How to Promote Schools on Social Media for Free

Social media is a great way to market your school and attract more families. Millions of people use social media, so it’s one of the best free tools for reaching your target audience. There are plenty of ways to promote schools on social media for free.

Publishing content regularly on your social media accounts is essential, but it should be part of a larger social media marketing strategy for school promotions. The more familiarity families have with your school on social media platforms, the more they will trust you and the more effective the rest of your marketing efforts will be.

Reasons to Promote Schools on Social Media

Promoting your school in general is straightforward, but for the sake of this post, let’s talk about why promoting your social media profiles are worth your time. Here’s what you can accomplish by promoting on social media:

  • Exposure for your school

Social media is amazingly popular. As of 2020, 223 million people used social media in the United States alone. Source: Statista

  • Reach

Over 70 percent of the U.S. population have a social media account. This number is expected to increase to 243 million by 2025. Source: Statista

  • Connect with families

The majority of Americans use YouTube and Facebook, while adults under 30 tend to favor TikTok, Snapchat and Instagram. Source: Pew Research Center

  • Attract potential families

With such a large user base, you can be confident you are reaching a large percentage of your target families on social media. Focusing on conveying value, earning trust and building relationships will help you attract and retain more families.

Before You Start Promoting Your School on Social Media

Before you start working on social media promotion, make sure you have social media accounts set up. When you are setting up your school’s profile, make sure you:

  • Keep your school’s branding consistent
  • Use the same phone number, address details (i.e. don’t write St. on one and Street on another), and the name of your school needs to be exactly the same
  • Fill out each profile completely
  • Try to keep your name “handle” the same or similar on each platform
  • Include a link to your school’s website
  • Make sure your social media accounts are business profiles and are switched to “public”
  • Cross-promote your social media accounts (i.e. email signature, website links, website feeds, other social networks)

Most schools use at least some of the following platforms:

If you are just starting out using social media to market your school, I recommend you choose one or two channels and start there. Once you have the hang of promotion, you can add in more channels as you are comfortable. Each social network has its own culture, hashtags, and other customs. You will want to familiarize yourself with each network and understand how to best market your school on each platform.

Use Relationship-Building to Promote Your Social Media Accounts

Once you have your accounts set up and ready, it’s time to start promoting your school. These strategies are win-win because they help promote your school while at the same time build a sense of community around your school and give your followers a voice.

  • Start with existing families

Connecting with families already familiar with your school will help with initial engagement and they will (hopefully) be willing to promote your school account on their own networks. Even if they don’t directly promote your school, their engagement will show up in their feed and their followers can decide if they’d like to learn more.

  • Prioritize engagement

Perhaps the best way to promote your school is through genuine engagement. People like to be heard, so the more you respond to their comments, the more comments and exposure you will receive. But don’t just be reactive, proactively like and comment on the posts of your supporters and follow them back. Each of these engagements organically promotes your social media accounts while at the same time strengthening your relationship with your audience and building trust.

  • Request and share user-generated content

User-generated content can boost your social media engagement while also promoting your school. There’s no better form of content than that of real families. Plus, when you share their content, they are likely to share it with their followers, further amplifying your reach.

A lot of user-generated content will occur organically, but you can also directly request it.

Use Content to Promote Your Social Media Accounts

At the heart of any successful digital marketing strategy is content. Content should be relevant, informative, authentic, and high-quality. Here’s how to incorporate content into your social media strategy.

  • Publish posts relevant to your school

Here are some ideas of school-related content for social media:

  • Alumni accomplishments
  • Alumni event
  • Blog posts
  • Repurposed content
  • Student-generated content
  • Excerpts from other communications
  • Student/faculty profiles
  • World news that relates to school news
  • Event photos
  • Sports and activities
  • Behind the scenes of the inner workings of your school
  • Day in the life
  • Reminders
  • Ask for input
  • Answer FAQ
  • Hold a virtual event
  • Ask engaging questions

Improve your engagement by asking questions. Try to keep your questions relevant to your school. You can ask questions like:

  • What’s your favorite ___?
  • Which one do you like better?
  • Would you rather ___ or ___?
  • If you could ___
  • What if ___
  • What was your ___
  • When you were in school, what ___ did you want?
  • Current events
  • Share a photo of ____
  • Ask us anything!
  • Fill in the blank: ___ inspires me
  • What’s on your bucket list?
  • Tell school-related stories

There are a variety of ways schools can tell their stories. Your school strengthens its public image by sharing school-related stories. Read more: Storytelling is Key to Forming Strong Connections with Parents

  • Post captivating, high-quality images

You don’t need to be a professional photographer or have expensive equipment to produce attractive images for social media. There are plenty of free photo and video editing tools available and other apps like Canva or Picsart.

  • Publish at the right time

It’s important to publish regularly and consistently, but you won’t be doing much to promote your account if you’re not publishing at the right time. The “right time” varies according to your audience, so you’ll need to put some thought into this. Many social media scheduling tools will provide you with data on the best time to publish on each social platform.

  • Get creative with your captions

Everyone knows that generating delightful content for your social media accounts is important, but did you know your captions can define how well your post will do? Writing compelling captions for your social media accounts is the best way to increase your audience’s engagement and reach new viewers. So take the time to create creative, smart captions that attract users.

  • Use the best #hashtags

When it comes to promoting your social media accounts, hashtags are essential. Use relevant hashtags to help people find your account and help it stand out. Read more: How to Research Hashtags for Your School’s Social Media Posts

The creative possibilities offered through social media for showcasing your school have never been better, and you can be sure they’ll continue to evolve. With this in mind, your approach to social media marketing should prioritize the needs of your current and potential families. What are they looking for and what do they need? Follow the above ideas to promote your school on social media. I hope this post will serve as creative inspiration as you prepare for the next school year!

Do you promote your school on social media? What other tactics do you think should be added to this post? Please comment 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.

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