Attention school marketing directors, are you looking for a way to reenergize your school’s marketing mix and increase applications for full enrollment? An effective way of breathing new life into your admissions marketing is creating a great social media presence for your school or college. Imagine being able to effectively engage prospective students on the platforms where they already spend a significant amount of time: Facebook and Twitter. Informing potential applicants about all your school has to offer, while also entertaining them, via social network marketing can bring big rewards and help you reach your school admissions goals. In today’s competitive marketplace, establishing and maintaining an engaging social media presence for your school really is a necessity.
Facebook reaches one billion users on a daily basis, and the average amount of time spent of the site is 25 minutes. Smart use of Facebook can bring your school increased visibility and brand identity. So, how do you create exciting school content on Facebook?
1. Have a Clear Focus
You can promote your Facebook Page, an event, applications or your website. Just focus on each one individually for the most impact. Facebook lets you highlight certain actions that your fans have taken, such as when people like your Page, like your content or make comments. This mirrors a traditional word-of-mouth marketing campaign. When prospective applicants see that their friends like your content, they are more likely to check it out.
2. Speak to the Needs of Your Audience
Think about the profiles or timelines of the individuals you want to reach with your ads, and generate content based on what your audience—prospective applicants—is most interested in. Share what makes your school unique. You can target applicants by: location, language, education, age, gender, likes, interests, connections and friends of connections.
3. Create Enticing Ads
Create a number of different versions of Facebook ads with distinct images and text to determine which combinations yield the most views and engagement. Your school Facebook ads should include your school name and a question or key information in their titles. Provide clear calls to action within the text of your ads, and highlight the benefits of doing so. Use a captivating photo that relates to your content. Experiment with demographics to find out which groups are most responsive to your ads. Use the Ads Manager to update your ads on a frequent and ongoing basis in order to keep them fresh and effective. Continually access your Ads Manager after launching a campaign to augment, edit and optimize your ad content. The Ads Manager provides demographic data and time factor analysis. Analyze specific time periods to learn how your ad performance has evolved, and learn which times of day your ads get the most attention.
Twitter has over 600 million users, and the average user spends 9 minutes on the site a day. Young people, including prospective students, spend a lot of time conversing, socializing and finding new information on the site. With high traffic and usage rates, social network marketing on Twitter would make a great addition to your marketing strategy—helping you reach out to your key demographic and achieve your admissions and enrollment and goals. How do you make your school succeed on Twitter?
Share lots of links to your school website and information about admissions news and events. Think about the people you want to reach with your content and generate content based on their interests. Creating calls to action in the content you share on Twitter will help you reach more prospective students and increase your ROI. An effective Tweeter is informative, entertaining, engaging and responsive—listening to, not only talking at, his or her followers. Twitter is a social network, so your marketing activity on the site should be social as well. Although sharing engaging content is essential, you also need to get involved, converse and truly engage your fellow Tweeters in order to achieve an increased ROI from your social network marketing.
Great Content Topics for Facebook and Twitter
1. Important School News
2. School cancellations due to weather
3. A photo of the day
4. Athletic scores and updates
5. Links to school newsletters and blog posts on your website
6. Admissions news and events
7. Alumni happenings
8. Engaging and relevant educational quotes
9. New academic offerings
10. Library additions and news
11. Outside news content that features your school
12. Community involvement, such as community service and fund raising
13. Extracurriculars, such as dramatic productions and student government
14. Spotlights on exceptional students, alumni and teachers
15. Videos of school milestones, such as graduation day and homecoming
Innovative Marketing Resources can create and maintain a targeted social media marketing campaign to help you reach your school admissions and enrollment goals. As a school marketing director, you are faced with two fundamental business needs. You need to understand the online application process so that you can forecast and predict application volume ahead of time, and you need to understand how different marketing initiatives can affect application volume. Max Traylor tackles these issues and provides insightful solutions in the Inbound Marketing for Schools Webinar.