Is Your School Admissions Marketing Social?
Are you looking for a way to revamp your school’s marketing mix and increase applications for full enrollment? A powerful way of breathing new life into your school admissions marketing is the creation of an engaging social media presence for your school or college. Imagine being able to effectively engage prospective students and their parents on the platforms where they already spend a significant amount of time: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Informing potential applicants about all that your school has to offer, while also entertaining them, via social network marketing can be very effective in helping you reach your school admissions goals. In today’s competitive education marketplace, establishing and maintaining an effective social media presence for your school may just be a requirement for success.
Intelligent Facebook marketing can bring your school increased reach and brand identity. How can you create exciting school content on Facebook? 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 they “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.
For social media marketing to succeed, the content you share must be informative, engaging and 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.
Creating Facebook ads is another worthy avenue to pursue. Create a number 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. Continually analyze your results and readjust the content and timing of your ads. The Facebook Ads Manager provides demographic data and time factor analysis.
Young people, including prospective students, spend a lot of time conversing, socializing and finding new information on Twitter. With high traffic and usage rates, social network marketing on Twitter could 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 can 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 Twitter marketing.
YouTube is wildly popular. Publishing educational and entertaining video content on YouTube could increase your reach in a big way. Your content could become popular on YouTube and may even get re-published on other websites. Visual marketing content is making a big splash. Video offers the ability to inform and entertain viewers at the same time. Marketers are investing heavily in video content. According to a March 2012 survey by the Custom Content Council and ContentWise, 52 percent of American companies invested in video for content marketing in 2011, compared with just 37 percent in 2009. Do not get left behind; capitalize on the appeal of video content, and make your website stand out. Schools and colleges too can certainly use video content to their advantage for marketing and recruitment.
Content Topics for Social Media Marketing
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
Social media marketing is a fantastic way to revitalize your school admissions marketing. The content you share should always be helpful, interesting and information-rich. Even if it is not presented in a groundbreaking new format, useful content will be appreciated and shared. The key to new lead generation is useful and engaging content. Innovative Marketing Resources is available to help you with all school marketing needs.