There are a number of ways to use social media marketing for schools and colleges and it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re looking for some ideas, we’ve put some tips together to get things going in the right direction
Which social media platforms should you be using to market your school?
If you’re just getting started with planning a social media strategy, choose two platforms to begin with. For schools we would recommend Facebook and Instagram, and since Instagram is now owned by Facebook it all gets a lot easier because it means the ad accounts are linked.
You’ll have the potential to reach large numbers of students and parents with these platforms, because they are widely used by both groups.
What’s the difference between Facebook and Instagram?
Instagram is very image-dependant and you’ll notice that the only place you can use a link is in your bio (description of the school). This means that content needs to direct people to the link in your bio, usually using a Call to Action emoji like ☝️ or ⬆️.
Instagram is all about the #hashtags and this is how people find your content, so be sure to use relevant keywords like #schoollife #schoolday #instaschool #education – Facebook, on the other hand, is a different story. On Facebook you could use one relevant hashtag, but we wouldn’t recommend more than that.
You can create longer, more in-depth posts on Facebook, host Facebook Live events and run polls to increase engagement. On Instagram you can use Instagram Stories to run a poll or share a live story.
Social media marketing for schools – consider how to use Facebook groups
You can set a Facebook group so it’s public or private and use this for things like PTA discussions, study group discussions and more. You can use this as a more immediate way to keep parents informed, you can send an email asking people to join the group and you can also moderate them, to ensure fair play.
When is the best time to post?
We often get asked this question. Generally, for Instagram you need to think when your target audience may have a bit of downtime, like first thing in the morning, in lunch breaks or when the kids have gone to bed in the evening. For Facebook you can find out exactly when most of your followers are online. Just head to Insights in the top bar of your page, select posts, and you can see a handy graph which shows you the peak times. This usually peaks at around 8 or 9pm.
How often should you post?
In all honesty, keeping to a schedule of high-quality social content is hard work. That’s why schools and colleges use marketing companies like us, because they know how vital social media marketing is, but they don’t have time. You should try and publish three posts per platform per week at least. This might not sound like a lot, but it’s really important to look for quality content and identify any awareness days which may expand your reach further; schools will be full of fantastic stories and content, but someone has to collect it all and put it together – and that takes time and organisation.
Keep branding consistent
Parents will have seen your logo on school branding and literature, so make sure this branding is carried to social media. That means consistent fonts, colours and logo versions across all platforms. You can even create a branding style for social content – we’ve included a few examples below of posts we have produced for our clients.
If you would like help with social media marketing for schools, call our friendly team today on 01782 644 456.