More than 3 billion social media users exist from all over the world. That’s a lot of people to connect with and potentially influence. Imagine what social media can do to help educational institutions! And that, too, without much of an investment!
Consider the benefits, especially when budgets are shrinking and human resources are limited. The whole purpose of this dialogue is social media can do wonders as a marketing tool—social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Experience tells us that every business should have a social media presence. Without a social media account, you might as well be dead! Being on social media is a sign of authenticity and accountability—people will trust you. It is a badge of reputation.
Around 53% of the world’s population is using social media, that is, around 3-4.5 billion people utilize social media to stay connected, says a study conducted in October 2021. In this light, the use of social media to advertise your educational institution will help to spread the news to the farthest corners of the world and help people stay informed about important changes. And as the population keeps growing, social media gains around 1.2 million new users every day, according to a study conducted in 2020. Thus, you can advertise your curriculum or anything important about your educational business to both the older and the newer generations, and appeal to a wide section of the society.
The fact that needs to be considered is that your school or education institution is after all a business that aims to impart education and grow and help its students to do the same. Therefore, usage of social media marketing will help you to attract more attention to your organization and not only increase admission but also help to get more recognition and also funding, for further improvement of the institution. A study shows that almost 74% of the Gen Z population spends the major part of their free time on social media and thus, usage of social media will help to reach your get generation easily.
So, how to promote an educational institution on social media? The best thing about social media is that everyone will find a groove; it need not be the same though. Every business should find for itself a size that fits. Start telling the over 3 billion social media users what makes your educational institution special and unique—why should students flock to a particular school?
It’s called messaging and it explains everything about the social media strategy for a particular educational institution. Once the form of messaging is determined comes to the task to post it on social media. Thereafter, your social media accounts should be promoted at every opportunity and in every forum, including on the school website; not to leave out the school’s marketing emails. Also, for increased visibility cross-promote via your different social media channels. Talk of your Twitter handles on your Facebook page and vice versa.
The idea is to garner more and more eyeballs. More eyeballs mean more admissions—more students keen to join; more parents interested in admitting their sons and daughters to your educational institution. And when your posts are shared, more and more people will get to see them, leading to a wider section of people being aware of the school and its accomplishments. Don’t fail to urge more and more people to share your school’s social media accounts.
There are essentially two types of social media marketing. First comes in the form of paid ads that includes promotion. The second is the organic post. Paid social ads are more effective and successful. They help in the “acquisition” of new admissions. The organic ones are associated with “retention”. The paid social ads get to be seen by students of parents who do not “follow” your school or college on any social media. Organic posts help retain existing students. Getting parents to “follow” helps in connecting with more students!
Almost all social media platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) to gather and analyze data. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram make it to the list. With the data thus generated, users can be identified based on several variables, including online activity. That explains why Facebook—now known as ‘Meta’—has so much influence and power. Educational institutions on Facebook can target paid social ads to the exact right people they want to reach.
The added attraction is that social media doesn’t cost the sky. A large and precise group audience can be reached at a minimal cost. Social media channels should paint a rosy picture of your school/college. Student Life, the campus, the school buildings should all come alive, as in real! Post photos and videos of school life and school amenities on social media. Talk about active communities in the school via Instagram stories and Facebook posts. Make it so that potential students get to “imagine”, “study” and “live” in your school without ever being there before.
Don’t forget more than 75% of the youth are lost online at any one point in time. Use social media to make potential students know what to expect and like it, too. Add value to the social media posts and “stories”. Talk of student experiences in school. Tell students how to adapt to school life—and enjoy it, too. Just see to it that what you post is relevant content. Also, there should be a plan for it.
Start with choosing the social media that suits your school, college, or university’s social media marketing strategy. Set goals and then proceed according to plan. Having a primary social media channel or a satellite channel can add to the effect. The bottom line is to maximize the ROI—return on investment.
Choosing the right “primary” social media is important. They say Facebook and Instagram take the cake. But Twitter has its own set of benefits. Twitter is best for “breaking news” regarding your school/college/university. You could also consider adding YouTube and Pinterest to the bouquet. Every educational institution knows its audience and should choose wisely, according to the goals set by its social media marketing strategy.
So, what’s the right content? Think up some content. Letting the world know about the achievements of your staff and students is also very important. Milestones, pictorial and video tours of the school and college can be used on social media to a great benefit. Social media posts on students and alumni along with photos and videos can enhance publicity and engagement.
Educational institutes can highlight projects in which students are involved actively. They can talk about events held in the school or college and events planned over the next week or month. Posts involving polls and surveys relevant to students and teachers can boost the digital marketing efforts of an educational institution. Social media posts that depict a typical day in the life of a student can also be a good idea.
This post attempts to explain: Can social media marketing help the education business? The answer is social media can positively help the education business. The important thing is to get the “messaging” right. And to get the messaging right, it is important to get the “content” right.
The goal is to drive enrolments using an effective social media marketing strategy. It can be achieved by using social media channels to engage students, parents, and guardians. Encourage them to take a detour to your school’s website.
Digital Piloto, January 25, 2022
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