How universities can utilise

Instagram Stories to promote Open Days

November 2016

Instagram is one of the most highly used applications of today’s society, and each week more and more changes are being made to improve it; one of which is the new feature ‘stories’.

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How universities can utilise Instagram Stories to promote Open Days

After having only been released at the beginning of August this year, Instagram Stories has become increasingly popular with users worldwide. This feature enables you to upload as much content as you like, (such as small moments from your day) without it remaining on your profile. The images and/or videos posted appear together within a slideshow format which lasts for 24 hours, making them extremely accessible and easy to view. Once the app is opened, each user’s ‘story’ appears at the top of the page within a small, circle shaped icon containing their profile photo. By clicking on the icon, a set of photos and/or videos, which play automatically, are shown in order of when they were posted. This offers the prime opportunity for universities across the globe to promote their open days on a platform that is widely used by their target audience: students.




So, how can universities use stories to promote their open days? The point of an Instagram Story is to display content that is more gritty and raw than a single post, much like the popular social media platform ‘Snapchat’. This particular feature means that rather than just posting a single photo, which many of us mindlessly scroll past, universities can post as much information concerning their open days as they wish to one place. An Instagram Story can be viewed by anyone who holds an account, enabling someone who may simply be visiting a university’s page to see it. This is great for promoting upcoming open days to those who may have not previously known about them, and to gather an even wider audience. It also allows the university to show a more personal side to them and to upload any updates whenever needed, which can be extremely useful when changes are made to open days and subject courses. The use of uploading personal content strengthens the relationship between the university and a prospective student, giving a much more intimate feel and promoting the sense of involvement between the two parties. Since an Instagram story is so versatile, any aspect of the open day can be shown; whether it is footage from previous open days or a simple announcement of a certain date or location. This is great for prospective students as the information is sent directly to their smartphone, which is easily attainable.


Not only is this feature great for sharing a more personal side to a business, it also holds an aspect which permits other users to reply to the footage – making it considerably easier to gain feedback than ever before. This also means that if anyone has any queries regarding an upcoming university open day, they can simply reply to the story and ask any questions they may have.


Since an Instagram story only lasts for 24 hours, each post has an increased ability to gather the full attention from the viewer because of the fear that the information will soon be lost. This feature allows the content to gain higher demand for attention than any single post can, which sets it aside from most other social media platforms. The fact that each photo only lasts for a maximum of 3 seconds, alongside a maximum length of 15 seconds per video, is more likely to gather an audience of younger people as it can easily fit into their day and keep hold of their attention. Any university who chooses not to join in with this new trend could be seriously missing out on a great opportunity to raise awareness to their open days!

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