Four Facebook Marketing Tips That You Can Use To Attract More Students to Your School

The current trend for most Australian schools is to embrace social media, especially Facebook and Twitter. This is because through social media, there is direct communication and connection to both parents and students. Research shows that over 45% of internet users go to Facebook daily. The same research also shows that the daily average time that is spent by these users on Facebook is 23 minutes. Given these impressive stats, you can exploit the powerful nature of this social media tool to attract more students to your school.

Through Facebook, schools can effectively market the curriculum they offer both to the students and to their parents. Another good thing with constantly being plugged on social media is that it keeps you in the know. You are aware of what activities the scholastic competition is involved in. Having the right information is important in staying ahead of the competition.

4 Tips to Create an Effective Facebook Page

Content

There is nothing more important in your school’s Facebook page than the content. Take note of the fact that potential students do have varied concerns and interest, which means that the content you provide on the site has to be varied, as well as relevant, to meet the different interests.

Tips
• Consider including video and photo content for the simple fact that images are more effective than text.
• The school also needs to have a frequently updated blog. Make sure that you share the blog posts on your Facebook page.

Identity

Your Facebook page should give visitors a sense of what your school is like. This is achieved by effectively sharing the school’s history. Make your page a learning portal that is unique, a place where future students will be able to learn more about the academic courses that your school offers, extracurricular activities, athletic programs and other important things your school offers.

Network

Ask your fans to “like” your page. The more “likes” you have, the better. The following are the categories of people you should target:

• Successful alumni
• Potential applicants
• Influential individuals in the Australian education system
• Media contacts, current students and parents

Facebook has a tool, called the Facebook friend finder, which you can use to search for friends.

Promotion and enlargement

Merely creating a Facebook page should not be your only goal. On your school’s website, you can include a Facebook button, after which you are supposed to request visitors to your website to ‘like’ the Facebook page of your school. Join relevant groups and participate in their discussions. You can seek assistance from inbound marketing agencies to help you gain more from your web presence.

Conclusion

A school’s website is very important because it acts as the public face of the learning institution. Not only does your web presence need to be visually appealing, but more importantly, it needs to offer useful information to students and parents. In case you are looking for new ways of increasing enrolment, social media marketing is what you need. It is a very influential and powerful way of reaching out to alumni, existing students, their parents, and future applicants.

Educate Plus SIG

Community Engagement Through Technology | EducatePlus SIG Notes

It was great to see everyone again (and a lot of new faces) at the Educate Plus special interest group meetup today. After my recent family vacation, I’m revitalised and keen to dive back in. I have a heap of cool stuff to share in the coming months.

There were a lot of great ideas and stories shared today from various people about what has worked for them in the past and what they have seen work for other schools.

Here’s a quick rundown of my notes from today and some of the hot points I thought were quite interesting:

  • Niki Dowding from John Paul College shared a great little strategy they have just implemented that worked really well to boost their Facebook page engagement. I didn’t catch the whole story but It had something to do with animal cards. (*Note – I’ll have to interview Niki about that sometime to find out the details)
  • Frustration – Using multiple different software applications within the school to manage student data. Problem being they don’t integrate together or sync the student data and therefore requiring double handling by staff. My thoughts – This is likely always going to be an issue (but I am working on a solution). New software comes out that has great features and does the job better than previous software. My approach is to develop plugins for our upcoming software that sync’s data with the major student management systems.
  • SMS – seemed to work well for reminding users about upcoming reunions or special events. Cuts through the noise and the numerous emails people get.
  • Campaign planning. Using Hootsuite. Angela said she is looking for a new platform. I would suspect most schools aren’t even at this level of social media posting yet. This is still somewhat new in the corporate world. There is a lot of confusion and debate around posting duplicate content and what will actually get your content seen or filtered out. *More to follow about this topic.
  • Boosting Facebook engagement. I shared some details about our campaign for NCC that took “Likes” from 300 up to 800 in a few weeks. *Would you like to know more about this?
  • Quite a big discussion about Printed vs Digital. Which is better. What do Parents prefer. I think the majority of people realise that digital is where it’s at and going, but we explored the value of printed material and the fact that hard copy material can sometimes make more of an impact on a parent.
  • Making print material more engaging. One idea explored was putting links or a QR code in printed material that encourages people to scan it or go to the website to find a special audio/video presentation from the Principal etc.
  • Fundraising ideas – Buying keys on a piano, buying elements in the periodic table, buying seats in the auditorium, buying car park spaces. These are all quirky ways that donors feel they are actually buying something tangible and also contributing.
  • Email Newsletter. John said a strategy working really well for them is a weekly newsletter that contains just a couple lines of text and then bullet points of various events/stories parents might be interested in clicking on to find out more.
  • How to get parents to remember their parent portal username and password. There were a couple different ideas shared here, but my argument was that this is all heading backwards. New technology is all about “Single Sign-On” where users can simply authenticate to services using their Facebook login, Twitter Login, Google login etc. *I will share more about this when we release our upcoming software.

