

Gen Z sees the internet much differently. They see the internet as a space to be creative and express themselves. They love the authenticity and novelty that goes hand in hand with everyone having a voice online. You can see it in the rise of meme culture, digital art, and the platforms that celebrate it (Youtube, Imgur, etc.). Their preferred social media choices, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, are video-based platforms that reward original and creative content. Gen Z loves dynamic visual, authentic, and unique content, and they see the internet as a place to create.


Question 2: Based on your research, what have high school students indicated are the most important factors when researching potential higher education institutions? How should Higher Ed marketers keep this information in mind when planning their social media strategy?

iStock-541117484The world has changed significantly in the last two years, and high school students have changed with it. Our most recent whitepaper told us that quality of teaching and cost of attending are no longer the top considerations. Now, the top interests are location and student life; could that be the result of Covid-19?

That’s interesting, but what’s even more interesting is how Gen Z is researching that information has also changed. An institution’s website is still the most important tool for high school student research but is now just slightly ahead of the institution’s social media presence. 

So you might be presenting the right information, but is it on the right platforms? And if it is, does it look like it belongs there? (i.e. Are you creating information content to match the platform it’s appearing on?) 


Question 3: High school students commonly use highly visual platforms with the highest rates of daily usage noticed on Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Spotify. How can Higher Ed institutions ensure their content for these platforms performs its best with this demographic?


It might have happened without you noticing, but video ads have significantly shifted in the last two years. Highly polished, slick-looking videos are down in use and engagement, while low-production quality, highly authentic videos resonate with high school audiences much more. We say this all the time, your best creators are on your campus: students! So use them!


Question 5: What are some common misconceptions marketers might have when it comes to marketing to Gen Z?

  1. You need high-quality video content to compete on platforms such as TikTok and Snapchat.
    • Student-centric content performs best on these platforms, most of which are filmed on an iPhone. Don’t overthink it!
  2. 18-year-olds are the highest quality lead.
    • The truth is that you should try to connect with students at a younger age. Most students in their final year already have their college short list ready.
  3. Understanding that it’s not only Last Click Attribution that matters!
    • There is more to your digital advertising than “butts in seats.” Track all funnel areas to ensure your digital campaign is serving you best.


Question 4: How do you think Higher Ed institutions can best leverage a mix of in-person and virtual offerings to appeal to a Gen Z audience?


If you’re sick of hearing, “Is everyone seeing my screen share?” so are high school students. Their high school experience has been a little too remote, and the numbers show that attendance at virtual events dropped significantly over the last year. 

Our research shows students prefer in-person recruitment much more than virtual events. They’ll notice and appreciate institutions that put their recruiters on campus, so make sure you leverage your virtual offerings to get them to attend. 


What can attendees expect from your presentation at the upcoming Social Media Strategies Summit for Higher Ed?

We’re going to tell some bad jokes, share some great research, and leave you feeling like you’ve got new knowledge on how to reach Gen Z!


Join us at this fall’s Social Media Strategies Summit alongside 500 of your peers! Register with code GLACIER15 for 15% off your registration.


Register for Social Media Strategies Summt Today