As an early adopter of social media, I can tell you that the growth of this aspect of the internet is astonishing. The quick communication and grand access to the universe via social media are not well recognized. Sadly, social media is being used by some governments to destabilize and destroy institutions.
For this article, we will be setting aside the negative aspects of social media and looking at how your private school can use social media to make families, both present and future aware of your school. This article is written for schools that already have the budget to run marketing programs and for those that have limited resources and are not certain how to proceed.
Before we go further, I want us to clear our minds of any misconceptions that you might have had about social media. I have heard people say that they cannot have themselves bothered about social media, they even go as far as saying it is a total waste of time. Social media is an electric form of socializing. Sharing our experience about what we are doing, where we visit, and the people we meet is something we humans have been doing for ages.
The early humans left paintings on the cave wall – that is early age social media. The difference in the 21st-century is the application of technology and the availability of a wide range of platforms to pick from. Using one or all of them can help you make people aware of your school.
1. Keep a consistent brand
To keep a consistent brand, here are some questions you should ask yourself;
- What kind of school are we?
- What programs do we offer?
- Who are our teachers?
- What makes us different from other similar schools?
- Why should parents send their children to your school?
Your website should be able to answer all these questions. Websites are for references. Before a parent will come to your school, be rest assured that they have gone through your website. Social media reminds parents of who you are. It creates that interest in them to find out more about your programs which is what they are looking for.
The announcement about your school winning that competition reinforces the high quality of your faculty. The video of your primary school pupils learning how to do math illustrates how you teach. The pictures of the PTA meeting confirm what a vibrant community of parents that trusts you.
Click here to read on Branding for your School
2. Create a sub-brand
You might think that your school is not a big organization like automobiles with sub-brands under a big umbrella. You are right, but this applies the same principle. Your sub-brand could be a summer camp or a debate series. Select an activity that you probably already are doing anyway. Start talking about it more frequently on your social media channels. Parents will soon get the idea that your school is the one where a scoutmaster did training with your scout members.
Your sub-brand doesn’t have to be flashy and expensive. It just needs to get talked about consistently. Develop the buzz and you will see results. Sub-branding can create another reason why parents should send their children to your school.
3. Provide news and information
Providing news and information is actually an extension of what we do in the classroom all the time. The differences are the audience and the presentation. As you go through dozens of stories on your feeds, some of them might be something worth telling your community about. People say, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Also, as you review your school calendar, post plans about upcoming events to remind your community about the school match, play, competitions, or PTA.
4. Make it fun
Education is a serious business, but it doesn’t have to be boring – it can be fun. Communicate the enjoyment of learning and positive atmosphere which is a hallmark of your school. News spread on social media all the time about things that go wrong. Make your social media channels safe, online destinations where people know that they can go to be inspired and uplifted.
5. Comment and share other posts
Everyone loves a compliment. Your approval is also an essential part of the social media program. While responding to comments, be careful not to throw in insults, if you get a negative review, let your reply show that you are ready to change. Do not start throwing jabs at every online troll. Also share other posts of interest for parents, but do not overdo it. No one likes when they are bombarded with notifications from a particular account within a short period of time.
We are just scraping the surface of the topic. You can learn more by following and doing what other schools do. By doing this, you will quickly develop a voice for your school on social media which will help you attract new families.