Have you ever thought about the experience people have when they follow you on social media?
Are they engaged and excited about your school as a result of your posts? Or are your posts the sort that they just scroll past on their way to laugh-out-loud memes and time-wasting videos?
(Because those ridiculous bits of pop culture and “news” are the attention-grabbers you compete against, after all).
It’s hard to come up with meaningful social media posts that will engage your audience, and easy to rely on the fluff. You know: posts about holidays, throwback photos…which are fine, but won’t get you closer to the thriving, engaged social media audience you dream of.
So what will get you closer to that dream? A consistent schedule of posts that are interesting, educational, helpful and, yes, fun. Let this become your go-to resource when planning your social media posts—the ones that will make an impact.
Show off those accomplished alumni! Share their awards and accomplishments— this makes your school look thoughtful and supportive, and of course you benefit from the positive association.
Share event details, registration information and reminders leading up to the event, and photos after the event is over. Even though this information won’t be relevant to all of your fans and followers, it will show everyone that you have a vibrant, engaged community that lasts beyond the school years.
Share your blog posts on social—on every platform you have, multiple times. And don’t forget to reshare old blog posts that are still relevant.
Advertising campaigns take a lot of work (and usually, a hefty chunk of the budget), so find ways to repurpose everything you’ve created. You can share videos and print ads just as they are or edit to fit a new purpose.
Students are an incredible resource for social media content. Tap into faculty to find out about exciting student projects; connect with club presidents and sports team captains for recent updates and photos; utilize marketing interns to bring in news from the student world.
Excerpts from other communications
Once again, repurposing is huge. Look at internal and external newsletters, student newspapers and radio shows and news posted on your school’s website to find ideas for social media posts. It’s not just ok to repeat something that was published elsewhere—it’s smart social media strategy.
Create short profiles of a diverse group of interesting, dedicated students and faculty (don’t forget to include a photo). Showing the personalities that make up your school provides your social audience something to personally connect to.
World news in relation to school news
Is your school involved in a project, initiative or research that is relevant to a broader discussion going on in the world today? Share relevant news articles and connect them to how you’re contributing.
Between clubs, sports, events, classes and the social life of your students, there is always something happening on campus. Capture those moments, add an engaging caption, and share them with the world. Go for a broad mix that reflects your school dynamics and provides a glimpse into what life is like on campus, and provide context that helps people understand what’s happening in the photo and how they can get involved in similar activities in the future.
Sports and activities
Share game schedules and results, team photos and snapshots and encourage fan interaction. Update your fans and followers on what’s happening in your school’s clubs and groups. Encourage people to get involved offline (head to a game, join a club) and online as well (share photos and experiences).
Results of research studies/experiments
Faculty- and student-led research studies and experiments make great social media content. These type of posts are more than just interesting—they can position your school as forward-thinking and show your impact, whether you are a major university releasing life-changing data or a small independent school teaching students the fundamentals of research.
Establish a hashtag and ask your fans and followers to use them. You can then browse their content and choose the best to reshare with your audience.
Give a glimpse into the inner workings of your school that aren’t usually shared publically. It’s just plain interesting to see how things work behind-the-scenes, and it can be fun to get creative in your approach.
Day in the life
Follow a student, faculty or staff member for a day to create a series of “day in the life” posts. It’s another way to look behind the scenes and draw attention to the interesting things going on at your school in away that’s more personal.
Events, exams, application deadlines, commencement…there is a lot for you to remind your audience about, so don’t hesitate to use social media to draw attention to these dates (and your school).
Ask for input
You’ll never really know what your audience thinks, feels or wants unless you ask them. Use a poll or ask quick questions to gauge how your audience feels about a topic. To be successful with this, make it really easy for your audience to answer (for example, give them three choices where they just have to answer A, B, or C).
If you’ve been hearing the same question asked over and over, create a fun, catchy and helpful social media posts that answers it.
Hold a virtual event
Host a Twitter chat, hop on Periscope or fire up that Facebook Live. Hold a live Q&A, or provide information about a program or upcoming event in a way that’s fun and engaging.
It might take a little extra time and coordination to get these social media posts together, but that extra will be returned to you, in engagement, reach and social media success.
For more social media guidance, check out these posts:
- Social Media for Schools: 5 Tips for Working Smarter, Not Harder
- Social Proof: What Is It, and How Can School Marketers Use It?
- 7 Ways to Build or Boost Your School’s Instagram Presence
- A Snapchat Lesson for Schools, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
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