The Higher Ed Marketer
The Higher Ed Marketer

Episode 54 · 7 months ago

Social Media Strategies: How to Go Viral Like an Influencer


What do you do when your family has a combined height of nearly 36 feet?

You become social media superstars.

That’s the journey of Rob Clark, Content Creator and Founder of That Tall Family. With over 1 BILLION views and nearly 1.4 million followers since March of 2021, Rob and his family have been taking social media by storm.

In a previous life, however, Rob was a higher ed marketer. That’s why we thought he would be the perfect person to discuss how higher ed institutions can make better use of social media.

We discuss:

- How Rob grew That Tall Family into a social media behemoth

- Why higher ed needs to tap into story and emotions

- On-campus influencers and social media scholarships

- Advice on cadence and content for schools producing social media content

Find That Tall Family on:

- TikTok

- Instagram

- YouTube

- Twitter

Mentioned during the podcast:

- The Authenticity of Peer-to-Peer: Influencer Marketing in Higher Ed w/ Lee Wilhite

To hear more interviews like this one, subscribe to Higher Ed Marketer on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your preferred podcast platform.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Higher Ed Marketer in your favorite podcast player.

You were listening to the Higher Ed Marketer, a podcast geared towards marketing professionals in higher education. This show will tackle all sorts of questions related to student recruitment, don'tor relations, marketing trends, new technologies and so much more. If you are looking for conversation centered around where the industry is going, this podcast is for you. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the Higher Reed Marketer podcast. I'm troy singer, along with my cohost and First Bart Simpson, voiceover artist, Bart Taylor, and the reason we are here today is to give you information about social media. We have a friend, Rob Clark, who, if you don't know about him and his tall family, which they are very popular on Social Media, Rob also has a background in higher education, so we felt if we could go to him and have him now give advice back to his brethren in higher education, what advice would that be about how to be successful on social media, instagram and especially Tick Tock? Yeah, troy, it's been a it's a great conversation and I met Rob probably at the beginning of the pandemic. He was he was a director of admissions at at one of the schools that we serve and got to know him a little bit through that and then have stayed in touch with him. And what's been amazing to me as over the last eleven months I've seen him go from, you know, a dad who's kind of moving on in his career and wanting to help out his family, especially with with some of the things that are going on with his son pursuing basketball, to then seeing this become a really a really big influencer family on social media. Will get into some of the details, but nearly a million followers combined on several of the platforms that they're on, coming up on a billion views of their content, and only eleven months. And he's going to talk a lot about that, talk about how that applies to hire ed and lessons that he's learned and what he would recommend and I think also just you know, it's funny because I mentioned this to my kids, who are, you know, generation Z high school students. Mentioned that I was going to be talking to somebody with with that was that tall family, like Oh, yeah, I know who that is. And and so it's interesting even amongst my kids, they already knew about this, probably before I did. So it's going to be a good conversation. We are pleased to welcome Rob Clark, who's the content creator and founder of that tall family, to the High Ed Marketer podcast. Good afternoon rob, hey guys, thanks for having me on. It is our pleasure and what we're going to talk to rob today about is successful social media strategies and I'll ask him to go into a little bit more detail. But Rob has the distinction of recently being in Higher Ed Marketing, I believe, and enrollment, and he can go a little further in that. But with for the past year he has led that all family and I think in a year throughout social media they'll be reaching one billion views and we felt this is an opportunity for someone who understands high read marketing also understand social media to kind of now reach back and give advice to some of his higher ed brethren. So if you could give us a little bit of background of your higher at days and then let us know what's going on for that tall family to kind of set the stage for a conversation. Yeah, I like to joke around that I spent a long six months in higher education. So I have been in education and it out for quite a while, but actually only six months in higher education as a director of admissions, and it actually was good in a lot of ways. The actual work was a lot of fun. Enjoyed it. I do joke, though, because the guy that held the position right before me only lasted one day. So compared to that guy there, to...

