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Gossip

Quickly Find Out Who’s Talking About Your School Online

Did you know you can easily find out who’s talking about your school and your competitors online?

Now possible through the ‘Research’ on your Social Dashboard

This is great for Business Managers and Marketing Directors who wish to monitor which stories are being spread online about their school and any other school or schools you would like to keep tabs on.

Here’s the step-by-step process:

1. Create an account if you don’t already have one athttp://social.onlinemarketingforschools.com/signup

2. Click the ‘Research’ tab at the top of the screen

3. Enter your school name in the ‘Google News’ search box

4. Click ‘Save Search’ on your school name and others you would like to monitor

5. Now you can quickly load this page and view your saved searches whenever you like

*Tip – When you find a good story about your school, click the icon to the right of the story to re-post it to your own social networks.

This will help you build your social media profiles and boost your social affluence.

– Do this now to start monitoring your online reputation and encourage online recommendations of your school.

If you have any questions about this article or would like help setting up your account, please email mike@onlinemarketingforschools.com

Talk soon,
Mike Leembruggen

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Google Hangout with Eric Sheninger

Here is the replay video of our Google Hangout event: Social Media for Principals.

In this Google Hangout I interview Eric on all the latest things he has been doing on social media and how that has changed not only his life and professional career, but those around him.

Eric gives some great insights into why Principals may be holding back and what they can do to overcome that fear of technology or social media. Overall I think it is wonderful to have people like Eric blazing ahead in this digital world and making a difference in his community and online network. He is a great example to follow for school Principals.

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Digital Principals. Inspiring Story on Leadership

ericI just watched an inspiring hour long webinar by Eric Sheninger all about how he’s embraced digital technology as Principal of New Milford High School in New Jersey. I was very impressed. Eric openly admits to being a Principal who not very long ago banned mobile devices and social platforms in his school, but has since embraced the digital revolution and is making excellent headway with his students, parents, and community. This is a great insight into how digital technology is effecting schools, and I think it’s fantastic coming directly from a Principal. This is an area that will greatly change the role and responsibility of school Principals in the coming years, and I think he makes a great point about a lot of Principals being afraid of something new and the natural response being to ban it, shut it down, and restrict usage of it… but those that embrace the change and use it to their advantage are the ones that will stay ahead of the curve (and still be employable in 5 years). Eric has published a book all about Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times

// // Make sure you check out his webinar on the Principals Australia Institute website. It’s quite engaging, and gives you an excellent insight into Eric’s enthusiasm for digital technology and some of his methodologies. principals-workshop-technology-large

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Don’t Make This Mistake When Setting Up Your Google Account

Here’s a quick tip for you when setting up your Google accounts. If you don’t set up your accounts this way, it could cause you headaches down the track.

Google have quite a number of products available and with the purchase of Youtube you may already have an account that will need to be merged into one central account before you sign up to their new products such as Google+.

Before you create a new Google+ account, check out your current Google Places listing. You will want to upgrade that account to what they call “Google+ Local” instead of creating a brand new Google+ profile.

Their options are a little strange at the moment, while they are rolling out new features and madly trying to integrate existing services under one umbrella. There is an option in Google+ that seems more relevant for schools but if you don’t want to manage two different Google+ profiles you are better off going with the local business listing you already have and upgrading that to Google+ Local.

Watch the video below to learn more:

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How to create a School Facebook Page

Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world right now and there’s a 90% chance your desired audience is using it. A Facebook page is a great way for schools to connect with their students, parents, grandparents, alumni, and other community members. A page is a public profile for your school. There’s no need to setup an individual user account for the school and deal with friend requests. A page lets users simple “like” your school and follow your updates in their news feed. If you would like to learn more about how to market your school on Facebook then check out the Facebook Marketing For Schools webinar on www.onlinemarketingforschools.com.

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How to create a School Facebook Page PDF Download

A. Goto www.facebook.com and click on ‘Create a page’ link at the bottom.

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B. Click on ‘Company, Organization or Institution’.

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C. Select ‘Education’ in the drop down list.

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D. Next, (1) Enter the school name, (2) Check the check-box, and (3) Click ‘Get Started’.

