Back in August we published a very popular blog which looked at the top 3 Independent Schools for their use of social media, according to their score on Edurank. If you want to refresh your memory, you can have a read here.
So, to follow up, we’ve been lucky enough to catch up with Lucy Barnwell, Director of Admissions, Marketing & Communications, and Amy Pendlebury, Senior Digital Marketing Executive, from the number 1 school on the list, Rossall School.
We asked Amy all about their strategy and why it’s so effective, so for the inside track on Rossall School’s social media tactics, keep reading!
How did you come up with the strategy?
As we are a school with children aged 2-18, our customer base is very broad and diverse. It is important to understand our customers and how to connect with them.
I researched various platforms and found that Facebook is still the most popular social media platform and is especially popular with Generation X and Baby Boomers. Instagram is better for us to engage with the younger audience (Gen Z and Millennials). LinkedIn is best to connect with former pupils, professionals and use for networking purposes. Twitter, I find, is a mix between the three.
Having said that, I knew it was important to tailor our social media strategy to each platform. By using the school calendar, as well as looking at key dates that affect the world (World Mental Health Day etc.), I was able to come up with our own social media calendar that I use on a daily basis. This acts as the skeleton for our social media posts and I add to it when needed. It is important to be reactive to the latest trends and news. If something happens that is relevant to us, I will always post something about it.
What makes the school’s social media so effective?
Personally, I think it is because we tailor posts to each platform, rather than using a social media tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite.
We have a bit more fun on Instagram, compared to our Facebook page, as the majority of our followers on Instagram are either current students or recent alumni. Similarly, I do not post everything on each platform, as I don’t think that all posts will gain the same amount of engagement on each platform.
I also think we are very personable. Along with the usual posts about academics, results and open day events, we also try to showcase the heart of the school: the people behind the scenes and our wonderful buildings that have stood the test of time.
We hope, through social, that potential parents and students can gain a good understanding of what they can expect from Rossall.
Do you have any tips for schools looking to improve their use of social media?
Always use a picture! I very rarely post on any platform without a picture. If you do not have a picture to hand, there are free stock imaging sites such as Freepik or Canva that make it easy for you to make your own graphics.
It is well known in the industry, that posts with pictures have better responses than those that don’t. People may scroll past a post if it is just text. Catch their eye!
Also, we try not to be so serious all the time. Yes, we are educational providers, however, you do not need to limit your posts to what goes on within the classroom.
Finally, do not be afraid of posting. We, as schools, are extremely paranoid at ‘getting it right’. We have to be perfect because we are providing an education to young people. But you are human. Mistakes do happen. Don’t let them dishearten you from posting – the more you do, the better you get. Shameless plug here for Grammarly – it’s great, I love it – it gives me peace of mind!
Rossall School’s Social Media Accounts
So that’s how Rossall School nabbed the number 1 spot when it comes to use of social media. Lots of research and planning as well as having fun with what you’re posting!
If you’re running the social media for a school, we’d definitely advise you to take some of Lucy and Amy’s social media tips on board. And, don’t forget to let us know how you get on.
Disclaimer: Ambleglow has no affiliation to Rossall School, they are not an Ambleglow client, we just really admire what they’re doing in the world of school marketing.