...that guy like I was there for a long time and so. But eventually for us we decided it was time to move on, and I'm sure we can probably get into that a little bit. And nothing against university's at all. Like I went to university, I met my wife at University, I plan on sending my kids to university and so but I just realize that there there is something very special about the way the organization works and from talking to friends that are in university and a higher education and listening to this podcast, I do realize that there are sys systems in place and and hopefully, talking today some of those things that we can maybe even shine a light on that. I think that if we could just, I'm sure, try and find the right word, but if we can almost let our guards down a little bit or maybe even take a small risk, I don't perceive it as a risk, but I do realize some people would perceive it as a risk. I think we could be much more successful doing our jobs at higher education. But yes, six months and then we decided to branch out and take a shot at the social media thing and you're correct, within the last year we're approaching one million followers, coming up on a billion views. So it's worked out very well for US so far. So just a little bit of context before try we get into the first question. Rob And I met when he was in that six month position. We the school that he was at was was kind of a sister school of a lot of other schools that I've worked with in the same type of background, and so we got to know each other a little bit through there and and learned a little bit about his journey and and you know, his his what was driving some of the decisions for for the moves and things like that. So maybe you can give us a little bit of a context on your family and you know, you know moving from Saskatoon to now where you are in Atlanta and where that migration has been and why? Yeah, so when we are in Canada, there's there's a several things. Growing up in the Midwest, myself meet being the only Canadian on campus. After we got married, she drugged me back to Canada and we were there for twenty years. But we realized we wanted to get back to the US and it was like right at the beginning of the pandemic and nobody knew what was going to happen and we just decided to take the risk and took a role at the college down in Michigan. But there's a few things that we're looking for. One of the things is my oldest son, who's a junior in high school currently, wanted to pursue basketball. He is seven foot one tall, so a little bit unique, and so that obviously plays well into our social media as well. But we are looking for some things and unfortunately Michigan at the time that we were there was a bit more lockdown. Just couldn't pursue the opportunities we're looking for where there were some opportunities for us here, where we're at currently, and Georgia, and so that was one of the reasons that we wanted to move further south. And selfishly as well, after spending twenty years in Canada, I just realize that if I can get away from winter. I'll want to do that at all cost rob before we go into the conversation around Higher Red Marketing, if you could tell us a little bit about that tall family and the success that you've had as far as platforms and where your follows are, etc. Yeah, for sure. We wanted just to push into our day to day lives as we really thought that we had something interesting just being taller than than most people as a family, including our seven foot one son. And so as we started leaning in that, we realize that people just found an interesting just everyday things that, you know, we take for granted that we would just find boring, people were just found interesting. So as we pushed into tick tock, that's where we found most of our success early on. That's where we have most of our followers, most of our views. But then we pushed into Instagram and then we leveraged into Youtube, and so I think between all three platforms were just a bit over nine hundred thousand subscribers, followers and yeah, we have almost a billion views. I think we're like eight hundred fifty million...

...views currently. And how tall are the rest of your family members? Yeah, so my wife and my oldest daughter are fairly we always joke that they're short, being around five nine, five, ten, but my thirteen year old daughter is six foot and so she'll probably the six, three, six four. And then I do have a ten year old son that's, you know, five hundred and one, five two right now, and so he's the one that we joke about the most, is being a shorty in the family, but of course he's going to grow. He's, I'll girl, and you've successfully taken that niche or that compelling aspect about your family and turned it into a Internet sensation. I know that's an old term, but would like to know, okay, what you've learned over the past year compared to your experience as a higher ed marketer. What types of lessons can we now give back to the community? And I'd like to start out with one of the things that you've said, that we need to recognize how fast marketing, and especially social media, changes and listening to the lessons that it gives you with each post. Yeah, and that's something that's really important that we need to understand. And Marketing, it's different than it used to be. Now, of course we still have radio, we still have billboards. We saw newspaper ADS and and there's a lot of people that are using the same media that we use fifty years ago, and I'm not even saying that's wrong or bad, but at the same time we have something new that I feel in the higher education we're just a little bit behind. For example, when we were wanting to as an admissions team, create our own tick tock account, we got some pushback from the universe, who got some pushback from the marketing department. We had a you know, cross all of our keys and dog all of our eyes and and we had to have some meetings and and before that first meeting already have happened, I was like, well, that's okay, we already created the account. We have some videos that have over a hundred thousand views already, so we're just going to keep rolling with it. Yeah, I think that's one thing I've noticed a lot of times too, is that the fact that, you know, especially in the Higher Ed community, I think we're very cautious and I you made a comment earlier on when in your introduction, just about being willing to take a few risks, and I think it's interesting because, I mean it's it's obviously a risk for anybody to be up on Tick Tock when, you know, to have a family up there, to have, you know, all of your children everything else up there. I mean I know that there's some very popular people that are on social media that just you know, they use aliases and things like that. So I think that we have to obviously be prudent and wise, but at the same time, as you've stated, there's a lot of opportunity there. And you know, with news coming out earlier this year about tick tock having surpassed Google as the most visited you know website on the web, ory most visited you know url on the web, we've got to stop and take a moment there and say, okay, why is that? And who is the audience on Tick Tock, which, honestly, it's quite a lot of our prospective student audience, as well as their parents as well as their grandparents. Now, and this is where getting back to your point, troy, is that things are just moving so fast and so at one time, you know facebook, we were all on it and then parents got on it and then it wasn't as cool and then now the grandparents dominate facebook. So all the kids want to get off facebook, but now it's just sped up. So when Ticktock, for a short amount of time it was kids dancing, but then it was our parents and already the grandparents. There's some there are some accounts that are just blowing up with millions of yews that are led by grandparents, and so we just got to recognize that it's not just silliness anymore, but it's where everyone's living at and, whether we like it or not, when we go out on public or any place that we're at, everyone's on their phones, probably for an average of what six to eight hours a day. And so if we're trying to get in on a prospective students,...