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E. Sign-in with your existing Facebook account or sign-up for a new account.

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(1) Sign-in with already existing facebook account email/phone and password, and then click ‘Log In’. (2) If not, create a facebook account first by clicking ‘Sign up for facebook’.

If you need to sign up and click ‘Sign up for facebook’ on the previous page, fill in your details on the page that appears and hit ‘Sign up’.

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F. Now, set up your page by filling in all requisite details.

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(1) Add a clear description of your school,
(2) Add your school website,
(3) and (4) Check the questions asked, and
(5) Click ‘Save Info’

G. Set-up your school page’s profile picture.

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To upload the picture, (1) Click ‘Upload from computer’ or ‘Import from website’ as per the picture location. After uploading, click ‘Save Photo’. To put this up later, you may simply click ‘Skip’.

H. Add to favorites for easy access and regular news feeds.

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To easily access your page and get regular news feed on your page, click ‘Add to favorites’. To skip this step, click ‘Skip’.

I. Advertise your page if desired.

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To avoid this or do it later, click ‘Skip’. To advertise your page straight away, set-up a payment method by clicking on ‘Add payment method’.

J. Add a cover photo to the page.

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Click on ‘Add cover photo’. Now click on ‘Upload photo’ and select the image file you want to upload.

K. Click on ‘Update page information’ to give details of your school.

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L. Add all essential details. Click on ‘Edit’ next to a topic, add detail, and then click ‘Save changes’.

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You may always view the edited page by clicking on ‘View Page’ on the top right.

Example: Editing ‘Phone’.

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Click on ‘Edit’ on extreme right in the ‘Phone’ heading.

Next, (1) Enter the phone number, and (2) Click ‘Save changes’.

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Do in the same way for all important headings.

M. Click on ‘Settings’ to edit page settings.

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Select appropriate settings for the listed categories.

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The important ones include ‘Posting ability’, ‘Post visibility’, ‘Messages’, Tagging ability’, ‘Age restrictions’ and ‘Replies’. This enables to maintain the professional look of your page and discard inappropriiate user posts.

N. Add administrators to moderate your page by clicking ‘Admin Roles’.

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To add admins, click on ‘Add another admin’.

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1. Type admin’s name or email in the text box,
2. Set admin role by clicking on ‘content creator’, and
3. Click on ‘Save’.

Repeat these steps for multiple page administrators.

After all changes, view your page by clicking on ‘View Page’ on top right.

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O. Build your audience by inviting contacts.

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To build your audience, click on build audience in the admin panel and then invite your Facebook contacts, invite your email contacts, or share page.

P. Post (1) Text, (2) Images/Videos, and (3) Offers/Events on your page.

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Get started now!

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For more information on Facebook marketing for schools visit www.onlinemarketingforschools.com

Google Plus Page For Schools

How to create a Google+ page for your school

Here is a step by step manual to create a Google Plus page for your school.

Note* Google is making some big changes. If you currently have a “Google Places” listing (and you should), there is some very important information you need to know. Check out the Google+ For Schools Webinar to learn how this affects you and how you can better integrate Google products and services.

pdfClick Here To Download The PDF version of this tutorial

A. Goto ‘www.plus.google.com’ and sign in.

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If you already have a google plus account, simply sign in, else click on ‘Create an account’ to sign up.

B. Create a page

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You may simply goto https://plus.google.com/pages/create to create the page. Or you may click on the ‘Home’ drop-down list and then follow the following two steps.

Click on ‘Pages’ on the drop-down list.

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Click on ‘Create a Page’.

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Next, select your category i.e. ‘Company, Institution or Organization’ on the window that pops up.

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Select ‘Education and Schools’ from the drop-down list on the new window.

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Click ‘Next’ to continue.

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Put in details, check the page terms and hit ‘Continue’.

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1. Put up ‘School/Page Name’.
2. Put up ‘School Website (if any).
3. Select the approproate audience for the page from the drop-down list.
4. Check the page terms.
5. Click on ‘Continue’ to save details and set up the page.

C. Personalize your page.

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You may:
1. Add image to your school page by clicking ‘Add a profile picture’.
2. Add a cover image by clicking ‘Add a cover photo’.
3. Add contact information by clicking ‘Add contact information’.

