Using social media effectively should be an important part of your school’s overall marketing strategy. Although, we know you may not always have time to keep up with ever-developing social media trends.

Despite this, the fact remains: you need to be able to use them well in order to succeed online

Last year, we wrote an incredibly popular blog piece about how the top three independent schools (based on Edurank’s scores) in the UK use social media and what you could learn from them. So, we thought we’d do the same this year, considering the rankings have changed!

Edurank is a social media benchmarking platform that is specific to education. Obviously all schools are different, so Edurank’s algorithm ranks schools based on how well they use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. Based on Edurank’s findings, the top three independent schools for the most recent academic year (2019-2020) were:

  1. Royal Grammar School
  2. Norwich School
  3. Millfield School

But how have these schools landed themselves in the top three and what are they doing to get to the top of the leaderboard? 

In this blog piece, we take a look at their social media accounts and share why we think they’ve got social media nailed, as well as giving you a list of quick tips at the end.

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#1 Royal Grammar School

Overall, Royal Grammar School’s use of social media is brilliant, it’s no wonder they nabbed the top spot on Edurank. But when you take a closer look at their social media, it’s their YouTube channel that really stands out.

Per Edurank statistics, Royal Grammar School received a score of 100 for their use of YouTube – a truly fantastic result! The videos on their channel speak volumes and really showcase the ethos of the school, so why is this so effective?

  • They use clear and compelling thumbnails, instantly drawing attention to them
  • The videos feature male students of different ages, communicating who the school caters to
  • Keeping their potential viewers in mind (prospective families), they immediately offer details of their open days on the channels home page

Royal Grammar School

RGS Guildford was also scored very highly for their use of Facebook so let’s take a closer look at their Facebook content. 

The first thing I noticed was how regularly they post, plus the fact that all of their posts either include a video or an image – we all know how well visual content works, and RGS has definitely got this covered! I also love their cover image, super simple but also very effective, and also showing the diversity within their school.

Royal Grammar School

To take a closer look at their content, click below:

#2 Norwich School

Norwich School is ranked second, and once you start exploring their social media pages, you can immediately see why.

This isn’t the first time we’re featuring Norwich School’s excellent use of social media on our blog, we did a piece a little while ago talking about five school’s utilising social media really well throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we absolutely love what Norwich School is doing to keep students, teachers, parents and the wider community engaged through such a tough time.

On both Facebook and Instagram, Norwich School shows us what really good content really is. Their content is inspiring, full of colour and, most importantly, it’s engaging. Plus, just like RGS, all of their Facebook posts include either a photo or video – big thumbs up!

This is one of my favourite posts from their Instagram, it has a simple caption and the photo is full of colour and shows just how happy and engaged their students are. They’re also using their own hashtag, #NorwichSchool, which I’d recommend all schools do.

Norwich School

To take a closer look at their content, click below:

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#3 Millfield School

Coming in third, we have Millfield School, and they definitely deserve to be in the top three – their use of social media is brilliant across the board! They do particularly well on YouTube and Twitter.

With nearly 8,000 well-deserved Twitter followers, they’re very active on the platform and their content varies with high levels of engagement on the majority of their tweets. 

The pinned tweet on their profile caught my attention immediately. I absolutely love how they’re getting students involved with the content they’re pushing out, and it’s certainly paying off – this video has had a whopping 1.4k views! By getting students involved with the content, it creates excitement within the school community and encourages other students to share, like and comment.

Millfield School

The other platform Millfield School does really well on is YouTube. Just like Royal Grammar School, this is because of their captivating thumbnails, in-depth descriptions and super engaging videos. I mean, just take a look at their channel homepage…

Millfield School

To take a closer look at their content, click below:

Final thoughts

While these schools each have a unique content style and manner of engaging with their audience, there are certainly some similarities in their approach to social media.

Here are Ambleglow’s top tips and what you can learn from Royal Grammar School, Millfield School and Norwich School:

  • Don’t just talk about what students are up to, or how happy they are… show your audience the students looking happy, engaged and being a big part of the school community.
  • Keep your prospective families in mind when curating your school’s social accounts. 
  • Give your viewers something meaningful to engage with. Great photography, videos or something they can share with their audience – all of these things will inspire engagement and boost your performance.
  • Consider whether you can get more mileage out of school events by creating videos out of them. These could be school plays, (virtual) open days or even welcome videos from the Headteacher.
  • Don’t feel that you have to use all of the social media platforms. We always advise our clients to use a few of them really well, rather than using all of them averagely. 

Increasing engagement on any given platform can be a tough task, but certainly worth it in the long-term. Consider what you can learn from these schools, then put them to work for your school.

And, as always, if you’d like help optimising your social media marketing, we’d be delighted to help you do so. To arrange your free discovery call, click here.

Disclaimer: Ambleglow has no affiliation to these schools, they are not an Ambleglow client, we just really admire what they’re doing in the world of school marketing.

Bex – social media

ambleglow expert


For more tips & tricks on social media, click below.