...their parents, even their grandparents that may be paying for the college and have influence on where the students go, it would be smart for us to be in front of them at places that make sense and it's on their time. And so this is something that and and I don't have the data, so this is just a little bit of assumption in my humble opinion. But for us to go to high schools and Dick Compete with other universities at the same time and getting students to fill on note cards, that may work, but when I think about the time that it takes to go to a school, driving to and from a school, competing with everyone else, I would rather be as a marketer in front of them more often when they're at home, laying on their bed, scrolling and and so then it puts me in a different spot and not competing with everyone. And ultimately, I think we know that's true when we look at the numbers of people that are buying things because they saw it on ticktock or they saw it on instagram. It just continues to rise. So it only makes sense that students are going to start choosing universities because of content they see online, and I think that that I think you bring up a couple points and I know that try's going to lead us in a question here in a second for for entertainment, but I think that one of the things I want to point out too, is that if we're going to make the leap, we're going to, you know, quote, take the risk of getting into some of these social platforms that schools, I think, are used to being in linked, you know, they're used to being in facebook. I mean they manage that and they know how to do that because they're talking to alumni and I think that even to a degree, some schools are getting into instagram and understanding some of that. But I think that part of the key, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, Rob but part of it has to be that it just we're just not putting out we're just not pushing out information. It's not a it's not another megaphone for our public relations and marketing messages. It's actually a way for us to engage better with with with the prospective students and their and their parents. But I think it also probably plays into the idea of does that make sense then to also, you know, by channel. You can't just copy and paste it and do the same thing and you know, and just use a tool like hoot sweet to just same content goes to every channel. You've realized that there's different different success on different channels. Tell us about that. Yeah, and are and even though that tick Tock instagram and Youtube, because what happened is that tick Tock, like you mentioned, Google, they surpass Google this year for engagement. What we're seeing is that everyone's trying to be like tick tock, and so instagram now has reals, youtube now has shorts, and so it's this idea of short content and just, you know, a minute or less and sometimes fifteen seconds or less, and so it's how can you tell a story in a short amount of time? But it is deciding who, and this could be different for everyone. It is contextual. So for US tick tock is a little bit of a younger demographic, where on instagram it's more MOMS. We're on youtube it's more universal. It's and so for us we know that different content, even though it's all very similar, is little changes such as how we caption it or ultimately, if it is the same piece of content, we know this one will do best on ticktock or I think this one will do best on instagram. And so it's just putting it all across all platforms, because you know everyone's going to perform different and so ultimately it's not even creating a bunch of different content, is just realizing you're going to reach different people on the different platforms. We've established that this is where the watering hole is and if we want to be in the conversation with our prospects that we need to reach, this is where they need to be. Tick Tock or other social media platforms. However, what is the right mix of content, because I think, as Bard alluded to, higher education wants to get information out there, but these platforms are built for entertainment and that's why they're so popular. Can you speak to maybe what the right messaging or the right mix of entertainment versus content that's informing about the school? Yeah, I think ultimately, and I and I even don't like using this...

...word because it can be so vague and as silver used, but it is about story and so, even though it's it educational or is it informational or is it entertaining, I think as long as we can tell a story, even if it's a fifteen second story, then we're going to win. And so going to these water holes, what we got to be careful not to do. And unfortunately a lot of corporations, including higher education, is there trying to create a commercial, they're trying to create an ad, and so those just don't work because human beings, we don't like to watch commercials, so we don't like to get postcards in the mail that just have facts on them. And yet when it comes to marketing our universities, that's what we do. where it'd be much better for us to think like, okay, what is the feeling of a student coming to the campus for the first time? If we can capture that on video, that's going to do very well. What is the vibe of a student eating in the Dining Commons? Is it busy? Is it loud? Is there a place that's a little bit more fun as this world the jocks hanging out like? If you can start telling those stories that we as human beings like to to consume, then you're going to win. But if you just want to put out facts, if you just want to put out statements about who we are or what we do, is probably going to fall flat, whereas if we can just tell a story and if we can leave somebody with a feeling, whether it's it's happiness or, you know, emotional and all those things. You know, think about this story of a parent dropping a student off and, you know, hugging them as they leave and the kids excited. If you can capture that in a tick tock and and you can, you could capture that in fifteen seconds, that's going to go a long ways and possibly get millions of views, whereas if you just have a static picture, you know, like photo shopped and perfectly diverse. We're just not even going to we're not even to recognize that. It's not going to stick in our brain and we're going to move on. And I think that you're even finding that, if I recall from our earlier conversations, rob is, that you know you're you know, obviously your family is becoming recognizable on these platforms. You a lot of a lot of places are seeing you as what sometimes it's called influencers, and so you know, I'm you've got brands that are approaching you to to partner with you, and I think that you made a comment that and it kind of goes along with what you just said. The most successful of those partnerships have been where, you know, the brand takes the back seat to the story, as opposed to you asking you to do something with the brand that makes it feel more like a commercial. Tell us about that. Yeah, that's exactly right. So sometimes big corporations, and we've been very fortunate to be able to do some ticktock videos, and they pay us, in my opinion, a ridiculous amount of money and just to perform a fifteen second video. But there's been times where corporation says we need you to say this, or it's a long list of things that we need to say and it's very hard to put that into fifty second video and they don't perform very well because it is an ad, whereas there's other times where they're like hey, just do what you do, here's you know, as long as you show our product at some point, and those do very well because we can do it and it fits very well in with what we do daily on our social media accounts. And so ultimately, I think, if I'm thinking through the Lens of a Higergyan as well, we've all seen, you know, the beautiful brochures that they put out. We've seen the beautiful videos that take months to plan into perfect lighting, perfect sound, and ultimately, a lot of times they fall flat or, even worse, we don't know how they fall because we send them out, we have no DABT on it, whereas if we can just continually put out content, fifteen seconds, thirty seconds at a time and sometimes they fall flat, but it's fine because we spent literally minutes on it. And then sometimes you're going to something's going to connect and then you never...

