There are a million reasons why people choose to work in education, but I’m willing to bet one motivating factor is your love for learning – creating it for others as well as yourself.
Nurturing those moments of discovery is undeniably rewarding. And as the social media maven of your school, you do plenty of daily learning of your own.
As a business owner, I’m no different. In 2020, I attended a 4-day event called Social Media Marketing World (SMMW) in San Diego with my marketing manager for #SocialSchool4EDU, Emily Schutte. We soaked up hours and hours of training and returned overflowing with ideas.
This year, Emily went solo and attended the (fully virtual) event on our team’s behalf. I’m excited for her to share her key takeaways and learnings with you. I’ll let Emily take it from here!
About Social Media Marketing World
SMMW is the premier event for Social Media Examiner (SME), one of the best places to learn about all things social media. SME offers a blog, a podcast, and even a free annual social media data report that will accelerate your learning as a social media manager.
The event itself is headlined by the biggest names in marketing and social media. Attendees learn the latest trends and research related to social media strategies and receive practical, hands-on advice.
Even though the 2021 SMMW was fully virtual, the format did not disappoint. Instead of short sessions, SME offered 13 two-hour workshops that dug deep into just four platforms: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
Facebook Insights for Schools
Improve Your Reach
If you’ve noticed your organic reach steadily declining, you’re not alone. If you’re posting too many times per day, you’re actually competing with yourself in the algorithm.
Make sure all of your content is engaging. Do NOT use filler and try to follow Andrea’s 75% rule for celebration over information. Click here for a short video tip to find out exactly what that means.
In general, videos perform better than images, which perform better than links. Experiment with other post types to see what your audience responds to, such as text-only using the Facebook colored background.
Try driving traffic to your page through other sources! In your next email newsletter, link to a Facebook post as a teaser… “For more great photos from this event, visit our Facebook page.” Hyperlink the Facebook page in your email signatures, mention it on other platforms, and tap into offline methods such as door clings and flyers. You should also mention it at every event that you host.
Improve Your Engagement
Content + Engagement + Conversion = Results
Facebook’s stated mission is to “bring the world close together.” Your content must be created with this mindset in mind. Who are you trying to bring together? How does your content fit into Facebook’s mission? It’s a philosophical question worth considering.
Engagement goes hand-in-hand with content. Every single post should have some type of call to action, such as a question that drives comments or encouragement to like or share. Try using more “you” statements than “we” statements to encourage engagement.
Engagement is a two-way street! As the school page, make sure you like and respond to comments and like shares (as possible) of your school posts.
As a school, sometimes the “conversion” part of the equation is important. You might be trying to drive kindergarten enrollments or event registrations, for example. But for most of your posts, the “content” and “engagement” parts of the equation are more important.
- Amplify your videos with the “create post with video” feature in Creator Studio. This works well if there is a video you plan to post multiple times, such as a branding or enrollment video. All of the engagement numbers, including views, stay with that video no matter how many times you post it, when you use this method.
- Periodically encourage your followers to add your page to their “favorites” and turn on notifications. You can create a little video or series of graphics to demonstrate.
- Change the call-to-action button on your page to “follow.”
Instagram Insights for Schools
Reaching People on Instagram
Just like on Facebook, organic reach is declining right now. It’s becoming more difficult to build a follower base. On the flip side, Instagram is considered an amazing tool for building genuine relationships with your followers. The overall follower number doesn’t matter as much as the relationships you’re building.
Instagram workshop leaders stressed the importance of driving followers to your DMs for further engagement. Of course, this is more obviously important for a business! But as a school, consider how you can use Instagram DMs to nurture relationships.
Anatomy of a Perfect Caption
Hook + Content + Call to Action = Perfect IG Caption
Since the first 125 characters are visible, make sure you really draw people in.
Use line spacing, emojis, and bullets to make it more readable.
Call to Action
If you’re not trying to “convert” through your post, your call to action should be to engage.
Always Use a Call to Action
I can’t stress this enough… if you want people to engage with your content, you have to ASK them to do it! Here are some excellent calls to action that you can use on your school Instagram page. (Social Media Crew for Schools members have 15 more available to them! Want to learn more? Click here.)
- Double tap to give our #____ students some love!
- Give this post some ❤️ if this made you smile.
- If you enjoyed reading this, share it to your Stories!
- Tap that “save” button so you can come back to this, later.
- 🌐 Visit our website to learn more – link in bio!
- Check out the school website for more information on ____.
- Post Instagram Stories throughout the day but at different times, so your Stories bubble resets to the beginning of the feed. You can now schedule Stories in the Business Suite phone app!
- Use Stickers in your Stories to drive engagement.
- Reels are hot right now!! When creating them, think TikTok style videos. Your framework for a great Reel is: Hook + Tip + Call to Action.
YouTube Insights for Schools
You’ve probably heard that YouTube is the number two search engine after Google. But it’s also the number two most used social media platform, after Facebook.
And it’s NOT just for young people!
- 74% of adults ages 36-45 are using YouTube
- 70% of adults ages 46-55 are using YouTube
Of course, this means they’re using the platform to consume content – they might not be actively creating their own content. But this is still important to keep in mind. You do have an audience on YouTube.
Get right to the point in a YouTube video, because content that meanders will frustrate your audience and they will click away immediately. “Watch time” is the most important metric on YouTube.
- Audio, lighting, and video quality are the keys to your success, with audio quality at #1. Your audio MUST be good on YouTube. Second most important is your lighting quality, and third is your actual video quality.
- When you post on YouTube, make sure your title and description are keyword-friendly. Simply put, what would people be searching for on this topic that your video will satisfy?
- Finally, your YouTube thumbnails should grab attention. Aim for clarity and contrast and try to drive interest to the content you’re promising. That way, when your video shows up as a “suggested video” for YouTube users, they’re more likely to click it.
LinkedIn Insights for Schools
Use LinkedIn Pages
Your LinkedIn page for your school can be the “free information hub” for recruiting. Think of it as a website careers page.
Content on your LinkedIn page should be focused on recruiting, celebrating employees, and showcasing professional milestones and accomplishments such as earning degrees and attending conferences. Check out this blog on 5 ways to use LinkedIn for your school.
Use LinkedIn Personal Profiles
There is limitless potential for individuals, such as school leaders, to build their personal influence and brand on LinkedIn using their own profiles. This could be a topic unto itself – so suffice it to say, if you have a motivated person, they can do BIG things on LinkedIn!
Keep Telling Those Stories
While this article contained a LOT of information, I hope it provided at least a few nuggets of insight into the latest trends on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn and how they can be applied to your school social media channels.
As Andrea always says… Keep telling those stories!!
A guest blog from Emily Rae Schutte, MBA. Emily is a small business owner who left her corporate job to serve other small businesses with content marketing services. Emily loves her role on the #SocialSchool4EDU team as the Marketing Manager. She finds working with schools to be incredibly rewarding!