How to choose the right social media channels for your school

Likes, shares, comments … sometimes choosing whether to retweet or hashtag can be a very daunting prospect. When combined with the typical time pressures that School marketers face, it’s not surprising that communications are often delivered haphazardly across multiple social media channels. However, social media is not going anywhere, and it is becoming an increasingly integral part of schools’ marketing and communications strategies.

So how do you navigate this choice of which social media channels to use and focus on? Well here are four things that should be front-of-mind when choosing social media channels for your school:

  1. Ensure efficient use of your time
    In the School Marketing and Social Media Survey 2019, “not having enough time” was overwhelmingly the biggest challenge facing School marketers today, with 63% of respondents citing it as their biggest frustration. It is therefore crucial that School marketers are channeling their limited time and focusing on select channels and delivering to the best of their ability. Delivering quality content through a select number of social media platforms is much better than patchy content on every platform available.
  2. Play to your own knowledge
    Social media is an ever-changing field and many of the platforms’ algorithms are constantly evolving and being edited; this industry is never stagnant and School marketers need to be on their toes. This means having a broad understanding of any major changes and what it correspondingly means for their school. Now this doesn’t mean that School marketers need to invest all their time into staying abreast on social media breaking news, though it does mean that platforms School marketers have more experience with, as well as the platforms that are being used personally, should be given preference over the newest and flashiest platform.
  3. Does the channel fit with your brand?
    Front of mind when selecting a social media channel for your school, is whether it inherently fits with your school’s brand and desired audience. Is it right for your school to be on Snapchat if your school is an older and more traditional institution? Well 8% of schools surveyed in the School Marketing and Social Media Survey 2019 plan on increasing or maintaining their use of the platform in the future. If your school’s brand is fresh, young and innovative then communicating with your students via Snapchat might make perfect sense.
  4. Communications Strategy fit
    Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the social media platforms chosen by School marketers should be a perfect fit with your school’s overall marketing communications strategy. If leveraging the power of referrals and word-of-mouth marketing is going to be a central strategy for the school, then identifying platforms like forums or blogs might be appropriate. Alternatively, investigating influencer marketing might be an appropriate approach. A remarkable 99% of respondents from the School Marketing and Social Media Survey 2019 indicated that they use visual assets in their social media marketing, and 89% are using video. It would then be logical to investigate YouTube and Facebook Live, whilst navigating the typical fears that School marketers have with the content.

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