Tara is the in-house content lead at Digistorm, tending to all content needs, big or small! When she’s not writing copy or managing the Insights editorial calendar, Tara is passionate about supporting theatre and live music.
Social media is intertwined with our daily lives, and especially those of marketing professionals. We use it for an array of different things, including to drive engagement, act as a portfolio for our business and communicate with others. For school marketers in particular, social media is an incredibly powerful and persuasive tool that should be an integral part of your overall strategy.
Of course, there are quite a few different platforms or networks out there, and choosing the right ones to market your school can be tricky. Do you use all of them? How about just one, or a few? Each social media platform has a different use and target audience, so it’s important to go into things with as much knowledge as possible to help you make an informed choice.
Keep reading while we break down the most popular social media channels, what they’re good for, and who uses them the most.
Facebook is perhaps the most popular social network, not only amongst schools but in the wider community. Everyone from Gen Zers to Baby Boomers seems to be on Facebook. It’s been around quite a while, which gives it credibility, plus it has a lot of useful functionality for businesses and business owners.
As most schools are on Facebook, we at least recommend having a page with as much detail as possible filled in. It’s a go-to source if someone can’t find your info from a quick Google search, so ensure your school’s contact number, website and address are visible. It’s also a good place to share large volumes of images (using the Album feature) and to link out to various pieces of content, including notices and your
Instagram is an image and video sharing network that’s absolutely boomed since its inception in 2010. The popularity of Instagram doesn’t seem like it’ll wane any time soon, so it’s an important platform for school marketers to understand. It focuses heavily on visual aesthetics rather than information sharing, as there’s no functionality for long-form text other than in the caption of an image.
Instagram will be the most popular platform amongst your students, so if your plan is to get them engaged, then it’s a must-use. It’s also a great network to use for competitions, and now has the exciting Instagram Stories function, which makes sharing authentic content easier and more prone to quality engagement. If your school can maintain a relatively regular posting schedule and has unique ideas, then we’d definitely recommend using Instagram.
Twitter is an interesting, almost enigmatic social media network. Some people absolutely love it, whereas others are perpetually confused by it. It was designed as a space for quick, real-time conversations of 140 characters or less, but has developed over time to accommodate longer content and to let more time elapse between interactions. It’s also a very popular platform for interacting with celebrities or people of note.
Depending on the demographics of your school, it may or may not be a good idea to use Twitter. At the very least, we recommend having an account so your school can interact with important industry conversations. However, focusing your efforts on growing this platform may be futile if you have a disengaged user base. The text-based nature of the content is less appealing, and so, is less likely to be popular amongst those with minimal time to spend on social media.
LinkedIn is a professional network predominantly used for connecting with other professionals, whether that be for sharing industry information, establishing a business profile, or finding new employment opportunities.
LinkedIn is a tricky one for businesses, as the functionality is so limited. We’d definitely suggest all of your staff, especially those in marketing and administrative roles, have their own personal pages, but whether you need one for your school is less clear. Overall, we’d once again recommend you have a profile at the very least, as it’s another opportunity for users to search and find you. However, putting lots of effort into this platform will likely not reap many benefits.
TikTok has stolen the spotlight and become the social media star of 2020. The video-based platform owned by the Chinese entrepreneur, Zhang Yiming, has already acquired an incredible 2 billion users and is now the #1 most downloaded app on the App store. There's no question that TikTok's resume is impressive, but should your school add this platform to your social media toolkit?
It's important to choose the right social media channels that are going to support your school's marketing goals. To get started, we recommend choose two platforms (Facebook and Instagram are great places to start) and focus your efforts on these.
Keep the information across all of your networks updated regularly, and focus on creating fun, engaging and unique content that sets your school apart. Remember, if at any point you encounter issues with a particular platform, you can always disable or hide the account while you reevaluate your strategy.