...know where it's going to go. And so for us that's the same thing when we work with brands. Sometimes the videos for us now and again I'm just thankful where we're at. Sometimes if a video main only get a hundred thousand views, and for us you know that that's falling flat. But there's sometimes we produce something that literally takes a minute and gets viewed hundreds of millions of times. So taking that a step farther, thinking that the university is the corporation, and then then leaning on their influencers or brand ambassadors, which are the students, because in that same conversation I think you mentioned a lot of the best influencers they will be able to find on their campus and if they go into a partnership with them, letting them go or letting them be themselves and not trying to steer too much what they put out. Yeah, I'll get very practically here for a second. If, if I was a marketer at a university, I would go into Instagram, because most students have instagram and tick tock as well, but instagram super easy to do this. Go into Instagram, click on search and you can slurt search by location. You can actually click your location your university and it's going to pull up everyone that's posted and then actually tagged you as a university, and then you can then filter by the most popular. So you're going to see some students on there that may have posted and it's gotten five views and they have ten followers, you know, which is fine, which is great. But then you're going to run across someone that has twentyzero followers and this video that they produced is getting maybe thousands or if not hundreds of thousands of yews. Then that's the person you want to go reach out to and say, we would love for you to create content for our platform. Now what I think the biggest problem is is that they're going to start thinking like, we need you to talk about this, we need to talk about this, you know this program you need to say these things. Do not say these things. We're ultimately, if you want to be successful, it's literally turning it over to them and just make it allow them to be as creative as they want to be. Then I think you're going to go a long ways. Here's something. One last thing on that point. My thirteen year old daughter is doing very well on her own personal account. She just really understands the platform. I think she has sixteen thousand followers on her instagram account now and just just doing it on her own. And as we start pushing her through, you know that tall family, it's going to grow, without a doubt, in five years from now. And she's looking at colleges. I'm positive that he's going to have offers for social media scholarships. I think if there is brave colleges right now, they would be looking for those influencers of a million or two million or even a half a million and seeing what they could do to get scholarships to get them to come to their schools, because I think we're going to get to a place where, you know, growing up I wanted to be a basketball player, but you ask any kids growing up now, they want to be a social media influencer. So to actually search out these kids and give them a scholarship to do what they want to do and eventually become, I think that could be a huge win and, depending on the size of school, potentially could be more influential than a star athlete. So, as I hear you talk about this, it's letting them go with a few parameters but not trying to tell them what to say, but let them lead the way and being that ambassador for the school, and that's much more well received than when they're trying to be steered exactly exactly. If you let them do their thing and be creative, you're going to get a lot more mileage out of the content they create and they're going to be more willing to do it more often they're going to enjoy it, so it's going to be a win win. Yeah, this reminds me a little bit of the conversation that we had with little Lee will hide from Biola a few few episodes ago, where, you know, I had run across a presentation that some of his team gave it a CCCU conference a few years ago and they were talking about how they were, you know, letting you know they had a very intentional on campus influencer program. They did a exactly what you said were let's identify...

