How to Drive School Enrollment with Social Media
How to Drive School Enrollment with Social Media
Social media has been the dominant tool for online communication for over a decade now. Yet many schools have been slow to take advantage of the medium—and when they do, they often don’t make it a priority, this article explains how best to drive school enrollment with social media.
This is a mistake for one key reason—the vast majority of parents are active users of one or more social media platforms.
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, over 83% of parents use Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter on a daily basis. This means that if your school is not utilizing social media to its full potential, you’re missing out on a crucial opportunity to engage with prospective parents and drive enrollment.
But don’t worry—getting started with social media for your school doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. In this article, we’ll give you a crash course in using social media to drive enrollment.
Choosing Your Platforms to drive school enrollment
There are an abundance of social media platforms you could be focusing on. However, not all platforms are worth the time, effort, or resources. When choosing the platforms that will form the basis of your school’s social media strategy, it makes sense to start with the ones that are frequented by your target audience.
Here, platform-specific data from the Pew Research Center is incredibly helpful. According to their survey of parental social media usage, platform-specific usage is as follows:
- Facebook (74%)
- LinkedIn (27%)
- Instagram (25%)
- Twitter (23%)
As you can see, parents are most active on Facebook by a significant margin. This is likely because it’s the oldest and most well-known social media platform, which means that most people have been using it for the longest time.
That said, it’s also important to consider the types of content that perform well on each platform. Images and videos tend to do very well on Instagram, whereas longer-form content is best suited for Facebook and LinkedIn.
With this in mind, your school’s social media strategy should likely focus on Facebook and Instagram, with a LinkedIn presence worked in if resources allow.
Creating Content That Converts
Once you’ve chosen your platforms, it’s time to start creating content that will help you achieve your enrollment goals.
Are all content varieties equally effective when it comes to driving enrollment? The answer to that question is no—some content types are far more effective than others when it comes to connecting with prospective parents and driving customer action.
Here are a few types of content that have been proven to perform well:
User-Generated Content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is any content that is created by users of a product or service—or, in this case, parents and guardians of current and past students. UGC can take many forms, including testimonials, reviews, ratings, comments, photos, and posts.
UGC is incredibly valuable for two reasons. First, it’s a form of social proof, which is the most influential factor in a parent’s decision to choose a school according to numerous studies. In other words, when prospective parents see that other parents are happy with your school, they’re more likely to want to enroll their own child.
Second, UGC is incredibly authentic and relatable. In an era where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages from all sides, UGC cuts through the noise and speaks to parents on a human level.
To generate UGC, you can do things like:
- Create a hashtag for parents to use when they post about your school online
- Encourage parents to leave reviews on popular directories like Google and Yelp
- Run social media contests that encourage parents to share photos or stories about their experience
People love stories—that’s why they’re such powerful marketing tools when it comes to driving enrollment.
When creating narrative-driven content, it’s important to focus on stories that are emotional and relatable. After all, parents aren’t making a rational decision when they choose a school—they’re making an emotional one.
Some great examples of narrative-driven content include:
- Testimonials from past students about how your school prepared them for success
- Stories about how a teacher has gone above and beyond to help students
- Posts about student achievement or service
To get started, try thinking of a few stories that highlight what makes your school special. Then, work on crafting these stories in a way that is both emotional and relatable.
Although parents love hearing stories that paint a fleshed out picture of your schools, data is still important.
Creating posts and infographics that highlight your school’s key data points—such as test scores, graduation rates, and college acceptance rates—can help to reinforce the idea that your school is a great investment.
When creating data-driven content, be sure to present the information in an easy-to-understand way. Data can be dry and boring, so it’s important to make it visually appealing and digestible.
Some great examples of data-driven content include:
- Infographics that compare your school’s data to state or national averages
- Charts and graphs that show your school’s historical trends
- Maps that show where your school’s graduates have gone on to college
Creating content that converts is a process—it takes time, effort, and experimentation. But by focusing on the types of content that have been proven to perform well, you can set yourself up for success.
Create a Content Calendar focused on driving enrollment
One of the best ways to ensure that your content is having a positive impact on enrollment is to create a content calendar.
A content calendar is simply a document that outlines the topics and types of content you’ll be creating, as well as when and where you’ll be publishing it. Having a content calendar in place will help you to stay organized and focused, while also ensuring that all of your content is aligned with your enrollment goals.
Not sure how to get started? Here’s a quick rundown of what your content calendar should include:
- The topics you’ll be covering (e.g., “ways to prepare for kindergarten,” “the benefits of private school,” etc.)
- The types of content you’ll be creating (e.g., posts, infographics, video guides, etc.)
- The date each piece of content will be published
- Where each piece of content will be published (e.g., your website, social media, email newsletter, etc.)
How The School Agency Can Help
At the School Agency, we have years of experience helping schools like yours drive enrollment through content marketing.
We start by getting to know your school—your mission, your values, and your unique story. Then, we work with you to create a content strategy that is aligned with your enrollment goals. From there, we handle everything from content creation to distribution, so you can focus on what’s important: running your school.
If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help, contact us today. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and provide you with a free consultation.
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