Let’s face it. Enrollment directly impacts your school’s budget. And, meeting your enrollment goals is a critical component to the success of your program.
So how can you use social media to increase engagement with current students and parents, and attract new students?
- Have consistently updated social media accounts.
- Share all the incredible (and not so incredible) stories about your school!
- Listen as much as you talk.
HAVE CONSISTENTLY UPDATED SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS
Today, many parents start the search for their child(ren)’s school online. There is nothing worse than finding a school on Facebook or Twitter and discovering that the last post was from a month, or worse, a year ago. Did their school stop educating kids? You don’t want to create doubts about the school culture before the parents have even had a chance to visit.
If your school has an account on a social media platform, make sure you are using it. If you haven’t found a good way to incorporate it, find a way to make it completely private or delete the account altogether.
Besides having a website that properly captures your school mission, vision, and culture, a school’s social media can attract new visitors to the website and, more importantly, open houses. It can also build positive word-of-mouth around your school through the best means of marketing your school could ever wish for — current parents, students, and teachers!
There is a lot to share about your school, students, teachers, and community so encourage engagement with these platforms. Incoming parents and prospective students care about more than just your test scores so let them know about all of those fantastic intangibles.
Your goal should be to make the parent feel like they can see their child excelling at your school.
SHARE ALL THE INCREDIBLE (AND NOT SO INCREDIBLE) STORIES!
It can’t be said enough: Share! Share! Share! Don’t get caught only asking for supplies and donations. Use this as an opportunity to talk about how you can provide a better education that fits their child’s unique needs.
Parents of your students can’t be in your school every day to see the incredible things your teachers and staff do for their child(ren). Social media is the perfect place to show their educational choice in action.
Don’t just think you can only share the bigger stories. There’s plenty of space to share everything from class projects all the way up to larger assemblies.
If your website has a blog or you’re adventurous enough to start one, ask your teachers to write about their current classroom projects or assignments.
Nearly every reporter including your local ones can be found on Twitter. Don’t forget to tag them when you are sharing something that you think could be newsworthy about your school. Hopefully this will lead to a relationship so if anything negative does happen regarding your school, the reporter will make sure to get both sides of the story.
LISTEN AS MUCH AS YOU TALK
Be responsive to those engaging with you. Social media is about being able to make real time connections with real people. Think of it as a customer service platform, not just through the lens of marketing.
Even though charter schools have been around for 20 years (as of this December!), many myths still persist. Watching for these concerns and answering them can help with perceptions of your school by prospective parents.
How do you currently use social media at your school? Join the discussion! [Link to discussion; possible graphic that can be inserted into the article at various places]
… Stay tuned for the next post on “Advanced Tips for Using Facebook”!