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Increasing your School's Online Presence

by on 27/05/2021 2673

Schools are complex environments that see non-stop action. You have parents dropping off kids, teachers rushing between classes, administrators doing data entry, maintenance staff upkeeping the school premises, students tearing off across the corridors and playing fields...

The list goes on.

Given the amount of day-to-day work that goes on, it is fair that websites and social media are not the first priorities for schools.

But it's important to note that you will will lose you in the long run if you are not giving online presence due attention.

We have put together a checklist to set up your social media accounts.

Social media has evolved from just being an entertainment platform into a reliable go-to for information. It’s where relationships between brands and consumers happen. In a recent study conducted, 54 percent of social browsers use social media to research products and this will only continue to increase.

But guess what, the benefits of social media marketing and branding aren’t just exclusive to companies and products. In fact, it is even more important for schools to have a social media strategy.

Just in case you missed it, LittleLives did a webinar on The Basics of Content Marketing for Schools.

We have put together the top 5 reasons why it is important for all schools to change your mind!

1. Helps with your enrolment numbers

Prospective families will not be able to consider you if they are unable to find you easily in the top search results for schools. To put it simply, we rarely go beyond page 1 of Google search. Based on a research conducted by Hubspot, 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.

Photo credit to Huffington Post

Your school's online presence is your opportunity to leave a good first impression to prospective families. Top schools achieve this through good and attractive content. From images of the school’s grounds, classrooms and students to testimonials and clear information about the school. This gives prospective families a deeper view what happens behind closed doors.

You could also even be writing tangential blog articles. Say for example you're a Montessori-based school. Instead of simply raving about the benefits about this pedagogy, you could be writing about how parents can prepare their child for the first day of school.

At the end of the day, this is your objective - to give parents enough information to make your school a contender in their minds.

This is a more effective strategy than click baiting them to contact an admissions officer or tour the school in person (which has also been affected because of Covid-19). Let prospective families be convinced through the content you have put together and they will naturally get in touch with you to discuss more.

2. Helps establish the brand of your school

Every organisation, even schools, have a specific brand. Everyone has a logo, accompanying colours and other brand-defining elements.

LittleLives brand identity

You achieve two things when you build up your social media presence.

  • You reinforce your visual brand with the community
  • You decide the feelings and impressions you want your school to resonate with the community

There is more value in demonstrating your ethos rather than just telling people about it. For example, if your school focuses on collaborative learning, you can show this by sharing photos of group projects, posting videos from the year-end concert, or posting about the parent-student activity.

Similarly, if you list sustainability and nature as top tenets of your curriculum, it would be ideal to feature creative projects such as composting.

Content like this gives prospective families a glimpse of how your educational theory translates into practice before they decide to join your school.

3. Helps strengthen your school community

Social media is not just a means of attracting potential students. It's also a way to bring your existing school community together (and frankly, that might be the best publicity a school can do). Logistically, it can help you keep parents and alumni informed of various events and share important announcements. Tracking engagement for your events and initiatives on social media can be an indicator of what your community values and wants to see in the future. There are so many different ways to connect with followers on social media!

Examples of great social media content (such as videos or photographs) could be:

  • How schools give back to the community
  • Live-streaming graduation ceremonies
  • Showcasing students' artistic talents will

These kind of content is great for instilling school pride for students, teachers, alumni, and parents.

4. Opportunities for on-the-ground content

Having an online presence for schools isn't just about scheduled postings and promotions. As eager as you may be to constantly share your school's awards on your social media, it would mean missing out on one of the biggest perks of these platforms: content created by your own students, parents, and alumni.

For example, you could create a public Facebook group for parents to network and exchange information while at the same time getting an insight into the culture of the school.

Or you could allow your teachers to do a social media takeover to show the community a day in their lives, peaking into lesson plans, classes, and any other school-related activities they’re involved in. This showcases the culture of your schools far better than any sales brochure.

5. Helps with hiring

Similar to other organisations, employees want to work for companies that reflect their values, are a fun and enjoyable place to be, and that offer the right kinds of challenges.

A social media strategy that periodically highlights educators within the school walls is a great way to attract other high quality educators when vacancies are available.

For example, you could feature one teacher per month and share fun facts about them and their specifics. Either way, highlighting what the life of employees is like is a great way to attract highly skilled talent.

To say the pandemic has caused a stir in the education system would be an understatement. Recruiting new students is now a digital endeavor, and existing families want to be sure their child receives high quality education.

Going online is one of the most effective ways to connect with your school community.

We hope you now have a better understanding of how school marketing strategies are shifting online. While building a social media presence may be daunting, the benefits is worthy of the efforts.

We encourage you to contact us with any questions (about the importance of an online presence for schools or anything else) and our team will do our best to help.

Before you go, here's a checklist you can use while your are setting up your social media accounts!

This article was first published on LittleLives.