Social Media, if used and planned correctly, can create an effective marketing tool for you to share everything that is amazing about your school. This involves publishing great content on your social media profiles, listening to, and engaging with your followers, analysing results, and running social media advertisements.
Despite the ease of using social media platforms, they can still be time-intensive, therefore you need time and resources to dedicate to this to be seeing results. The best way to start any form of marketing is to plan and strategise exactly how it is going to be used and measured and how it fits in with your overall school goals and vision.
This seven-step guide will help you put in place a simple plan that ensures your time and effort is being rewarded.
Step 1. Define Your Goals
As they say, ‘a goal without a plan is just a wish‘.
What goals have you set for your school using social media?
What do you want to achieve with it? Is it used as a communication tool with parents or just a platform to inform the school community of what’s happening? Is your goal to increase engagement with parents or to gain links with the wider community? Whatever your goals, it is definitely recommended to set some so you know the purpose of what you are doing.
Step 2. Plan Your Tactics
So, if your goal is to increase pupil admissions, how might social media enable you to achieve this goal? Could you share testimonials from existing parents or start a ‘Ten reasons to join our School’ series. Again, the tactics and the content should relate to your goals. Mix up your content to your different audiences and goals.
Step 3. What Platforms will you use?
Choosing a platform based on another school using it is not a reason! You need to consider where your parents or communities are and how are they using them? Your choice of platform(s) can also be dictated by your goals chosen in step 1. If your school is seeking business sponsorship, LinkedIn is likely a better option than TikTok!
Step 4. Set up Your Profile & Expectations
Who is going to manage your platform? What are the rules of your page? Are you allowing comments? Is your header image reflective of your school and will it entice people to want to look at your page? Will you be posting 2-3 times a week (consistency is key on social media), which Hashtags are we going to use? How will your school manage what is being posted and when?
Step 5. Landing Pages or Backlinks
There is only so much you can say in a social post (unless it is a video of course). If you are posting content about your class activities, why not post a link in the post back to your school website so parents can find out more about the curriculum in your school?
Step 6. Plan Your Content
Create a content plan so you know what you are posting and ensuring it is not just ‘noise’. Consider content for all your school community. Mix up your posts with images, videos, polls, etc. Save time as well by scheduling your posts! A high quality social media marketing plan can be a life-saver when it comes to getting content out.
Step 7. Monitor and Measure
How do you know if social media is working for your school? Are you monitoring and measuring your post performance? When are your audience engaging with your posts – if you know this, you can schedule your posts to run at this time. What content is the most popular – post more of this! Continually measure and monitor your successes so time is spent on doing the things that bring the best returns.