Instagram Stories allows users to post pictures and video to an album that disappears after 24 hours.
At first, this might seem like an unnecessary or even useless social media feature. However, schools can use Instagram Stories as part of their marketing plan in order to improve their engagement, visibility and content.
Instagram Stories take advantage of the Instagram algorithm. The Instagram algorithm shows only posts that the algorithm has determined would be of the most interest to the user, based on their engagement and likes. Instagram Stories allow you to build an audience and stay “top-of-mind” by publishing more frequently.
One thing to keep in mind when using Instagram Stories is that you want to diversify your content to keep the attention of your audience. One way to diversify your content is to repurpose content that you already have.
Instagram Stories is a real-time marketing tactic, which means you are reaching out to your audience at the time you publish. Videos, pictures and text help stimulate the interest of your followers on a personal and authentic level.
Here are 5 ways you can use Instagram Stories for your school marketing.
Day in the Life of Your School
You can use both videos and photographs to create Instagram stories that show your audience a unique view of the day-to-day happenings at your school. Your videos don’t have to be anything spectacular, just the real, everyday activities at your school will do great. Capturing video in Instagram Stories is easy. After you navigate to the main Instagram Stories screen, hold down in the middle button at the bottom of the screen to take a video (tap to take a picture.) After you record it, simply upload the video to your story with or without a caption. You can draw text onto an image or video, or simply type it in. This is an opportunity to be creative and make the experience more interactive. You don’t have to put a lot of planning into recording for Instagram Stories. Make it quick and simple. Sometimes a short snippet of everyday happenings can be very effective for promoting your school.
Instagram Stories is an opportunity to repurpose your blog posts or other content. You can put together a short “how-to” on any topic. Parents are always looking for new things to do with their student – Instagram Stories is a way you could share interesting, easy-to-digest ideas for fun things parents and kids can do together. Start by looking through topics on your blog. Chances are, you’ll have an article you can break down into a few slides to display visually. At the end of the story, direct people back to your website or blog.
After you choose your topic, create graphics and then upload in sequence to create your story. The goal is to drive engagement, so make sure you close with a call-to-action. You can have a lot of fun with this so give it a try!
Publicize a Facebook Live Event
You can use Instagram Stories to promote a Facebook Live event to get more viewers for your live video. Create a simple, one-slide story with brief text and graphic to direct people to your Facebook page. Include a URL to make it easy for users to cut and paste into their browser (you can’t click through a URL on Instagram.) Use bit.ly or another URL shortener to make it as easy as possible for people to copy your URL. Click here to learn more about how to maximize Facebook Live and Instagram Live for your school.
Want to slant text? It’s easy! Just place two fingers on a section of finished text and pivot to slant the text. You can also pinch your fingers to either reduce or increase the size of the text.
Show Your School in Action
Instagram is a great way to show your school in action. Give people an idea of what it’s like for their kids to attend your school or to be a parent of a student. Click here for some tips on how to use Instagram video for your school. Make sure the lighting is clear enough to see what’s happening in the videos. Always make sure people know how to make an inquiry about enrolling in your school. If you highlight your school in an entertaining and genuine way, you’ll be able to draw more people to your website and avoid being too “salesy” about enrollments.
Celebrate School Milestones
Combine interviews and other tactics to tell an engaging story to highlight school events and milestones. Graduation is a great example. Create a story to highlight the graduating class, their milestones and significant events during their scholastic journey. Evoke the personality of the class with the right colors and tone and remind the students of their growth and changes during their time with your school.
Your school probably has more stories than you realize. Once you start to look, you’ll see new possibilities. Treat everyday activities like exciting events is a great way to humanize your school and keep potential parents interested in what you have to offer.
Using Instagram Stories for your school shows you’re not only knowledgeable about new social media trends, but that you’re astute enough to apply them to your school marketing.
Have you used Instagram Stories for your school? Do you have any examples of schools using Instagram Stories? Share them in the comments below.