So many times we’ve heard schools and universities say that social media just isn’t for them.
It’s too time consuming. They’re not sure where to start. They should be focusing on actually running their school or university – not just posting pictures online – right?
Wrong. As social media continues to change the way people communicate, it has become an increasingly important tool.
While social media began as a way to connect friends and family, it’s fast become the norm for all types of organisations (including those in the education world) to have a social media presence; parents research potential schools for their children and seek recommendations from friends and family, so, it’s in the best interest of schools and universities to make their online presence as active and interesting as possible.
Your return on investment for a few hours a week and a few clicks of a button can be huge. You can support and grow your online presence while building and maintaining relationships with current and new students and staff members.
Quality beats quantity
You don’t have to post all the time on your social media channels. But you do want your messages to get out there on a regular basis and to be informative and interesting.
Don’t be afraid to have a personality online and keep giving your audience something to come back for. When you build your relationships, you build upon your organisation’s identity.
Focus on your community
Social media marketing can widen your reach, help you engage more and increase your audience. But social media isn’t like traditional advertising where you put a message out into the world and hope someone responds. It’s more conversational and centered around the idea of a community. Conversations are a two-way street.
Make sure you’re replying to people who interact with you on social media. Engage with strong social influencers, such as bloggers that your target audience read or individuals in the Education field with robust followings. Engaging the online community is core and will be one of the keys to your success.
You’ve invested the time, so invest a little money too. Don’t be afraid to throw a little money behind your social media efforts.
Social media’s ‘organic’ reach has dropped dramatically because of the sheer volume of content posted each day. Platforms are now pay-to-play: by that we mean you have to invest some of your marketing budget to boost the reach of your content.
Whether it’s with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google AdWords, amplifying your message and promoting content is important; know your audience, and you can easily promote and share content, gain more followers and drive traffic to you.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. If your social media efforts are successful, repeat the steps you took to do it again. And if an advert doesn’t work the first time, don’t ditch the idea of advertising on social media. Try again, redefine your audience, or the amount of your investment, and change your strategy or approach. Social media is a marketing tool and you’ll learn through doing.
Finally, some questions to consider:
What are you currently doing on social media for your school? Is it generating a return on investment on the time you spend each week?
And lastly, would you like some help?