...some of the influencers that we have on campus. I think they had a couple students who had, you know, Tenzero, Twentyzero followers. They actually turn them into, I he was calling them brand ambassadors and gave them some perks to be able to, you know, tell the story about by all a little bit more and things like that. I really like your idea, though, of not only doing that, but then taking it a step further with the idea of scholarships and other things, because you're right. I mean, you know, we could scholarship of student who has that following, much like we do with athletes, much like we we would do with rewarding academics and other things, because, at the end of the day, having those types of students on our campus and being a part of our community, especially if their mission fit and fit and all the other ways, it becomes a win win for everybody, and so I think that's a really creative way to look at it. Rob As we're thinking about what universities can put out from their accounts, what advice would you give them as far as the frequency, your cadence and if they're going to do any types of post, what type of posts would you recommend for them to do? Yeah, as much as possible and it start as soon as possible. And so this is just a little bit of what I've experienced over the past year and from what I know other expert experts would say. I definitely would not consider myself an expert but short content, video and so this idea of quantity over quality. Now that doesn't mean that you just don't do quality at all, but when we think of quality, we think of the marketing department having scripts, we think about getting, you know, the right students, we think about the right lighting, the right sound, whereas the quality could be literally, okay, make sure the sun's not playing in your face, grab your iphone and then just go with that. And by doing that you can create ten pieces of content or even more, for one really thought out, well rehearsed piece of high quality content. And so is it? I think it's very similar to the stock market. Like anyone, and I this is definitely not financial device, this is not my lane, but I think people talk about diversifying, you know, don't put all of your eggs in one basket, and so I think there's some wisdom for that, and I think that applies to social media as well. Instead of trying to do one piece of content that we're going to spend all this time, money and effort into, you could do the same amount of two thousand and fifty or even a hundred pieces of content for the same time, money and energy, and by diversifying. You you never know what's going to pop off, and so we always have that joke of like any time that I say this video is going to kill, it never kills. And every time, like this video, it we we got to post something, let's just post it, and then all of a sudden it goes for five million. So at the end of the day, you don't know who's going to come across your content and you never know why it's going to resonate with people. So the ideas you want to put out as much as you can, as often as you can and try to hit as many people as you can, because the world that we live in, it only takes one piece of content. My story is that, you know, someone saw one piece of content that led to a big life decision. That someone saw that piece of content and and it's been a domino effect for us now to where, you know, now we have so much content out there. It's amazing how people are connecting and they'll say this is a piece of content that I saw or this was what led me to to your account, and now it's leading to opportunities for us as a family, and I think the university is the same way. Because maybe it's the grand mall that sees the piece of content that falls in love with the school, who then talks to her her her grandchild that's a sophomore in high school, and says, actually, there's something about this school. If you want to go there, I will pay for it. Stories like that will start to happen and so the idea again quantity over quality. But of course quality is subjective. So I think you can do both, but quantity for sure, and I think I want to point out to that because we talked briefly on the pre interview about this. Is that I mean your your your content studio. Is Your iphone...

...correct? That's correct. So I'm often telling people, because so many times I've heard people over the course, especially a few years ago, I was talking to people about let's make sure you start doing video, because I mean video was just starting to take off. Broad banded kind of come on. It's like, oh well, I really can't afford video, and I'm like, you know, what's sitting in your pocket is more quality than a broadcast studio could have provided ten years ago. And there's no excuse. I mean everybody has access to the accounts, everybody has access to the the equipment that it takes to do the accounts. It just takes that storytelling in the commitment to doing it. That's what I'm hearing you say, ROB is that correct? That's correct and full disclosure, there are, I've been a few times when I have used a ring light that we got on Amazon for nineteen dollars, and so if it is dark in the house because we're filming at night, I will pull out the ring light and my kids always make fun of me for getting the ring light out, but the ring light for nineteen dollars and our iphones have been the only equipment that we used, which, as like we've mentioned already, led to almost a billion views. So I think if a university wants to make an investment, they have all the equipment they already need. Now, eventually, as a continue to go. I'm not against the high quality, well rehearse, you know, videos that you put out, but I think if you're looking for starting today, just pull out an iphone. And we all even saw this. You know, our admissions team was when we first got started with Tick Tock. It wasn't even a great video. It was a cloudy day. We were writing on the back of a golf card just because we had one out and we produced this video that led to over a hundred forty thousand views and the audio wasn't even that great and to this day that's the biggest piece of content organic that that the college has produced. Now there's one piece of content that they actually paid to have people watch, but it didn't get any engagement. So just for an example, and not anything negative against as I think it's fine, but there's a piece of youtube content that they created. Very well done. The lighting a really nice camera, the sound is perfect. I mean it looks just like a super bowl commercial except, you know, it's not funny, it's serious. Having said that, it's got about five hundred thousand views on youtube because they paid for people to get it, to get in front of people. That video has three likes, zero comments. Three likes, zero comments. Where is that piece of organic tick Tock that we that we produced maybe start to finish, two to three minutes we put it up on ticktock. Like I said, a hundred forty thousand views. Eventually has four hundred comments. It has seventeen thousand likes. So that's a piece of organic content and it is just rolling. And so I think if you look at the numbers, without a doubt, it's like just take what you have, get as started as soon as you can, post as much as you can, and then and then see where it goes from there. And then eventually you're going to you're going to produce a piece of content that, for whatever reason, you're going to kind of surprised about, like Oh, we didn't realize that people, students, are resonating with this about our college. Once you have that information, then you could put the money into it to actually produce even a better video, if you want to push into that. So it actually gives you some data research in it, as well as the brand awareness. Yeah, I like that idea there too, because, I mean, again, I'm trying to make sure everybody understands that you do not have to invest to get into this. There's there's no entry fees to this. You've already have what you need. But I mean I'm sure that some people would, you know, look at it like a Mr Beast. I mean, he's taking a lot of profits and pouring that into content to make a different kind of content. And so you know, yes, if that's where you want to eventually go. Certainly there's ways to get there and do that, but we're talking about on this one right here, is how do you create authentic, organic content that can really resonate with your audience exactly. Rob You had mentioned a thought about letting comments lead where you go with your content next,...

