There is no denying that social media is the future. The numbers speak for themselves: over one billion Facebook users, more than 600 million Twitter fanatics and a YouTube audience wider than any cable network.
Social media is a free, quick and easy communications method. Yet, many education institutions are nervous about using social media channels to further their marketing and communications objectives.
School systems need to have a social media strategy promoting their campuses, programs, and advertising for education. The possibilities for school marketing using social media strategy are endless.
Here are 5 ways to leverage social media strategy for your school.
1. Set some Basic Social Media Marketing Objectives for your School
If your school already has a defined set of school ethos, and a marketing plan (for profile building and student recruitment), then simply take the key objectives from those documents, and create a list of Social Media Objectives for your school.
Social Media Objectives should complement and contribute to your school’s general Marketing Objectives.
2. Help students with Career, or College Information
If you are a high school, use social media to help students narrow down college decisions. Start a blog investing into different subjects, classes, colleges. Host a LinkedIn group. You can even make some advertising revenue from colleges that want to post their ads in your forum.
This is a perfect way to give students the advice they need without having to set up individual meetings for each student with a career counsellor.
A great option is to start a magazine or online publication.
3. Raise Funds for your School
Here’s the one you’ve all been waiting for. Social media is a great tool for raising money. By using social media, you can reach your donors quickly by email, Facebook, Twitter, and other web and mobile applications, while increasing awareness for your school fundraisers through multiple web channels. You can do this by following these simple steps
- Get local businesses to sponsor and fund your projects
- Acknowledge every interaction with donors
- Get more involved in your community’s conversation by sharing and retweeting your influencers’ posts and links
- Add calls to action in some of your social media posts asking your followers to take the next step
4. Unify the Student Body
Your students are already on social media platforms. What your school can do is unify this audience.
A Harvard study declared that sharing stimulates the same part of your brain associated with pleasure, hence why so many put their lives on social media. What this means for you is that you can unify their innate drive to share and create different platforms for them.
For example, host a group on Facebook for young students coping with heart diseases, campus tragedies, or more light-heartedly, for particular classes, teachers, etc.
5. Track and analyze your social media use
Use tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights.
Since schools employ substantial resources on their social media strategy, monitoring its effectiveness is important. If your school time setting up and maintaining a website, that no one visits, it's not an effective use of resources. School leaders must begin to use the tools available to track and analyze the effectiveness of their social media use.
As our schools move deeper into the 21st century, school management must rethink social media's place in the school marketing.
Many still view Social Media as unnecessary and fight to keep it out of their strategy.
Perhaps it is time for schools to begin thinking in terms of having an effective social media strategy instead. So, go ahead and get started. Enjoy the likes, the retweets, and the re-pins. You have nothing to lose.
Come share your ideas for using social media effectively for your school.
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