Why Your School Must Pay Attention To Social Media
Updated: Mar 15
For over a decade, we have seen brands of various sizes and from across all industries make the necessary transition to the digital world.
Other more traditional marketing efforts such as television, radio, and newspaper advertisements can still be beneficial in capturing attention. However, there is no denying the dominance and practicality of digital.
Phones and tablets sit at the top of the food chain in the ‘attention economy’, and brands in all industries must learn to build platforms and craft messages to reach people through applications on mobile devices.
Having previously assisted with digital marketing tactics on a volunteer basis during my role as a teacher, I discovered that many schools are unequipped and unprepared for their marketing strategies. Curiously, the education sector appears to have been left behind when it comes to information on how to market services, build a school brand, and generally approach the online world.
YouTube tutorials, digital marketing textbooks, and other educational resources specifically focussing on best digital practices for schools are sparse for the principal, school business or marketing manager.
We know that almost everyone conducts product research online before making a purchasing decision. So, with that in mind, why would this behaviour be any different for parents deciding about the future of the most valuable possession in their lives, their children? People are searching for your school on social media and we know that first impressions are important.
The increasing volume of parents using mobile and tablet devices to conduct research makes it imperative for schools and other educational organisations to review their online materials and ultimately formulise a strategy for attracting and engaging their audience online.
Schools that do exhibit a thorough knowledge of effective social media practice can often evoke feelings in current and prospective parents that the school is a progressive and innovative learning environment. It can be a great way to elevate a school’s profile among the community, ultimately driving enrolments and improving communication with parents and other key stakeholders.
A school’s perception is almost always heightened in the minds of parents when they see it associated with a thriving online community that has an engaged audience liking, commenting on, and sharing content. On the contrary, schools that neglect these online platforms will be left behind. All our attention is now online, and we are certainly not going back to the way it used to be.
A strong online presence can be beneficial in promoting the culture of the school – especially its vision and values. It also allows the school to answer questions about its programs, share ideas for the future, engage parents in the planning, strengthen the relationship with the local community, and to celebrate school achievements and milestones. Ultimately, it allows for better communication with all stakeholders of a school.
Social media levels the playing field; it is free distribution and enables schools with smaller budgets to build strong brands.