...and use an example of maybe a college in Minnesota that didn't put up sidewalks at the very beginning, which I thought brought this that painted the picture. Well. Could you explain that to our audience? Yeah, I think it's somewhere up worth and so, I mean, it does really matter, but it's a genius idea. Is that what they did when they built some new buildings? Instead of putting sidewalks in where they thought they should go, they waited a full year and what they found is as students made their own paths and then eventually, when they figured out where the pass were, where the students were going, then they put the sidewalks in. And I think that makes a lot of sense, and especially when it comes to social media, because we are inside the bottle and so we have a perspective, but we're trying to reach people that are outside the bottle, that have a totally different perspective. And so I know this may be a controversial opinion and I'm not trying to be negative on anyone, but a lot of times our marketing departments in higher education as ran by people that don't post anything on Instagram, ran by people that don't have a tick tock account, and so it just it's a different view, in a different perspective that they're coming at where I think we need to try to be empathetic and trying to figure out what are people looking for, what are the questions that they're asking? And often we're answering the questions that nobody wants the answers to. They're not ask asking those questions, but yet we give them those answers. And Social Media What I love about it most, and and I'm not against billboards on that, against radio ads, I'm not even against newspapers, but that's all one way. There's no conversation, it's just one way communication, whereas with social media we could figure out what people love about our college and maybe even more important, we could figure out the negatives that they view about our college. And this is the part that I know that sometimes college is get very nervous about is that they don't they feel like if people are saying negative things about US online, that's actually going to hurt us, which I I disagree with. It's because we're going to get more positives than we will get negatives, and sometimes we need that truth from an outside perspective of white do people feel like we're overpriced? Do they think our programs are weak in these areas or I do? There could be a million different things, but unless we actually put ourselves out there, we don't know why people are saying no to our universities. And I know that simply putting, you know, stuff out in the mail, we're not going to hear that conversation. And so, ultimately, I think that's one of the the hidden values in social media, is that we can be social for the good and the bad. Thank you, Robin. As we start to wind up our conversation, like to ask this final question, and if the answer is no, that's okay, but are there any bits of advice or things that we didn't cover that you think that would be impactful, that you would like to leave with us before we go? By no means am I saying that I'm an expert but from my short time and higher education, is that we got to figure out a way that we can take ourselves less serious, we got to figure out a way that we can break down some of the silos, and that's something that I never knew about till I got higher education. That was even a word that I've ever used, but as soon as I got in higher education that word was thrown around a lot now and I get it. There are reasons why silos exist and probably some of them are needed and some of them might be good, but ultimately, if we want to promote our schools, then we got to figure out a way that we can move much faster, take ourselves a little less serious and ultimately break down some of these silos, because until we do that, then we're just going to continually to market the way that we've always market. And from what I've read and what I've heard is that it's getting harder and harder as less students are coming into college or there's just less students in America as a whole, depending on the region that you're in. So all those...

