With the average school now managing multiple accounts, social media has probably been a key part of your school’s marketing and communication strategy for some time.
Whilst most users of social media understand how to use their chosen networks to communicate, not all schools use social media well, especially if there is no-one with relevant marketing experience available.
So here are a few simple social media tips that you can work into your marketing strategy, whatever your level of experience.
Understand your target market
If you feel that your social strategy has lost its way, you need to re-define who your audience is and what information they are looking for.
Would parents be interested in your facilities? Can existing students be aided with quick fire revision tips? (something that helps existing students whilst demonstrating your proactive approach to student communications to prospective parents).
Try to assign a number of different subjects to each demographic of your target audience and then use these areas of interest to create a content strategy that will engage them.
Don’t be shy about promoting success at every level – whether this is about Ofsted inspection results, a spelling bee competition, or sporting achievements. Announce, congratulate (or commiserate) and share effectively.
You should also poke around the social profiles of other local schools to see how they use these platforms.
Tap into the power of video in social media
92% of mobile video consumers share videos with others, while 55% of people consume video content thoroughly and 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers. (HubSpot, 2016)
Video is also faster and easier to produce when compared to other media such as blogging.
Yet regardless as to the persuasiveness of these figures, just 9% of schools use Vimeo to share their stories, with just 4% using YouTube to do the same.
Harness video where appropriate – such as for digital versions of your prospectus, sporting events, a visual school tour or a video of student interviews/testimonials.
Set goals and include a call to action
What are you trying to achieve with your use of social media? Are you hoping to gain new followers? Are you aiming to increase your number of likes, comments and shares?
Create a list of goals and target dates so that you can plan your content strategy and work towards each goal.
Remember to include a call to action – whether it is for parents to download a prospectus, for potential students to register for your latest webinar, or just to start a hashtag trend that you encourage others to use.
Without a call to action, it will will that much harder to achieve your targets.
Work smarter, not harder
Social apps such as Hootsuite, Everypost and Buffer provide a litany of useful features that will make your social campaigns much more effective, whilst driving down the time they take to manage.
These features include post automation, content curation and group management, as well as offering insight into helpful data – such as showing you when your posts are receiving the most interaction and engagement (which can help you in choosing the right times and days for future posts).
If you’re blogging with WordPress, there are a number of plugins such as NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster and Social Media Auto Publish that are great time savers for your social efforts, as they handle the task of publishing to your social accounts on your behalf; better still, they’re both free.
Do you use social media effectively in your school? Share any of your successful strategies with other teachers using the comment form below.