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22-year school comms professional
Former assistant professor
K-12 PR, marketing and branding agency owner
Crazy about design, efficiency and helping others
The reach that social media platforms promise is undeniable. A study conducted by The Research Moms at Edison Research states that 92% of U.S. moms use social media.
This goes to show that a significant percentage of your current and potential audiences can be engaged online. Years ago, academic institutions hardly considered social media strategy to be their top priority (keyword: STRATEGY); however, the more strategic and active you are in engaging and sharing information on your social media pages, the more you will set yourself apart from other institutions.
Having a social media presence enables you to maximize your audience engagement. Various social media platforms can then serve specific purposes and also fuel your marketing agenda. If you hadn’t yet considered using strategic social media as one of your marketing strategies, now is the perfect time to branch out and get started.
We have compiled a list of tips on how you can utilize the strengths of each social media platform to give you an advantage.
Parents want to be involved in their child’s education. So, it makes sense to provide them visibility into the matters that affect their child, in addition to the day-to-day happenings in school. By bringing them into your world, you’ll nudge them to develop a positive association with your institution.
One way to do that is to create grade-specific or class-specific Facebook groups run by a trained parent ambassador. These could serve as a friendly gathering space where teachers share updates to keep parents in the loop and parents can interact with the respective stakeholder.
Twitter is also a great platform to engage parents on a non-academic front. This is because you can’t control your following on Twitter; anyone who stumbles upon your posts is free to follow your Twitter page.
Some examples of social media engagement posts to consider for Twitter include sharing useful blogs/ articles, starting a discussion, conducting a poll, etc. As for Facebook, your social networking plan could include providing information on events, extracurriculars, contests, submission deadlines and alumni success stories, to name a few ideas.
The sense of belonging that parents derive from being a part of the community, coupled with the value you’d provide, can build long-term loyalty.
Productivity has become a sensational social norm in recent years, especially among students. So much so that planners, hustle culture, study inspiration mood boards have taken the internet by storm.
To ease academic pressure and enhance time management amongst them, you can share productivity checklists, assignment tracker templates, mental health kits, etc. on Pinterest. Extra points for aligning the visual language to your brand image.
Now, there are two ways to go about it depending on your social media strategy. You could either create them as private Pinterest boards, accessible only to those parents with whom you share the link. Or you make them available publicly, and they can become marketing assets to increase brand recognition among potential families.
Audiences are becoming well-informed about the options available to them. And so, it takes more than offline marketing initiatives to build a brand.
LinkedIn is the perfect platform for you to step up as a thought leader, engage with the industry experts and invest significant efforts into social networking with the community at large. Some of your social media engagement posts on LinkedIn could be about your unique differentiators, student/alumni/faculty/staff achievements and cross-promotion of public relations mentions. These appeal to parents and decision-makers alike.
Instagram is a highly visual platform that can be used to announce contests, winners and create a buzz about school activities. Paint a picture for potential parents and students so that they can visualize what it would be like to enroll at your school.
From hosting live sessions to repurposing YouTube video content for IGTV, you can use video marketing to its fullest. The branding strategies implemented on Instagram should account for the social proof you want to communicate. By making the caliber of your institution making it crystal clear, you’ll have built a very persuasive case for the school.
Sharing staff accomplishments is also a great way to increase employee morale and further engage both families and alumni.
In the School Comms Lab membership, we provide fun templates including Instagram grid puzzles, carousels and easily customizable announcement posts.
Long-form content can take a while to produce, but they allow you to offer a lot of value.
Be it a documentary of a school trip or an interview with a department head, such video content directly engages the attention of parents and influential figures. You can also live stream contests or workshops so that parents can virtually attend the same event and cheer on their child’s participation.
It can help you establish your school culture as one that prioritizes not just academics, but also the student’s holistic development.
So, consider having some resources set aside for producing video content. You’ll be glad to know that, with an effective social media strategy, these videos will elevate your brand value.
Utilize each platform’s strengths to your advantage. You’ll soon realize just how valuable strategic social media marketing is to engage parents in the long run.
If you need help to optimize your social media approach and get results, sign up for the School Comms Lab membership where we give you the templates and guidance needed to create a cohesive brand across all social media channels.
At the School Comms Lab, we're dedicated to helping you communicate effectively, easily and creatively with your school's key audiences.
In a nutshell, we're here to help make your job a bit easier--and more fun.