According to a report by Hootsuite and We Are Social published by The Next Web, there are over 3 billion people using social media in the world; that’s a staggering 40 per cent of the population. And with the majority of people owning a smartphone or tablet, more often than not, on the daily commute or during break times, many of us will be swiping through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (other social apps available) looking at status updates and stories.
Social media isn’t just useful for personal use either; in this day and age it’s particularly effective for organisations and companies to engage with their target audiences and with schools starting to function more like businesses, this is an ideal platform for them too.
With budgets tightening and teachers’ time under serious pressures, how can schools ensure they’re able to stand out and attract new parents, pupils and teachers? Social isn’t a new phenomenon, but it’s certainly here to stay and while some schools are flying, not all teachers realise the full functionality and benefits it can bring.
Social media is an essential part of the PR and marketing mix and a simple, fast and effective way for a school to communicate with multiple audiences – be it teachers, governors, pupils, parents or the wider community. And the best thing about it? It doesn’t cost a penny.
For any schools considering getting social on Facebook or Twitter, here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Sharing student success – Start by posting stories about student work, events, school achievements and activities in lessons. It’s an effective way to let parents and the community know what students are up to throughout the day and celebrate the work that is being done at the school. The more relevant and engaging information you share, the more you engage your audience.
- Social secretaries – It’s a good idea to have a couple of teachers managing the school’s social media account to ensure that there is always someone on hand to keep the account alive! It’s also worthwhile deciding the tone of voice and how you want to frame posts so that the messaging and style is consistent! Don’t forget to hashtag relevant words to engage the right audience and link back to the school website where possible.
- Press play – Videos – and images – are always good to post or tweet, as research shows that these generally achieve more ‘likes’, ‘retweets’, ‘reposts’ and ‘shares’, than text-only posts. It’s also nice for prospective parents and students to be able to see what ‘life is like’ at the school.
- Be responsive – Make sure to always reply to questions directed to the school on Twitter or Facebook in a timely manner! If needs be, continue the conversation offline but it’s important to show that your school is responsive.
- Join the chit chat – Sharing ideas and opinions with other teachers and schools is a good way to gain recommendations for new resources, activities or processes in the classroom. Twitter chats like #UKEdChat or #BettChat will generally be hosted by an influential person in the sector on a particular topic and are really valuable ways of getting in touch with like-minded teachers, discussing themes and ideas and joining in the conversation!
If you have any social questions, tips or comments then we’d love to hear them! Get in touch with us via Twitter @mangomarketing