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4. Display your website by clicking on ‘Add your website’.
5. Put up an introducation to your page by clicking on ‘Add an introduction’.
6. Describe your page in a few words by clicking on ‘Add a tagline’.

5. Share your posts with your contacts.

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Click on ‘Share’ on the top right corner to share a feed. A window opens.
1. To share text, type what you want to share in the text box and then click ‘Share’ button on this window.
2. Add images to be shared by clicking ‘Photos’, uploading the photo and then clicking ‘Share’ button on this window.
3. Add links to be shared by clicking ‘Link’, pasting/typing the url and then clicking ‘Share’ button on this window.
4. Add a video to be shared by clicking ‘Video’. You may add a video from youtube, simply paste the video url or upload the video. To post, hit the ‘Share’ button on this window.
5. Post an event by clicking ‘Event’, putting up the event details and then clicking the ‘Invite’ button on the window.
6. Change the audience. You may make your post public or share with selected people/circles.

As you get used to posting new content and media, you can change the page design and other available options. As you saw, creating a page and sharing posts is really quick with Google Plus. Get started!!

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Visit http://onlinemarketingforschools.com for more tutorials and online marketing tips! To learn more about Google products and how other schools are effectively marketing their Google+ page, check out the Google for Schools webinar.

Online-Marketing

SEO and Online Marketing for Schools

It is without doubt that online marketing and SEO (search engine optimisation) can be a daunting task with unfamiliar terms, sneaky algorithms and lots of possibilities for failure. You may be left wondering where to begin, how to reach your target customers such as parents and students or even how to get noticed among the slew of blogs, websites and social media profiles for schools. At one time or the other, even the most experienced and techno-savvy people tend to make mistakes. To be successful in online marketing, you must be aware of the basics and how to become a pro in a short time.

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Influential marketing

Experts suggest that by 2016, online marketing will influence half of the money spent by retail customers. This means that one out of every 2 people will choose your school because of a website, ad or a mobile application that catches their eye. You must be in a constant search for a new way of advertising your school to the ever expanding online market.

SEO is one part of online marketing that can leave you depressed. However, it shouldn’t be as confusing as it looks. Though there is no honest way of catapulting your school’s website to the top of the search engine results, but there are various ways of increasing the chances of parents and students finding you. Choose your keywords selectively and wisely. Use a short and relevant title tag that shows potential customers and the search engine the basic interest of your website. Use URLs that are as relevant and as short as possible. Link all your social media accounts, blogs etc. to your main page to make it possible for search engine to direct readers to the right direction.

Another important ingredient for success in online business is social media. You must create and maintain social profiles for your school if you are to be successful. Statistics indicate that up to 91% of adults utilise social media while 73% of smart phone users access their social media accounts using apps at least once per day. You must know how to use social media to your advantage. Though using Twitter to market your school is an important step, avoid engaging in conversation with potential customers on the site. Instead, do it on the phone or private emails to ensure that customers’ issues remain private. Use social media to invite subscribers and users to access your school easily, see photos, amenities and events. Provide consistent updates for your customers regularly.

Engaging with potential prospects

It is essential to engage parents and students by creating an online website that can easily be navigated through smart phones. Apps make it easier for parents and students with smart phones to browse your services. You can use apps to drive traffic to you website and thus improve your bottom line. If you do not have an app, then you may be losing potential business. If your school’s website takes too long to upload, customers will simply move on.

Another key way of interacting with your readers is through blogging. But with so many blogs out there, you must look for a way to make yours stand out. When making a blog, you must limit your content. Avoid blogging for the sake of it; ensure that each post provides valuable information to your potential customers. Limit the amount of text, avoid posting too often and include videos or pictures. Look for a way of maintaining a constant relationship with your customers. Create emails that will attract the attention of your customers rather than being put in the spam folder.

When you make use of these online marketing methods, it will be easy to make your efforts a success.

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How to Craft Perfect Posts for Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter

Social media experts have a tendency to compare the effectiveness of difference social media networks. You will hear them talk of Facebook VS Twitter, Twitter VS LinkedIn or LinkedIn VS Facebook. However, if you need to reap the benefits of social media as a marketing channel, you must integrate your social media efforts. You should form an alliance between the 3 social media giants, perfect your way of posting on each of them and improve communication.

