School Marketers: Learn by Listening

“It’s the highest-rated game on Amazon!”
“We have it, and we LOVE it.”
“My friend’s kids want to read it every night, so we figured your kids would love it, too.”
These are just some of the conversations that swirled around our house during the holiday season. And even though I was in vacation mode, the marketing part of my brain lit up.
Now, more than ever, these are the conversations that people have—about everything they buy, every service they need, every person they hire….every school they select.
School Marketers: Learn by Listening
Do great ads still work? Sure! But they’re more likely to be the first step than the tipping point. What people look for before making a final decision is proof that the option they’re leaning towards is a good choice. They look for ratings, rankings and the advice of others. Even the opinions of strangers are an influence.
While it is impossible to be in everyone’s living room to hear what is being said about your school, it is possible to monitor those conversations that happen publicly—because they’re happening online.
Personal research and information gathering is one of the four major ways students make decisions about where to enroll. For these generations of students, social media is their virtual home; the internet a wide-open source of information that they’re incredibly savvy at digging into.
School Marketers: Learn by ListeningDoes it mean you need to applaud every fan or respond to every naysayer? Not necessarily…but also, why not? There are tools that make it easy to get involved in the virtual conversation, and doing just that has paid off for schools.
A solid approach to social media includes more than just posting, it involves monitoring, responding and taking an active role in the conversations that would otherwise happen without you.
What is your school’s approach to social media? Have you incorporated social listening into your daily, weekly or monthly to-do list? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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