Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for some of these resources which means that, at no cost additional to you, I make a commission if you purchase via my link below.
Social media continues to be an essential marketing strategy, and schools can always find ways to refine and improve their approach. School marketing is built on human relationships. Social media has long been used to help schools connect with families, but its importance has accelerated since the pandemic.
During the time schools were unable to hold in-person events and meetings, marketers had to find alternative ways to connect with prospective families. And many schools found they could do this most effectively using social channels.
By using social media, school marketers are able to:
Build brand awareness
Across social networks, schools can tell their story, talk about their programs, and keep families updated with student success stories.
When school marketers leveraged their stories, they were able to extend their school brand even further. Every parent has a personal network, and each network has potentially hundreds of contacts. In turn, each of these contacts is connected to hundreds of other people.
When school marketers create meaningful conversations and engagement by posting videos, news, photographs and other relevant content. Not only will this build credibility, but these strategies may result in gaining inquiries.
Social engagement enables school marketers to build relationships with parents who have submitted inquiries. By leveraging thought leadership, social proofing and other content, they can help answer parents’ burning questions. In turn, this allows you to build trust and credibility.
Implement social listening
All marketers know they need to conduct market research. At the very least, you want to know what people are saying about your school. Social listening gives you a chance to gain candid feedback on how others view your school. This opens a window into making improvements while reinforcing aspects of your school people are already resonating with.
Measure marketing efforts
With social media platforms and management tools, you can track your key performance indicators (KPIs). Read more: 13 Social Media Metrics That Matter to School Marketers
People expect schools to be authentic and transparent. When you do this, you build trust with families, existing as well as potential.
Grow your audience
Approximately 302.25 million people use social media in the United States alone. Social networks offer schools the opportunity to grow their connections as well as engage with them. This is how organizations build an audience that is in alignment with their missions and believes in your school.
If you want families to stay involved and remember how much they like your school, you need to be where they are. And that’s largely social media.
Here’s the thing about social media marketing, though. It doesn’t just happen overnight. It’s not a magic bullet. Effective social media is like any other marketing strategy – carefully designed, managed, measured and built on a strong and clear strategy. Read more: 7 Simple Steps for Constructing the Best Social Media Strategy for Your School
To deliver on your strategic vision, you need to stay up to date on the latest best practices, trends, and tools. If you’re serious about social media for your school (and you should be), you should consider adding at least some of the following tools to your social media marketing toolkit.
SEO Coach is a great tool for schools to use to conduct content research across social media and search engines. You can:
- Discover new, relevant keywords
- Find out what topics have the best engagement
- Discover trending stories, parent questions and what content is having the most success
- Track competitors and do an analysis based on their content
- Track your traffic, backlinks and Google Business Profile performance
- Get a new SEO “to-do” list that covers important actions you need to take
- Discover journalist backlink analysis
- Improve your page speed
- Improve your technical SEO on your website
- Plus, you get access to SEO Academy, a great training resource to help you make the most of your SEO Coach subscription
- And so much more!
Buffer started out as a scheduling tool for Twitter, but today it supports Facebook, Google Business Profile, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Shopify, TikTok and Twitter.
Buffer offers some pretty cool features, such as:
- A Chrome extension you can use to add articles and content from the web to your Buffer queue or share content on the go
- Automatically shortens links
- Upload custom graphics, photos and videos
- Generates images from articles you curate
- Provides complex analytics to track your content’s performance
- Create a posting schedule so your content is published throughout the day
- Reply to posts within Buffer
- Add team members
Buffer makes it easy to schedule social media posts, saving you tons of time and effort logging in and out of various platforms.
Missinglettr is my social media publishing secret weapon! Seriously, this tool has saved me so much time! Even if you use a scheduling tool like Buffer, you still need to manually input the images and captions for each post. That’s where Missinglettr comes in. It works by allowing you to schedule social media drip campaigns automatically and can be scheduled out for an entire year! Be sure to check this great tool out!
Tailwind is my favorite Pinterest management tool, and for good reason. I love having the ability to schedule Pins to publish at the best times for your audience and grow your reach on Pinterest. This tool is the standard when it comes to Pinterest marketing. If you haven’t tried it, be sure to check it out and make use of the free trial!
Mention is an extremely comprehensive social listening tool. This is a great way to gain deeper insights about your audience, including how your school is perceived online. Mention makes it easy to respond to social media comments and mentions from right inside the platform.
Sumo offers a whole suite of traffic and social media tools useful for improving your social media strategy. One highly relevant tool for social media is the social shares feature, allowing visitors to share your content to social media. Sumo will also track the number of shares you gain through their tool.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere off-grid, you probably have heard about Canva. It’s such a great design and text editing tool I have to include it in this list. There’s so much you can do with Canva, from designing graphics, to automations, to Stories, Reels, Shorts and so much more! If you’re not using Canva, you really should check it out. Here’s a great video about how to get started using Canva for Social Media
As you know, creating content is essential for social media marketing. Video content especially will help you take your social media game to the next level. Biteable makes it easy to create engaging, entertaining, and informative short videos to share on social media.
Biteable offers so many features: free video templates, footage, music, and animated scenes. It’s a great resource for schools who want to create studio-quality short-form videos (think Shorts, Reels, TikTok videos, etc.). Most features are available even with a free account, but upgrading to Premium is reasonably priced, so be sure to check out this easy to use tool!
IFTTT stands for “if this then that”. This is a great, easy to learn tool that you can use to set up “rules” to make it easier to run your social media marketing. When you set up a rule, it generates an action. For example, you can set up a rule that, whenever you get a Google notification for a special alert, it gets added to a Google doc that you can check at the end of the day. These rules make it easier to streamline your process and improve your productivity. IFTTT offers an “explore” tab with really cool real-world examples of how people are using IFTTT. Check it out here!
Zapier is IFTTT on steroids. While IFTTT is easier to learn and use, Zapier is for creating more complex automations. I’ve included it here because many marketers use IFTTT and Zapier for different tasks. Zapier has over 5,000 app integrations, which makes this an incredibly flexible tool.
Rebrandly is a great tool for branded short links. Rebrandly will take links originating from a domain and shorten it using your custom domain name. It offers great analytics and other unique features.
AddThis is a great tool for social share buttons. After all, the point of social media is to share it! AddThis makes it easy for people to share your content to their social media networks. It connects to more than 200 global social networks and is completely customizable so you can match your social buttons to your brand. The best part of this tool is that it’s completely free!
Social Status is a social media analytics and reporting tool. It offers multi-channel dashboards and can help automate your social media reports. While you can gather insights from your social platforms themselves, Social Status offers much more in-depth reports. It works with Facebook, Instagram Business Profile, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
There are a lot of great tools out there you can add to your social media marketing toolkit, and new ones pop up all the time. The key is finding tools that work well for you and your team. Don’t be afraid to try out new tools and take the time to understand how to best use them. Just don’t get rid of the old ones just because a shiny new tool has appeared.
Do you have a favorite social media tool that’s not on this list? Please share your tool in the comments below and tell us why you love it!