College students can provide a great customer base for any business, not just those near large universities. If you're business is located in a fairly populated area, chances are there are a few colleges close by.
While reaching college students can seem like a difficult task, it doesn't have to be. Here are 5 free/cheap ways to effectively reach college students in your area.
1. Be Active on Social Media
This can be true for reaching any target market but especially college students. The trick is to be active on the right social media platforms. Instagram is the best platform for reaching local college students.
Make sure your profile is complete, including a profile picture, a bio that clearly describes your business and a few engaging posts. The key is to let your personality shine through on your account, this helps give your page a more personal feel.
You should try to post 3-5 times per week to your feed and 1-2 stories per day. You can share any specials you're having that week, give your followers a behind the scenes look at your business, or just share pictures of your products. The key is posting interesting content, and making sure your potential customers are seeing you.
REACHur is a service that has real people in your target market post your ads on their social media profile. It's perfect for targeting college students.
Having real college students post ads for your business is a great way to reach thousands of students in an organic way. REACHur is also a great way for businesses to quickly gain much needed social proof when targeting college students.
The best way to utilize REACHur is posting daily/weekly specials, or just a quick video ad about your business. You can learn more at REACHur.com.
3. Online Forums
There are plenty of online forums where connecting with college students is easy. These can be subreddits dedicated to the schools you are targeting, discussion boards about the schools sports teams, or Facebook groups.
These online communities are easy to find through a Google search.
When participating in these online forums, you have to contribute to the community in some way, don't just bombard the chats with ads. The key is to actually become a contributing member of that online community and occasionally work in posts about your business. This takes a bit of work, but provides a nice return. Remember to let your personality shine through, don't just post with the intent to sell, make sure you are providing value in some way to the group.
4. Partnered Giveaways
Doing a partnered giveaway can help your reach any target market, but partnering with student groups on campus is a great way to reach college students online. There are so many different clubs on campus that you can partner with to giveaway free stuff, gift cards, or exclusive experiences while reaching tons of targeted college students.
Just go on Instagram and search for the profiles of different groups at the school you're trying to target. Once you find a group that has a good following, send them a direct messaging explaining that you'd like to partner for a giveaway. Once you work out the details, make sure you are promoting the giveaway on your Instagram account and they are promoting on theirs. This will allow you to tap into the student groups followers and reach the college students that follow them.
5. Post Content About the College
This goes hand in hand with being active social media. You should be posting about the college whose students you are trying to reach. Post about the big game coming up for the basketball team, repost a video of the band, wish students good luck on their finals.
Just posting content about the school will help your posts show up in the feed of students.
Try these different techniques out and determine which ones work best for you and your business.