You might be wondering why you need to think about your school’s social media strategy at all – you have a website already, that should surely be enough to attract potential students and engage with your school community?
In short – your website alone is not enough.
Social media marketing is so much more than simply posting a fun photo to Facebook or Instagram in the hopes your followers will see and like it.
To improve your social media presence, you need a strategy in place that not only focuses on boosting engagement on your school’s social media accounts but also on starting a conversation with your audience on the social media platform where they spend most of their time.
Whether you realise it or not, your school has its own specific brand, which can be established and built upon by using social media platforms tactically.
Using your school colours and crest on social media platforms helps to establish your school’s brand visually, while the content you create and share on these platforms will reinforce your vision, mission, and messaging.
Your school’s social media presence should have a purpose behind it; sharing school events, good news, school celebrations, and daily campus life will help to engage your school’s community and showcase your best assets to prospective students and parents.
Social media platforms can be used for more than just sharing fun photographs and updates. You can use social media as an alternative communication platform in combination with the usual channels.
Too many emails and flyers sent out might overwhelm parents and students – and many newsletters become lost in the daily email shuffle.
Posting an update about an open day or a school event on your school’s social media profiles will ensure that both parents and students will see the information during their day.
However, you should consider what information would work best on a social media platform; important updates on school policies are better sent via email, while event notices and open days will work better on your chosen social media platform.
Attracting school leaders and educators can be tricky in the modern age, but social media networks make this much easier.
When it comes to the educational space, school leaders, teachers, and even administrative staff want to work in an environment that is enjoyable, fun, and that is adopting modern trends, like social media.
Having a social media and digital marketing strategy that also speaks to potential educators will attract educators who want to become part of your institution.
Allowing your current educators to do “account take-overs”(where a teacher is in control of your school’s social media platforms for a day) showing classes, lesson plans, the school grounds, and so on not only boost engagement but can entice future educators to teach at your school and enrich the lives of students.
Social media sites have very useful tools that you can utilise to reach a very specific, local audience. Facebook has Ads that enable you to target the exact location and demographics of your audience, and other social media platforms have similar tools that you can implement too.
Creating content that is tailored to your specific location and audience, but sharing it with the general public, will make you miss out on interested leads who could become conversions. By using Facebook Ads, you can make sure that the right audience is targeted at the right time, with content that is relevant and useful to them.
Posting information local to your community and school on social media will help you to reach parents and students in the area who are looking for a new school or to change schools.
Make sure your school’s contact details are always updated, so current and prospective parents and students can contact you easily.
There are several different social media platforms available, but focusing on the major options for your school accounts will work best, as these are where your students and their parents spend most of their time online.
The major social platforms schools should concentrate on are:
Facebook is arguably one of the most popular platforms and is used by young and old alike. Having an updated Facebook account for your school is vital for reaching a large quantity of your audience – but you might not be entirely sure how to use it.
Facebook allows you to interact directly with your target audience through the use of commenting, direct messaging, stories, private groups, and post sharing. A social media manager will be able to speak to your audience directly and create a conversation with them to drive engagement.
The audience who will frequent your Facebook page are users who are interested in information about and from your school, which is made up primarily of parents and teachers. Prospective students may use Facebook from time to time, but their preferred social platforms are Instagram and Twitter, and often TikTok.
With Digithrive as your social media manager, we only use best practices when it comes to posting on Facebook. Having a specific school page on this platform enables you to post good news from and about your school, share photographs and videos of events, and keep your audience updated about important news.
Instagram has become extremely popular with most primary schools and secondary schools. It is a visual-first social platform that is used to share photographs and videos by users with accounts who follow them.
Using your school smartphone, you can visually document campus life, students, and teachers in a fun and innovative ways. Instagram also allows you to post Stories, which disappear after 24 hours, as well as long and short videos in the form of Reels and Instagram TV.
The target audience for Instagram is younger than other social media networks, and includes younger to older teens and some teachers, too. Primary schools and secondary schools can benefit from having an Instagram account, as you can reach students directly in a format they use and enjoy regularly.
Instagram was designed for sharing visual content, so photographs and videos of your school should be the main focus. Drive engagement with videos of a class in action, or of an extracurricular activity that is popular with students and parents. In your Stories, you can post polls, quizzes, and questions to generate a conversation between your school and potential students.
Twitter is a highly effective platform for sharing information, such as reminding parents about upcoming events, or for connecting with students and parents with similar interests and goals to your school. While you do have a 280 character limit, there is no limit to the number of times a day you can post. Twitter is ideal for short, to-the-point posts and for generating hashtags for your school
Adults are the primary audience on Twitter, so it is the perfect place for reaching potential and current parents and educators. Teachers, school leaders, and education industry leaders are on Twitter providing advice, social commentary and tips, and having your school become part of that conversation could be highly useful to your online visibility.
Visual content with sharp, punchy captions will properly engage your audience, and remember to use hashtags that are popular and relevant to your school. Updates and news are ideal for Twitter, as you can share these social media links to other platforms, as well as to your school website. Twitter has an in-built social media management tool that allows social media managers to monitor what is happening online on the account.
School pride is something we all experience both during and after our school years, and with the advent of social media, alumni have been able to reconnect with their old schools.
You might think that connecting with previous students is not worthwhile, but these alumni can help to generate engagement with your school on social media and can help to paint a more rounded picture of your institutio/n and the daily life of students.
Content that showcases how previous students have given back to society, how retired teachers are spending their days, and how parents of past students feel about their experiences with your school will instil school pride in current and past students, and entice prospective students to engage with the content and with your school.
We have implemented social media strategies for clients that have an established presence and for those who have little to no presence at all. One particular school that has achieved significant results by partnering with us is Eaton Square Mayfair.
Eaton Square Mayfair came to Digithrive with confusion regarding their paid social campaigns that were managed by another agency. After our team spent some time diving deep into their campaigns, we uncovered a different path for Eaton Square to take.
We developed a multi-channel approach, using multiple accounts, targeting a highly defined and unique audience. Using Facebook Pixels, we created ‘lookalike audiences’ using the school’s website data which was then layered with our readership data, to create the perfect audience profile to target.
Our results speak for themselves, with £600 000 confirmed campaign revenue, 95% open day show rate, plus a 6.6% return on ad spend.
As your social media manager, Digithrive guarantees social media success and improved visibility.