Social Media Marketing: Because What Else Do College Students Pay Attention To?


The Humphreys chapter we read this week was on social media marketing. It made me think social media marketing in my life and I had a realization; social media marketing is the main way anyone in college markets anything. It is so important to clubs and on campus events. First I’ll discuss overall social media marketing on campus then go into specifics for social media marketing I’ve done personally.

Old fashioned marketing does not really have a place in the current college campus environment. Sure, you can put an ad in the Pitt News, but how much traction would it truly get? And how far in advance would you have to put the request in to make it relevant? WPTS radio could probably get an ad out quicker, but I don’t know many people that listen to it (that aren’t already involved with the radio station).

Is Print Media Dead of Becoming Better?

The way people find out about school events are mostly through Facebook, sometimes emails from departments. For me, most of the time I only hear about school events because friends post that they are interested in going to an event. I assume they find the event through a Facebook page as well. Pitt also posts a lot of its events on Twitter accounts such as @PittStudents, the Student Affairs Twitter account.

A lot of the times students think they only use social media for fun or distraction, and forget about the more practical uses. One thing I hear a lot is people going on “social media” cleanses during a time with a lot of exams or projects. So many clubs and organizations rely on social media, especially Facebook, that people who are involved in extracurricular activities are simply unable to partake in these social media cleanses.

Recently the club I’m an officer for, UPTV, had a large social media push. This is our main way of advertising events, videos, and getting people interested in joining. We use Facebook mainly, but also Twitter and Instagram. Reading this chapter gave me insights and terminology for some of the strategies we used. First is push and pull marketing from page 190 of the Social Media book. When we post our videos through Facebook this is push marketing, and we get our members to share the videos so more people see them. The pull marketing comes from people seeing these posts and reaching out to us via Facebook or email asking how they can get involved.

Secondly, we also have used all 3 forms of media coverage as discussed on page 101. For owned media, we advertise on our social media accounts, and while we do not use it much we have done paid media through Facebook post promoting. For earned media we have gotten articles written about us in the Pitt News.

Social media is extremely important to our club, not only for marketing videos, but also events like fundraisers or 24 hour film fests. Overall, social media marketing is the main way to get college students to hear about things or to go to events.


Image sources

Print media dead picture –

Social media cleanse picture


Humphreys, Ashlee. Social Media: Enduring Principles. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2016. Print.



6 thoughts on “Social Media Marketing: Because What Else Do College Students Pay Attention To?

  1. I completely agree that the majority of the ads we see are a result of social media use. Personally, if I am looking for something to do on the weekend, Facebook is the first place I check. The Facebook Events page is extremely user-friendly, and collects everything in one location for me to browse. I can’t remember the last time I picked up a newspaper or truly paid attention to a flyer/ outdoor ad. We are a technological generation; if it’s not on a screen, consider us an unattainable target. It would be interesting to research when the “Tipping Point” for social media advertising was. In Gladwell’s article this week we read about how Tipping Points occur all at once due to subtle changes. I am curious if there was a tipping point when advertising switched from traditional to social.


  2. While I agree with you that social media is the main place that is used to target college students, I find that flyers are very effective as well. A lot of the time, most of the events I learn about on campus are from seeing flyers on boards, the walls, or even the bathroom stalls. I think flyers are effective too because their stationary whereas, with social media, you could potentially miss it if you scroll past it.


  3. At first, I was in denial toward your statement about social media being the main source of marketing toward college students. But who am I kidding — you are right. When I think about all the events that we hear about only because of social media (mainly Facebook), I can’t believe how much I rely on it for information and neglect other sources. Facebook just seems so much more current and instantaneous regarding information and events. Plus, it is tailored to you. The Sunday paper often has lists of local upcoming events, but it rarely ever intrigues me or applies to my demographic. But Facebook can notify me of events I may actually be interested in as well as events hosted by clubs I am a part of. To take it even further, I think of how many people use it for product marketing in addition to event marketing; how many people use Free and For Sale at Pitt over the newspaper classifieds? And how many people use it to find makeup or fashion tutorials rather than paying to subscribe to a print magazine?


  4. I completely agree that social media is the best way to market to people. I am in charge of the social media of Residence Life of Tower B and I am constantly putting up flyers and notifications to advertise for programs and event son campus. Even though all residents are on social media, some tend to skip these notifications since there are so many other notifications on the feed. Many users only look at items on their feeds that they are interested in and the social media from me can be forgotten. This is where earned media comes effective, allowing me to post flyers to the doors or slide messages under doors for residents to look at. What earned media could do in relation to social media is to become transmedia, as discussed on Chapter 12 of Humphreys. The earned media, such as flyers or newspaper, could continue the story of the social media, creating a more cohesive and persuasive advertisement plan. That way, advertisement can tend towards both audiences, online and offline, without losing the message in the process


  5. I remember in high school I was a writer on my school newspaper and for an article about social media and its usage, I did an experiment where I stayed off all social media (facebook, instagram, twitter, snapchat). I felt fairly isolated during this week, which isn’t that surprising considering how often people communicate with each other on this platform. I think that social media marketing is very geared towards this phenomenon and I totally agree with your viewpoint regarding this Humphrey’s chapter!


  6. I think, as many people have mentioned in other comments, social media platforms such as Facebook are almost necessary for event marketing strategies. Personally, I find out about most events I attend by scrolling through my news feed and looking at what my other friends are “Interested” in. Then, if I say I’m interested it bookmarks the event for me and shows me occasional reminders. This creates a type of permanence that I don’t get when I simply walk past a flyer on campus. For this reason, I find it really difficult to stay off of social media (Facebook) for more than a day or so. Before college I thought Facebook was mostly unnecessary, but once I came to college, that quickly changed.


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