There was quite a lot more discussed in the meeting and I’m sure everyone got a lot of value from attending. I got a ton of ideas and insight into how to make community engagement through technology easier for school marketing executives.

Please let me know if there is anything here you would like to know more about and what you think are some of the big challenges schools are facing with engagement through technology?

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.

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.

Top 10 Most Effective Online Marketing Strategies for Schools

Online marketing can be a very effective tool to promote your school. In this article, you will find 10 ideas on how to promote your school through the internet. These strategies are chosen because they are very effective in attracting new students. Here are the top 10 most effective online marketing tools for promoting primary or secondary schools.

1. Website

This is the obvious first step. There are many Australian schools that have websites to promote their schools. One example is Glendal Primary School. This school promotes all student activities through its website. By doing so, existing students and prospective students are kept well-informed. Most parents will search through a schools website when deciding where to send their kids. It’s crucial that your school website is easy to navigate and provides options for them to quickly engage with the registrar.

2. Email marketing

When people want to promote their schools, they can also use an email marketing strategy. This is a great tool to reach many students and parents. This promotional tool is cheaper than any other online advertising tool.

3. School directory lists

There are several recommended directory lists that are available on the internet. By including your school on these lists, you can boost your own search engine results and also get in front of many people who are comparing schools on these sites. One example of these school directories is the Australian Schools Directory. This is a great promotional tool for all Australian primary and secondary schools. Many parents visit this website to find their favourite schools.

4. Social media

This is another great promotional tool which is becoming increasingly more relevant. There are many primary and secondary schools that promote their schools on social media sites. An example of a school using this strategy is Delacombe Primary School. This school promotes all student activities on their Facebook page. By doing so, this school can connect to all students and parents easily.

5. Online Press Releases

There are many schools that release online press releases every single month. Press releases issued to online news sources provide information on current issues and events within the school community. These press releases are very useful in boosting the brand awareness of schools.

6. Joining Online Communities

There are many online communities that allow new members to join. This is a great opportunity for all schools to promote themselves and interact with other schools. One example of this community is called Study in Australia. This is an official community established by the government.

7. Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns

Pay per click (PPC) is an online advertising model used to direct traffic to websites. It means that people can list their schools on search engine listings to lead their target audience to their website. This is another great way that schools can use to effectively reach prospective parents.

8. Joining  Forums

There are online forums that cater specifically to the education community. One example of these forums is called Better Education Forum. Parents join this forum to find answers to several education-related questions. Joining forums like this will give the school an opportunity to answer relevant questions and lead the members to their website.

9. SEO campaigns

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s search results. Simply put, the goal of SEO is to ensure that a school appears at the top of a search engine’s results for a particular set of keywords, for example “best primary school in Australia.” There are many primary and secondary schools that do SEO campaigns. This campaign is very useful to get free traffic from search engines.

10.  Webinars

A webinar is a seminar conducted online. It is another great promotional tool for all primary or secondary schools that want to promote their institutions. By creating webinars, these schools can build a connection with students and parents alike.

Conclusion

These are some useful tips that you can use to promote your school. Many primary and secondary schools tend to do these simple tips when they want to advertise. Whilst marketing is necessary to survive and thrive in the ever competitive field of education, it is important to note that schools should have a good understanding of their capabilities as well as these marketing tools in order to successfully engage parents and students.