How to add value to your school’s brand identity on social media

What is brand identity?
Brand identity captures how your school brand is perceived by your school community and why they are motivated to choose your school. Your brand identity is represented in all the cleverly considered details: font, logo, brand colours, tone, newsletter layout or social media imagery. All these aspects speak to your parents, staff and students and give insight into your school values and personality to confirm to your community that you align with their values.

What you exhibit on your social media channels should reflect your school brand persona and be consistent with all other marketing activity. Social media is, after all, an extension of your website.

Let’s hone in on the social media elements that will add value to your school’s brand:

First, you need to ensure you choose channels on social media that fit with your brand positioning. It is fruitless being on every channel for the sake of it. The aim is to engage with your audience as much as possible so you need to be active on your chosen platforms.

Facebook and Twitter are the most universally used channels to reinforce your school brand identity. Many schools set up an Instagram channel without considering their content. Unless you have a strong collection of images to share, it may not be the best choice for your school.

If you have a growing assembly of video content, it may be time to launch a YouTube channel. Interestingly, you may think Pinterest is not for your school but it very well could be. If you have insightful, helpful or inspirational content, set up a Pinterest account to engage with your school community and effectively communicate your knowledgeable school brand personality.

Visual identity
Apply a consistent and relevant visual identity to the look of your social media posts for harmony and recognisability. When you include imagery, it needs to have a similar look and feel. Similar backgrounds, hues, colours, layout and framing connect with your brand’s identity. Employ these rules for Instagram images, cover photos for Twitter and Facebook, category covers for Pinterest and all posts to cleverly craft what your viewer will feel. Do not obstruct images with text to promote enrolments for example – let them tell a story about the kind of school you are. Pictures do speak louder than words. Some schools consistently use the same photographer who applies a coloured hue to their images that is recognisable and iconic.

The tone of your messaging is crucial to your school brand identity. It needs to echo your personality and provoke an emotional response, often using a limited number of characters. Do you want to come across as creative, daring, professional or innovative? The language you use and how you say what you want to say offers insight into your school. Social media posts are short and snappy so you need to get creative and inventive. Ask open-ended questions for increased click-through rate and closed-ended questions for higher engagement. Surprising yet accurate information is an easy way to stir interest. Don’t forget to tactfully hint at the benefits on offer for your school community to encourage a click-through.

You need to make it easy for your followers to get to the information they want. The ultimate premise of your content being that they do indeed want that information and find value in your offering. Quality content is important and should form the basis of your social media posts and campaigns. You can then craft your messaging around the valuable information you want to share. Build a social media content calendar and thoroughly plan what to post throughout the year around events, news, resources and campaigns. Add value to your brand identity by finding different ways to share your news. This could include posts based around:

    • Infographics
    • Blogs
    • White papers
    • Facts of the day
    • Themes for the week
    • Personal hashtags

Think about what engages you on other social media accounts and how best to display your offering to your audience. Be different, creative, knowledgeable and consistent in your social media posts to add value to your school brand identity.

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