In a previous post, we discussed how to use technology to make a personal connection with today’s parents, “3 Ways for Schools Admissions to Connect with the Next Generation of Parents.” Aside from having a well-defined and consistent “personal” communication plan for parents, you must also use technology to include them – and even better – entice them to collaborate in your online community. You got it, I’m talking about social media… as in Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. There are many media outlets these days and it can be overwhelming to stay up to date.

After chatting with marketing professionals at countless independent schools, conducting research and much trial and error I’ve have gathered a few best practices to share:

Plan it Out
Choose at least three social media outlets to start off with. I recommend starting off with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Then successfully learn how to use and run these outlets before adding more. Create a plan on how many times you will post to each outlet during the week. Try sticking to your plan, it is better to have no social media profiles for your school than to leave your account neglected.

Be Efficient
With multiple channels and multiple posts throughout the week, it can be a lot. Let’s make it easy! Consider investing in an online tool that can help you manage your postings, control all your messages and of course, keep you notified of any comments or tags. With a social media manager, you can control and monitor multiple accounts all in one place. Here are a few options for you to consider, HootSuite (which is what we use here at SchoolAdmin), Sprout Social, SparkFly, and Buffer. A social media manager makes it simple to plan your posts weeks in advance, giving you time to focus on the quality of your posts and not just the quantity.

Use Your Profiles Effectively
Saint Andrew’s School in Florida once shared with us that they post local job opportunities on their LinkedIn group as a resource for their alumni. They know the chances of their Alumni logging into the Alum portal on their website is slim to none, so they’re reaching them in other places with information that is uniquely useful. Another way you can connect with prospective families is to encourage your students and current parents to take pictures and tag your school to help showcase your community. Many schools use their social media outlets as a way to invite their neighborhood communities to their school for events and fairs.

To recap, start off with 2-3 social media accounts and plan what type of posts will you do each week. Next, determine the best way for your school to schedule posts and manage your accounts. Finally, be effective in utilizing your profiles. Social media is always transforming, but it is a great tool to connect with upcoming generations.

What social media outlets and posts have been working well at your school?
Comment and share below.

 


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  • Topics:
  • Admissions
  • Social Media