These days most schools have at least one social media account. It’s very important to engage with your parents and students on these platforms and keep up to date with your competitors. They offer so much opportunity to ‘speak’ to your school community, including giving them an insight into your school’s brand personality and voicing what kind of school you are. This needs to be curated tactfully and professionally to fit with your school’s visual identity and marketing strategy.
Here’s what to consider when expressing your school’s brand personality on social media:
Brand personality is all about how your school brand relates to your community. This needs to start by reaching them on the right channels. It is pointless being on every social media channel if this won’t capture or relate to your prospective parents. If you don’t have a bank of amazing images to share, don’t create an Instagram account. Be realistic with your goals and what your school has to offer. High, positive engagement is the anticipated outcome which will only be realised through frequent, consistent and content rich channels.
Explore what other schools are doing and how they talk to their audience. This will indicate what channels you should be on. Look at successful campaigns on social media and how they engage with their audience. What is their tone and approach? How often do they post and at what time? What topics do they touch upon? Use their effective approach as inspiration.
Before you delve into posts and hashtags, build a content calendar. You can easily find templates online to begin and tailor to your school brand and messages. Be organised and plan what content you want to share. Base it around upcoming campaigns, events – both internal and external to your school and resources. This will ensure you have regular conversations with your school community and will reinforce your current marketing activity. For quiet periods, you can craft content specifically for social media and be creative. Use your posts as an opportunity to give followers a peek into your school; who you are and what you stand for. You can do this by exploring different ideas and concepts.
Here are some ideas on how to express your school brand on social media:
One of the simplest and easy ways to do this is through Q&A. You can offer your community the chance to ask you questions or post a question to ask them. This offers you market research, gives a caring persona and allows you to share your wisdom. It’s all about starting a conversation.
Get involved with the latest news and trends but be very picky. Pick relevant trends you can relate to and comment on. If you are dressing in green as a school for St. Patricks Day then join in with #StPatricksDay on Twitter. Always be professional and consistent with your approach to show your school community you are reliable and up-to-date.
3. Personal touch
Craft your own campaigns about your school brand such as a look behind the scenes. What better way to give insight into your school brand personality. It doesn’t need to be fancy, images and interesting information that parents wouldn’t usually be aware of will do the trick. This can be as simple as sharing what charity you have collected your Friday Free Dress for.
Offer your social media followers value and information. If you have a library of shareable resources, bank of blogs or helpful tips or advice, share them. You are far more likely to engage with your school community and win their loyalty if you can offer something valuable. They will see you as knowledgeable and an authority on the topic. Have you considered that Pinterest is a great platform for sharing advice and may be worthwhile for your school?
Stay on brand, always. Use language, terminology and tone to project your school’s brand personality. It’s ok to use fun and creative messaging if the topic is an upcoming event. For important updates, keep it professional and to the point. You want to engage with your parents, staff and students, and build a relationship. Keep imagery consistent with light, angles and hues to exhibit your visual identity and keep recognisability.