5 Social Media Challenges Schools are Facing in 2022

Today, social media has become a significant part of our society. Humans are highly social creatures; our brains are wired to feel better when we are connected socially. Social media taps into the feel-good receptors in our brain. In short, people like to like social media posts.

The numbers bear this out. In 2005, about 5 percent of American adults used social media. Today around 72 percent of Americans use social media to connect with one another, a huge jump in usage. In 2021, over 4.26 billion people use social media globally; this number is expected to grow to almost six billion by 2027.

Over these years as social media usage grew, platforms have been evolving. Along the way, school marketers have had to adjust to these changes, often facing new challenges. This article describes six social medial challenges your school may be facing, and how you can overcome them. If you follow these strategies, you can keep your school marketing moving forward into the future.

Challenge #1. Determining the best platform(s) for your school

One of the biggest challenges facing school marketers is determining the best social media platforms in which to invest your precious time and resources. Some digital marketing experts recommend spending a minimum of 6 hours per week to manage your social media. That’s a big chunk of time, and that time multiplies the more platforms your school is trying to manage.

How to address this challenge:

To determine the best social media platforms for your school, you really need a good picture of who your target audience is, and where they spend their time on social media.

You can always start with demographics data and compare your data to the Pew Research Center’s Social Media Fact Sheet. You can also test out some hashtags related to your school offerings to see where your target audience is already participating.

Another way to think about this is to think about where parents are in their enrollment journey and target the right content on the right platform for achieving the goal at that stage in their process.

Read more: Top 6 Social Media Platforms for Schools

Challenge #2. Being overly repetitive

Social media is becoming increasingly repetitive. Content that was hot a year ago may seem like old news by today’s standards. In order to stand out in people’s news feeds, you need a reason for people to stop scrolling. People don’t have time to read every word of every post – make sure your post has something to offer them and is worth their time.

How to address this challenge:

Embrace change! Keep experimenting and testing new tactics until you find things that work for your school and target audience.

Read more: How Schools Use Social Media for Marketing

Challenge #3. Not using personalization

Ever wondered how some businesses dominate the social media feeds? The answer lies in their personalized strategy.

Everyone knows people don’t like being overtly advertised to. However, people don’t seem to mind being marketed to when their experience is tailored to them. Personalized marketing uses data to deliver more relevant messages to your target audience. If you want your school to stand out consider adding some type of personalization.

How to address this challenge:

There are several ways to use personalization in social media.

  • Combine retargeting campaigns with personalization

 Retarget people who have interacted on your website with separate, personalized ads. You can also do this with segmented subscriber groups. Read more: 8 Facebook Ad Targeting Tips to Improve Your Return on Ad Spend

  • Leverage Facebook’s data to create personalized videos

This is fun, new technology being used for admissions, engagement, graduation, fundraising and acquisition. Check it out here: Idomoo Personalized Video for Education & Nonprofits

  • Personalized social media quizzes

People love to take quizzes, especially when it’s something that seems personal to them. Plus, they are extremely shareable. Learn more about online quiz makers here: The 14 Best Online Quiz Makers for 2022

  • Personalized social media chatbots

Chatbots have become popular in recent years and for good reason. However, the main complaint about them is they seem rather impersonal. But now you can use chatbots with AI technology that will ask questions and provide answer based on the answers. Such integrations can help give families fast, helpful information and drive more inquiries. Plus, the more AI chatbots are used, the more they learn how to personalize experiences even better. Learn more: An Introduction to AI Chatbots

  • Personalized real-life campaigns based on social media

Imagine receiving a real-life gift based on information gathered from your social media profile. One famous marketing campaign that used this tactic was an airline who tracked customers who checked in at a certain airport and gave them personalized gifts that would make their travel more enjoyable. This tactic was hugely successful for this airline. How could you use this idea to delight potential families, perhaps who show up for a tour of your campus?

Personalization is a must-have in today’s competitive marketing world. You can use social media tools to focus on personalized campaigns. Newer technologies will continue to make content more personalized and relevant, and schools that don’t keep up will be left behind.

Challenge #4. Not posting videos

Video accounts for 82 percent of all internet traffic, according to Cisco, and this number continues to grow. If your school isn’t using video, you’re missing out on traffic and opportunities to garner inquiries. Plus, schools that aren’t using video seem irrelevant, especially to younger parents. Your school needs video if you’re going to survive in today’s digital environment.

How to address this challenge:

The good news is that video marketing doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Need help getting started? Try starting here: 27 Video Marketing Ideas for Schools

Challenge #5. Instagram is more important than ever

Instagram now boasts over 1 billion users worldwide, making it one of the top four social global networks. Interestingly, people spend an average of 29 minutes a day on Instagram. Instagram users are younger than the Facebook population. In the U.S., 57% of people aged 25 to 30 and 29% of people aged 50-64 are active users. While TikTok is the app of the moment and Facebook seems to have lost some of its shine, Instagram remains hugely popular.

With it’s emphasis on visuals and storytelling, Instagram offers a unique opportunity for school marketers that won’t be going away any time soon.

How to address this challenge:

Here is a list of Instagram related content on this blog to help you navigate your Instagram marketing strategy.

Challenge #6. Facebook and Google Ads are getting harder and more expensive

As both Facebook and Google’s advertising options and algorithms are changing, it will be more difficult for schools to figure out how to best optimize them. Should you run multiple ads with each network? What types of audiences should you use? What ad sets, ad creatives and ad copy will give your school the best ROI? Advertising will get complicated very quickly!

How to address this challenge:

Make sure you set goals for your advertising campaigns. Do you want brand awareness? Ebook downloads in exchange for email addresses? Inquiry forms completed? For example, if you want inquiries, send people directly to a landing page or form that asks parents for their contact information. Take the time to update your knowledge and skills when it comes to running Facebook and Google Ads. The time you invest will be worthwhile!

Social media has the power to help schools increase their brand awareness, engagement and, ultimately, inquiries. Hopefully, understanding these five challenges and how you can address each challenge will benefit your school marketing strategy.

What social media marketing challenges is your school facing? How are you addresses these challenges? Please share your school’s experience in the comments below…

About the author 

Brendan Schneider

Hey, I’m Brendan, and this is my blog. After 28 years working in private, independent schools in mostly admissions, enrollment, marketing, communications, and fundraising roles, I decided to make SchneiderB Media my full-time job, where I help schools get more inquiries through my Fractional Digital Marketer program. I also started the MarCom Society, a membership created expressly to help, support, and train marketing and communications professionals at schools.

Social Media

Promote Your School on Social Media: A Comprehensive Guide to Success

Social Media

How Do I Start a Social Media Campaign for My School?

Social Media

What Should Schools Post on Social Media?

Subscribe to the School Marketing Insider

The School Marketing Insider is a weekly newsletter that delivers curated resources to stimulate curiosity, inspire collaboration, and accelerate innovation to drive school marketing professionals ahead of the curve.