At Mos.com, our mission is to tear down all financial barriers to opportunity. We're getting started by helping students avoid student debt by giving them access to all of the $135B in government financial aid and thousands of reputable scholarships available each year— billions of which go unused due to the burden of navigating the unnecessarily complicated and opaque process. A key part of our success has been educating students in an approachable and engaging way about the complex systems of financial aid and higher education.
It's the unfortunate reality that today students aren't taught financial literacy in schools, or taught about how financial aid works and how to navigate the system. While there are articles and websites available, the information is presented in ways that are full of jargon, overly complex, and difficult for younger audiences to understand and take action on. To add to that confusion, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused more uncertainty for students about how to handle paying for college during these unprecedented times.
We've found that the best way to reach and educate as many students as possible on these topics is through social media. We leverage our social channels to create educational and entertaining content for students that's easy to understand, engaging, and genuinely helpful with actionable steps and tips.
Our goal is to help students understand financial aid in a fun and engaging way so they can avoid student debt. We developed various strategies to utilize our social media channels to address three main pillars: educating students on financial aid, providing resources and updates, and building community.
- Educating on financial aid: We want to deepen students' understanding of financial aid and give tangible steps on how they can pay for college. Knowing that our audience is mostly Gen-Z, we want to meet them where they're at online, focusing on platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.
On Instagram, we create helpful and informational graphics and content such as long-form Instagram carousels teaching students "Tips for applying to scholarships" to "How to communicate with your financial aid office" to "How to get a college fee waiver". We make sure that the content is robust and helpful, with real knowledge and steps that students can use to apply to their own situations.
On TikTok, we create educational content focused on videos that fit the TikTok trends and aesthetics, with TikToks covering useful topics such as "Why you should apply early to financial aid", "Common financial aid mistakes", and "FAFSA 101 for high school seniors".
- Providing resources and updates: We want to become a trusted source that students can turn to if they wanted to stay on top of higher education news and policy changes, especially given the turbulent nature of how much happened to college students throughout 2020. This means that in addition to our planned content, we also have flexibility and room for spontaneous content and resources to help quickly address whatever is top of mind for our audience. We keep students up-to-date on higher education policy and news with content such as "What Congress is doing to simplify financial aid", "COVID-19 resources for students", and "Did you know the COVID relief bill includes changes to financial aid?".
We also understand the importance of engaging and taking action in meaningful ways. When Black Lives Matter protests were being held across the country, we wanted to give back to Black student activists and campus leaders. This led us to launching our own Black Students Matter Scholarship, where we selected 200 Black students to award scholarships for their work in activism and used our social media platform to help amplify their voices.
- Developing a trusted community: While our expertise and focus is on financial aid, we know that students are struggling with other aspects of their college career, and we want to foster an online community that spanned beyond financial aid education. We curate our community by creating engaging content around helpful study and mental health tips, live Q&A sessions with our higher education experts, funny TikToks, and relatable memes that feels relevant to other topics of what students care about. We also work with college student TikTokers who share our similar vision such as @growingwithgabby and @declassifiedcollege to create content with.
With our educational and entertaining content across our social media platforms, we expanded our reach and followers exponentially:
- Launched our TikTok channel in September 2020 with our first-ever TikTok teaching students about the importance of completing their financial aid forms early, which gained over 1 million views. In less than four months from launching in September, we grew our TikTok audience from 0 to over 26,000 followers.
- In 2020, we increased our total following across all @mosdotcom social media platforms by 10x (from ~4,000 followers to over 40,000 followers across Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook).
- Gained over 3 million views across our social video content online.
We also received thousands of comments about how helpful our platforms are as well as incredible positive feedback from students and parents expressing gratitude about our educational content, deadline reminders, and storytelling:
"You are SO helpful especially for 1st gen college student!!" [email protected]_macchiato21
"My daughter is in the midst of all this. Thanks for all the information— so helpful." [email protected]
"Why am I just now seeing this, you gave me more information than my guidance counselor" [email protected]_ojo