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Facebook best practices

According to Facebook, there are 1500 possible stories that are filtered through on the news feed of the average Facebook user. However, only 20 per cent of these make it to the user news feed. You can use some best practices to ensure that your content is included in the 20%.

(1) Removing long links from copy

You must ensure that any message you write can spark the attention of the reader. Remove long URL’s you intend to share from your post. Facebook can add a special snippet underneath the post instead of it showing in the update. It is possible for the user to click on the generated title or thumbnail for the URL to navigate to the webpage, blog post or any other URL that you may be trying to link to.

(2) Using photos over links

If possible, a visual should be used to promote the message you intend to send out.

(3) Making use of optimal image upload sizes

Ensure that all visuals uploaded can fit in the specific dimensions allowed by Facebook for posts.

(4) Repositioning your timeline photos

If you can’t find an image that fits the dimensions specified by Facebook or you intend to use the same image across the three channels, you do not need to worry. To optimize the positioning of the image on your timeline, click on the light arrow appearing on the post’s upper side. Choose “Reposition Photo” to adjust the photo’s position using the resulting cursor. Click on the blue “Save” button.

Other recommended practices to craft the best posts on Facebook include:

  • Highlighting horizontal photos
  • Posting to your timeline before album
  • Keeping link titles under 100 characters
  • Keeping your post copy succinct

Best practices for LinkedIn

LinkedIn suggests that there are over 3 million companies including schools with LinkedIn Company Pages. They also indicate that 87% of users trust LinkedIn as a source of information that affects their decision-making. You can use some best practices to ensure that your content is among the trusted sources.

(5) Using shortened link in copy

You can use services such as HubSpot or Bit.ly to shorten your link and paste the URL into the body of your updates.

(6) Rallying around one post

Instead of updating your LinkedIn account several times in a day, try engaging your audience using one post. When you promote that one post, you increase the number of clicks, likes and comments.

(7) Sharing marketing offers

When compared to Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is more effective in lead generation. However, you should strike a balance between content and marketing offers.

(8) Engaging in groups

A favourite feature for LinkedIn users is the LinkedIn Groups. After having a page post for your school, spend the rest of your time allocated to LinkedIn engaging in group discussions. Try to be genuine and do not spam the group.

(9) Using the LinkedIn announcement feature

To boost your lead generation, a powerful tool to use is the LinkedIn announcements.

Twitter best practices

According to Twitter, a billion tweets are sent within one week. You must ensure that your tweet is noted amongst all that noise.

(10) Keep your tweets short

When you keep your tweets short, it becomes easier for users to retweet. Also, studies suggest that the tweet sweet spot is usually between 120 and 130 characters.

(11) Include twitter handles

When sharing an article, stat or quote from another school, include the school’s handle in the tweet. This will increase their chances of seeing the tweet and retweeting it to their audience. When your content is shared, there are high chances of increasing your following.

Other twitter best practices include:

  • Understanding mentions VS replies
  • Using hashtags judiciously
  • Avoid forcing trending hashtags
  • Incorporating visual content
  • Uploading photos directly to Twitter
  • Using links in the middle of your tweets
  • Including links on the profile bios of your employees
  • Using shortened links
  • Optimising your posting schedules

Use these best practices as a guideline when posting to your social media accounts to guarantee audience participation and achieve your ultimate goal of dominating social media.

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How The Big Schools Use Social Media

Social media has undergone a revolution over the years. Many people believed that it was meant to pass time or keep one occupied. This is not the case any more in this generation where everything is becoming very dynamic. Today, social media is not just a requirement for effective running of programs. It is a necessity. Initially, companies and other profit-making organisations were the ones that really exploited it. Now, institutions like schools have realised the role that it is playing in regard to many things. They have now embraced and made it part of their culture. The following are ways in which big schools are using social media to their benefit.
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Research Tool

According to surveys carried out in the past, many schools obtain a lot of useful information from the internet. Teachers use the information to prepare their notes and teaching aids. They also gain access to examination materials that they use to assess students. The students alike use it to do their assignments and projects.