...things, it's going to get a lot more competitive, and so it feels like in some ways it's it's where the taxi cabs and Uber's about to come in. We're blockbuster and Netflix is about to come in. And so I ultimately, and I would say this to any colleges, I think it's a college is well, there's probably gonna be two big winners, the ones that are so big they can't fail, that have the brand recognition that everyone knows about, that people are going to go there because of the name. But for the majority of colleges that's probably not the case. And the ones, I think that are going to thrive in this new environment are the ones that could be much faster, that are able to take risk when when, ultimately, even saying take risk, I don't even think that's the right way of putting it, because if blockbuster started to mail out their DVD's, that would have seemed risky at the time, but looking back, that would have been the best thing that you could have done eventually when they started putting stuff online like Netflix did. And of course blockbuster doesn't exist anymore. And so all that to say is I think universities, we have to hold on Church addition and and education that we know works, but at the same time we have to realize that two thousand and twenty two and going forward is going to be different and therefore we have to be different and how we mark it. And so if we don't, I think we're going to see some colleges that will just continue to struggle because they're not willing to adapt. Perfect Rob I think you just dropped the mic there. Thank you so much. Before we let you go, tell us what's next for that tall family? Yeah, that's that's a really good question, because I don't know the answer. So in a good way, we're going to continue to produce content like we've been doing for the last eleven months. There have been some new opportunities with some bigger brands. There actually has been some talk with some different TV networks, which to me, like is just crazy. So for the next few months we're going to keep doing what we're doing and just trust the process. But ultimately it's going to be the same thing all the you know, kind of the sermon that I just preach. Be Willing to adapt and be willing to change, and so I don't know what that's going to look like for us yet, but we're just hoping to be able to take our own medicine. So how's the best way to find either that tall family or if you've said something that resonated with a marketer, how could they contact you to continue the conversation? Yeah, I mean if you just search that tall family, anything that pulls up it's going to be us. So you can click on that, that tall familycom. It's a very basic site that has all of our social media. has a little button to email us. That would be the easiest way. But Yeah, Rob Clark on Linkedin and I'm sure you're going to put it all on the show notes, so that would probably the easiest way. Just scroll down on the show notes and hit one of those links. Very good. Thank you so much for this robust conversation around social media marketing. Of course, thanks for having me on. Guys Bart, any final words from you, my friend? Yeah, I just wanted to kind of summarize a few things that rob said that I think are really important and I think he kind of summarized it there at the end. We also talked about at the beginning is this idea of really trying to lean into being nimble and being, you know, being able to move faster, being able to have a little bit more tolerance for you know, trying something new. I think that's something that all of us and hired marketing could really lean into, is just how can we be more agile and what we do as a team as we do as individuals, and how can we lead our universities and doing that? I also thought it was very, really good to be able to just kind of understand this idea of authenticity. So much of what robs talked about and if you look at any of the organic content that they've produced, it's all about an authentic family. It's all about authenticity. You know, it's quantity, it's, you know, they still have quality because of the know using the iphone you're going to have, you're going to have good quality with, you know, a modern galaxy or a modern iphone. But I think that the the ideas that you're going to do authenticity instead of trying to do commercials or trying to do other things like that. And I think finally, also just the idea of really kind of leaning into thinking about this as being...

...a conversation and trusting those people to also carry the conversation on that you might be, you know, the influencers on campus that you might want to recruit to help with the marketing of your institution. It's all about trust. It's all about conversation. The conversations are going to happen whether you're a part of it or not. The the important thing is how you can you be a part of that, be authentic when you're a part of that, being nimble that you can actually engage in those conversations and take it from there. So, rob, thanks again so much for being being on the show. Yeah, thanks for having me on, guys. That ends another episode of the High Ed Marketer Podcast, which is sponsored by Taylor solutions and education, marketing and branding agency and by Think, patented, a marketing execution company combining personalization and customization for outbound campaigns. On behalf of my cohost part Kaylor, I'm troy singer. Thank you for joining us. This is a bit of a footnote to our conversation with Rob Clark of that tall family and just to bring some context for the listeners, we had our first recording on Wednesday February second a few things happened not too long after that that the rob was going to kindly enough to come back on the show to allow us to record this footnote, which is today, Monday February, Twenty one, and so rob, maybe tell us a little bit about what's happened in that time, even before we have a chance to launch the episode. Yeah, for sure. Like we talked about on the initial recording, it was this idea of putting content out there and you never know who it's going to resonate with, and so when I hit you back up, I just want I thought this was a perfect example of what we were talking about, and so as this idea of one piece of content can change everything. I even remember back when I used to do my own podcasts, and I think I've started three now and I usually get about fifty episodes and that I get bored and move on. But there was one podcast where I said, you know, it was titled One piece of content and I talked about this guy, and I forget his tick tock handle. It's like dog face something, and he's known for the Ocean spray where it has car broke down, his truck broke down, he grabbed his scateboard, he's off to work. He filmed the tick tock drinking ocean spray and it took off a change his life. He bought his mom the house he bought as his own house and truck and anyway change the trajectory of his life and the idea that always stuck with me. Just takes one piece of content to change everything. Now this isn't necessarily on the same scale, but when I think about higher education, this is what we need to think about, something of this magnitude, where it doesn't have to be the thing like dog face, where all of a sudden you're known around the world. But a few days after we talked, I posted a video like we've posted before. We had this idea as a family and often my wife and I will will consume tick tock and we'll share back and forth this may be a good idea for her family. And she sent me one and we tried it and and just wasn't working like how we thought. And then at the last second or like hey, let's just do the same idea but with the whole family. And then it took maybe twenty seconds to film. It took we we did in one take. We set up on a tripod Hgo, we just kind of did our thing twenty seconds, posted it well and right now has rerecording this. It's been fourteen days since we posted that and are that tick tock video on our account has over forty four million views. Wow. We shared it to our instagram, we which has over eleven million views. But then that has been shared. This is the interesting part. That video has been shared seventy twozero times, and so there's accounts like big time accounts over time memes are there's this big site in India that across all those sites it's been washed over another forty million times. It led to CBS studio ten in Australia wanting us in the morning show. It led to a national brand, not actually a global brand, reaching out to us. We just finished...

