10 Campuses with A+ Instagram Accounts

These institutions receive high marks for creatively engaging social media audiences and showcasing what sets their campuses apart.

By: Ryan Schwartz
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In a time when social media dominates marketing and connectivity, universities embrace platforms such as Instagram to best showcase the institutions’ cultures, campuses and diverse student experiences. We’re taking a deep dive into the realm of Instagram to unveil the college accounts that are setting themselves up as the standard for engaging content. 

In the world of higher education, institutions are recognized for not only their academic excellence but also their engaging online presence. The following colleges embrace dynamics, such as student connectivity with social media, exposure to professor research and creativity with campus posts. They showcase why we grew to love exploring the different ways colleges leave a lasting impression on excited, impressionable high schoolers.

1. University of Michigan

Filled with gorgeous campus posts, rowdy student section videos at their football stadium or interesting reels that showcase student and faculty achievements, the University of Michigan account has it all. It only takes a few scrolls down the feed to get a sense of the institution’s values, such as school pride and a focus on student experiences. 

Anyone working in admissions understands that reaching out and connecting to prospective students is just as important as connecting with current students. Michigan uses this strategy by presenting short clips of students getting their letters of admission and their unfiltered reactions. Just by looking at Michigan’s Instagram feed, you could easily believe Michigan’s student happiness stats are at 100%.

2. Liberty University

Liberty University’s incoming class hovers at approximately 4,500 students, a far cry away from Michigan’s  8,000. LU uses this to its advantage by taking a more personal approach to its Instagram posts. Photos and posts from user-generated content involving faculty and current students are in heavy rotation. Many of the photos of athletic events, concerts and academic achievements are taken by members of the community, allowing prospective and current students alike to feel a direct connection to Liberty. 

By having students and faculty actively posting and contributing to a college’s Instagram feed, Liberty University puts a spotlight on everything that’s happening on campus. With thousands of students as potential content creators, the overall message and personality of the campus come alive, boosting potential engagement and driving eyes toward the university’s Instagram account.

3. Syracuse University

Syracuse University’s Instagram is a great example of combining information and entertainment. Syracuse is nestled in a beautiful location in upstate New York and uses this to its advantage, filling the feed with nature photos taken near the campus. This approach entices prospective students to see Syracuse as a traditional “college town” that is appealing to students who are entering the enrollment process. 

Combined with scenic shots of the college’s campus and surrounding grounds, Syracuse uses the traffic to its advantage, providing LinkedIn-esque information for Syracuse students. These informative posts lead to greater engagement and traffic for these programs. Future students also realize there are opportunities on campus to further their professional images and advance in the post-college world. Instagram posts showcasing alumni meet-ups and networking events demonstrate that Syracuse students always put their best foot forward.

4. University of Massachusetts Amherst

UMass Amherst’s Instagram page is a mixed bag of offerings: campus shots, faculty statements and ongoing school activities. However, UMass Amherst takes a page out of Liberty University’s playbook and expands on it. Many of UMass Amherst’s posts involve student involvement on campus, including athletic clubs, student charities and on-campus music groups. From posts about Amherst’s marching band to action shots of the school’s rowing club, the school’s page shows that there is a place for every student on campus and openly encourages students to join the groups that appeal to them. 

Allowing student organizations to take the spotlight on the institution’s Instagram page builds strong connections between the students and their school. It provides a way for students to be a part of campus culture and makes them truly feel valued by the school, which will naturally boost the page’s engagement rate and overall traffic. 

5. Babson College

Babson College’s Instagram page best showcases that faculty presence and a university PR team’s involvement are just as important as student presence. Babson College prides itself on being ranked as the number one undergraduate school for entrepreneurship 27 times in a row. This is no small feat, and the college’s experienced faculty plays a strong part in the entrepreneurial success of Babson students. Many of Babson’s posts revolve around the relationship of the students with the college’s faculty and how this dynamic allows students to become the best versions of their entrepreneurial selves. 

Putting professors and employees in the spotlight benefits current and future students. Future students are reassured that their academic careers are of high importance to their teachers, who want to help them every step of the way. Current students are assured that any entrepreneurial ideas that they have will receive acknowledgment and guidance from an experienced ear. Babson College put its strengths at the forefront of the Instagram page, enhancing the institution’s online presence.

6. Marquette University

Sure, Marquette University has all the traditional posts you’d find on a college’s Instagram page. However, the one aspect that sets it apart is how the university’s team uses social media trends as great marketing. Marquette takes popular trends from TikTok and converts them into accessible Instagram videos. Students discuss mental health and favorite places on the campus, which are then condensed into bingeable and engaging Instagram Reels. 

Featuring students directly boosts engagement and builds a greater sense of community when students see their friends on the school’s official social media page. Marquette uses this technique to import fresh and interesting content. It’s also a great way for Marquette faculty and employees to have a direct finger on the pulse of campus life and attitudes. 

7. Duke University

College Instagram accounts should showcase university alumni in just as large of a spotlight as current students. Duke University nails this approach in a variety of ways. Many posts on Duke’s main Instagram account are co-published with the college’s alumni Instagram, @dukealumni, with the tagline “Forever Duke.” Duke University also keeps followers informed about what college alumni do after graduation, highlighting certain alumni and sharing photos from class reunions. 

However, the best way that Duke keeps alumni a cornerstone of the college’s feed is the hashtag #DukeisEverywhere. Despite this hashtag also being used by current students to showcase abroad trips and interesting internship locations, Duke uses it to give viewers a glimpse of where post-grad life has taken alumni. This approach is incredibly transferable to other universities, uniting a page’s various posts under the umbrella of a college community and displaying the message that students will still be a part of the community even after their graduation. 

8. Georgetown University

Beyond professional photos that display Georgetown University’s campus and castle-like architecture, Georgetown’s Instagram showcases the best example of embracing your surroundings as a part of campus life. Located in America’s capital city, Georgetown leans deeply into Washington D.C.’s culture. The account includes a variety of posts involving political involvement from GU students, politicians and policymakers speaking on campus, as well as action shots of Georgetown students working on Capitol Hill and in the White House. 

Highlighting GU’s position and student work in D.C.’s political sphere provides students with real-world experience and shows potential students the opportunities on and off campus. By showcasing the various opportunities that are available mere minutes from the university, GU ties itself to something bigger and reaches beyond the average college campus.

9. Dartmouth College

Located in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College uses its Instagram presence to display the breathtaking nature that surrounds the school. From snowy dorms on a winter night to the rolling mountains that the school nestles between, every viewer can find a photo to admire. 

Dartmouth also uses drone footage for creative campus photos, including fly-around shots of the Dartmouth College Library and its clock tower during sunsets and sunrises. The school’s Instagram aesthetics drive traffic and provide a reason for an organic audience to stay and engage in the other posts, such as student activities and athletic success.

10. West Virginia University

Despite devoting this to college Instagram accounts with fresh and interesting tactics, West Virginia University deserves a mention. WVU takes an entirely different approach, but it works just as well. The overarching theme of WVU’s page focuses entirely on school spirit. Whether posting about WVU athletics, student organizations or incoming freshmen moving into the dorms, the WVU logo is almost always present. In addition, each photo’s color scheme is nearly always blue and yellow, which are the college’s colors. 

The account almost looks like a scrapbook with each photo playing a part in making the page an artful collage and providing a larger picture of life at WVU.  The page’s primary focus is that the community loves their colors, their school pride and their student’s happiness. This is an incredibly creative way to market the college to viewers. 

Ryan Schwartz

Ryan Schwartz

Reporter


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