A Meeting Place for Alumni

Many big schools attach a lot of importance to their alumni. They therefore come up with websites where these alumni can be identified. In most cases, the alumni are influential and respectful members of the society. This is one of the ways that a school markets itself as many people want to learn in a school that has a good reputation. The students of that particular school feel motivated as they have mentors to look up to. Students also seek career advice on these sites. They get to know the paths to follow to realise their dreams. The students also get to have a say in matters that affect them like politics, religion, and contemporary and ethical issues in their society.

Platform for Advertisement

This is the most appropriate medium for big schools to make themselves known to their target group. To do this, they list their achievements and what they have that you cannot find anywhere else. Bright and needy students also get scholarships from education support organisations through social media.

Posting of Information Related to the School

Here, you will find the history of the school, their location, their programs, and other relevant information. They also invite a variety of applications through social media. These applications include invitation of tender and advertisement of vacancies, among others.

An example of a school that uses social media sites is the University of Sydney Business School. The sites used are the Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. They have thousands of likes, especially on their Facebook page. Their posts include advertisement of their intake plus the programs that they offer and advertisement of vacancies. They post updates twice or three times a week.

Conclusion

The importance of social media in learning institutions cannot be under estimated. It plays a critical role in the shaping and running of these places, thus creating a learner-friendly environment for students. The management of big schools is also aided by the efficiency of social media. A school that wishes to grow has to embrace this new approach to learning to make significant steps.

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How to Use Pinterest to Market Your School

Introduction

Pinterest is now the third largest social media network after Facebook and Twitter. On top of this, 83% of its users are women and this makes it occupy a unique position among the social media networks. There are studies that suggest that mothers are the main decision makers when it comes to choosing a school for their children. This makes Pinterest an important tool for marketing schools.

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Create your school’s account

To begin marketing your school on Pinterest, you will need to create a Pinterest account for your school. Choose a username, an email address and a password. You will also need to choose 10 pins that you find interesting. A “pin” is any image or video added to Pinterest. The pins will suggest people to follow. When choosing the pins, think in the best interest of the school. Select pins that will be in line with the mission of the school, such as education, children, activities and play. Pinterest will then suggest you create 5 pin boards. A board is where you organize your pins by topic. The suggested boards consist of Products I Love, Favourite Places and Spaces, My style, Books Worth Reading and For the Home. However, since these pin boards aren’t of much help to schools, you should delete them and create your own pin boards.

Personalise the account

After creating your Pinterest account, you should personalise the account. When you create your account, Pinterest automatically follows 10 people based on your pins selection. You can find other schools and people to follow using Pinterest search. When you see how other schools are using Pinterest, it will be easy to tailor your use and even find great information to pin. There are searches that you should complete and follow based on the mission and brand of the school. You will be able to see the People, Pins and Boards of your local community, other schools and a brand name for your school.

Follow

After creating and personalising your Pinterest account, it’s time to begin engaging. Try engaging using the 50/50 rule which requires that 50% of your content be related to your school whilst the other 50% should not be directly related to your school. Bear in mind that your goal is to drive web traffic to your school’s webpage where you can convert the visit into an enquiry. Therefore, the content that relate to your school should be pinned directly from your blog or website. Avoid pinning information that will take the traffic away from your website.

Ensure that you make the Pinterest account of your school a valuable place where people can visit and learn about topics related to your school such as the local area, places to visit, recommended books, etc. A great way of finding other content to share that is not related to your school is by re-pinning other pins such as great stuff for kids. Feel free to “like” or comment on other pins.

Promote your account

After you have created several boards and have between 25 and 50 pins, comments and “likes”, begin promoting your Pinterest account. Post and tweet your Pinterest account on Facebook and Twitter. Ensure that you include a link to your school’s Pinterest account in your email signature.

Conclusion

20-social-media-iconsThe use of social media for marketing is flourishing. This is evident in social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Schools should tap into this to market themselves in the growing digital world. Following the above guidelines will ensure that you are able to effectively promote your school on Pinterest.

Courses

Social Media Basics

Here is the social media basics course