If there is just one thing that you should remember about social media marketing for schools, it’s that just ‘doing it’ is no longer acceptable. With the rise in social media’s influence, having a plan is now essential for every school. With this in mind, I’ve created 5 simple steps for creating the basis of an effective social media marketing strategy.
1- Define Your Objectives
Whether it’s to increase followers, direct traffic to your website or get more brand exposure for your school, having objectives is fundamental to the success of your social media marketing. Create tangible and measurable objectives that are in line with your overall marketing strategy.
For example, you may want to reach the following targets within a certain timeframe:
- Increase your school website traffic by 10%
- Grow your Followers by 5%
Whatever your social media objectives, be sure to align them with your overall marketing strategy. Remember they should work hand-in-hand, not compete with each other.
2 – Create A Policy
Before your school even gets started with social media be sure to create a policy outlining the Do’s and Don’ts, as well as setting the tone of your social updates, to ensure all your social marketing efforts are reflective of your school. Don’t dilute a strong brand with social media activity that is out of character with an otherwise robust brand. That includes the images you use, your language and your tone. Be consistent.
3 – Offer Training
Now that you have objectives and a policy in place, offer some basic social media training to your staff. Understanding who’s on what platform, how to reach your target audiences and what the social media best practices are will equip them with the knowledge they require to help your school succeed in your social media efforts. Don’t be afraid to ask for outside help if you need it.
4 – Plan Ahead
Unless you’ve got a sizeable team, social media can take up a fair share of your valuable time and resources. Planning ahead is therefore crucial. By creating a calendar of your content for the week/month, you can better manage your time. Most schools know the reoccurring milestones at their school so why not use those to build your calendar. For example, if May is exam time at your school, plan ahead by creating blogs and social shares focused on that. By planning ahead you’ll have more time to be reactive to spontaneous activities at your school.
5 – Measure Your Efforts
As I mentioned in my first point, like all marketing activities, measuring your social media efforts is essential to gauge if you’re on the right track. Using tools such as Google Analytics or the social media platforms’ own analytics can provide you with valuable data to match your objectives. Using these statistics to determine what is and isn’t working will allow you to adjust your efforts accordingly. But remember, give it time – social media payoff doesn’t happen overnight… nor does getting it right.
Whether you’re just about to start social media at your school, or you’ve been doing it for some time, it’s not too late to implement these 5 simple steps to ensure your school gets the most of your social efforts.