Social media (and Facebook in particular) is a fantastic way of showcasing your school. It allows you to reach your audience of prospective parents (and students for sixth forms or UTCs), to create a sense of community and as a game-changing way of telling your school’s unique story.
But where’s it all going?
So often we work with schools who already have a social media presence. Whilst this is great, what isn’t so great is when we see schools posting on Facebook without any real direction or purpose. Posting about recent school events or about Mrs Smith’s fantastic new wall display are indeed ways of creating a sense of community and shared interest in school. But, without a clear sense of purpose, these posts can often get lost in the noise of a parent’s Facebook newsfeed.
This may all sound contradictory, especially considering we’ve just said that we advocate schools using social media (Facebook is, after all, the largest social media platform in the world). But using social media in isolation will have very limited results when it comes to being an effective marketing tool.
If your school already uses social media then ask yourself this: What is the aim? If your answer is ‘because it’s something we should be doing’, then you’re not far wrong – it is something that schools should be using – but that isn’t the whole picture.
Schools should approach social media like any other communication platform (that includes your website). And just like your website, it needs to be serving both of your primary audiences – current parents and prospective parents. It needs to provide clear information about your school and how a prospective parent can find out more about you.
But it doesn’t end there.
If you’ve got the social media posts down to a T, then fantastic! But you should not be posting about how great your school is and how you’d love to invite prospective parents to find out more about you, but then directing people to an out-of-date, poorly functioning website. Put frankly, if you have one without the other (good social media, but a poor website and vice versa) then you won’t be doing the job properly.
This may sound a little overwhelming – especially if you’re pleased with yourself for remembering to share Mrs Smith’s new wall display and finding the time to do it – but the good news is that this is something we can help you with. Having a website that acts as a prospectus and having an effective social media strategy are key parents of our student numbers campaigns – a communications and marketing plan that is designed to help you showcase your school in the best possible way to gain more students.
If this article has piqued your interest and you would like to talk more, then we would be very happy to have a chat. You can find out how to get in touch here.