...a video for them, a piece of content that they paid us five figures for, and we've actually talked to another major streaming platform since this video. They saw this video and they want to talk to us about possibly a show. And so one piece of content has led to a lot of really good things for that tall family. But in context of this podcast, you know, think about the average size of a university, you know, six thousand Tenzero, even a very small university at two thousand. Think of all the content creators that are on campus and if you could leverage them that are making content already and consuming probably four to six hours a day of content. If you can leverage them. I mean the opportunity where it's just going to put the reps in it at some point. One piece of content can change everything for a university, especially the smaller to mid sized universities. Again, there's bigger university reason they kind of you know, they could do whatever and everyone's going to know their name. But this is an opportunity for those medium to small size universities that really can change everything. And and last thing, I'll let you jump in here. I just found it interesting my daughter, like literally a minute before we got on this call, she sent me a text because a university that were aware of that we talked about, popped up in her for you page on ticktock and she said, I'll look at this one, and she's got to making fun of it because it was a very good but even having said that, it was a fact that it popped up and you know, as parents and as kids we were talking about this university. So it works in one piece of content can actually change everything for the university, even on a smaller scale. It can lead to a lot of students deciding to check out your university for the first time. Yeah, I think that's so true and and what I love about this in one of the reasons why we decided to to record this little snippet to edit into the episode is the fact that when we're talking about social media, specially when we're talking about, you know, Youtube and and you know instagram and tick Tock, kind of the what I would kind of consider the outfront highly consumable content. I mean, you think about the fact that, you know, four to six hours a day of consuming content on those three channels. I mean, you know, growing up as a kid in the S, you know, I was watching TV probably four to six hours, but it's totally different now and I think that the fact that they the accessibility that anyone has, especially small universities, to be able to get into these channels and, like you said, one piece of content is really all it takes and it and is so fluid. You know, you can't write a book about this right now and you cannot sit down and find an academic book and take a course on this. This is happening on the fly. It's fluid. Everybody's figuring this out. Why not participate in that and be able to really leverage that for your own school. So I love that. And you know, one thing to rob. I know you are you. You're someone that really appreciates Gary V and I was watching a video, I think he was on linkedin today, and he said something about, you know, his latest thing these last couple days he's really been talking about don't count your followers, don't count you know how many likes you have. Just get out and start producing content. I know that's something we've talked about, but the idea of just getting into that discipline, getting into that that you know, groove of just producing content, producing content, getting it out there, and then it's going to happen. One, one piece of content is going to start happening. It might not be eighty eight million like you guys maybe have experienced in the combination of everything, but it's still is going to happen, and the fact that it's happened for you guys, and you know, Eleven, twelve months, is such a blessing. So I'm so glad that you reached out and and kind of followed up with that. No, and you're exactly right. And and universities. It's the same ideas as when we were kids and watching TV, we would watch those commercials and the idea of if you could advertise, because every...

...single dollar that I had as a kid I was going to buy a Gig figure because that's what I watched on a Saturday morning and it was a third, you know as a twenty two minute commercial, and I loved it and I would spend every dollar on it. And what we need to get in our mindset is that ticktock and instagram and Youtube breathe, you know, shorts. These are the Saturday morning cartoons, except that we get to watch them every day of the week, whenever we want. And so the idea of like if I has a toy manufacture, if I could advertise on a Saturday morning, I was going to win. And so it's the same mentality. Like if we as higher educate, might I say we am on higher education, but if I are education, on the idea of you you can advertise, because the millennials that's where they live. They live on social media. I mean we do as well, and so everyone does, but especially millennials. That's the bread butter, and so they could be just a little bit creative and not you know, like you said with Gary Vainer Chuck, is if you're not worried about your followers and about likes and you just produced real content, is going to resonate with somebody and and that's the kind of the the you know, the secret sauce of it all is when you just produce content that's right for you and true to you, then the followers will show up. I mean that's it's going to happen if you just put the reps in great rob thanks for coming back on and cheering this with us. It's so exciting. Of course, good to talk. You've been listening to the Higher Ed Marketer. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you're listening with apple podcasts. We'd love for you to leave a quick rating of the show. Simply tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves. Until next time,.

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