Engagement on social media is crucial to building solid relationships with prospective families. It can strengthen loyalty for your school, increase word-of-mouth endorsements, and social proof. Engagement can be used to measure valuable metrics for school marketing, i.e. sentiment, interaction, and inquiries.
Why Is Engagement Important?
Social media engagement is a measure of how people are interacting with your school on social media posts. Engagement refers to a variety of interactions across all social platforms, such as:
- Likes and favorites
- Comments, direct messages (DMs), replies
- Shares and retweets
Engagement offers your school a way to measure how well the content you’re publishing is resonating with your audience. Interestingly, Facebook recognizes the importance of engagement for users. When people interact with others on a social platform, it makes them feel better. However, just scrolling past content passively actually makes people feel worse.
Social media users expect brands to engage with them as well, especially when it comes to providing support. And, people rely on brands to not only respond but to do it quickly. People enjoy seeing and being a part of a positive interaction between a brand and a follower. Interestingly, responding in a positive way to a complaint can increase customer advocacy as much as 25 percent.
The bottom line is people appreciate interacting with schools online because it allows an environment in which a genuine relationship can develop, a concept that’s proving to be one of the best tools for gaining inquiries.
One thing to keep in mind when it comes to social media marketing – there’s a difference between social presence and social engagement. Simply having a presence on social media isn’t enough – you need to be proactive and engage with people.
Many schools I talk to wonder why their seemingly perfect content has little or no engagement. Remember, Facebook has a super-smart algorithm, and you’re competing to get your content seen. Focus your efforts on content that drives engagement, and you’ll soon see a difference. Here are 10 tips to help your school stand out online.
10 Types of Social Media Posts to Increase Engagement
Start a conversation
People love to share their ideas, thoughts, opinions and knowledge. One of the best ways to start a conversation is to ask a question. It may seem obvious, but schools may not realize how powerful this can be.
Think outside the box to uncover creative ways to encourage your followers to engage. A simple question like “what is your student’s favorite subject in school and why?” or even “favorite songs for a family road trip?” can spark a lively conversation.
Create “savable” content
On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, saves are more critical than ever. It’s one of the best ways to improve your engagement, using the algorithm in your favor.
In order to do this, you will need to track the performance of your posts to identify the types of social media posts your followers are likely to engage with.
Need ideas for what to content to produce? Check out this blog post: 10 Creative Ways to Boost Your School’s Social Media Presence
Be sure to include keywords to help boost your search engine results and end social media posts with a call to action asking your followers to comment, like or re-share your content. You might be surprised at how effective this strategy can be.
One of the easiest ways to increase engagement and reach is to post about school events, seasonal content and trending topics, especially if there’s something local and relevant to your school.
People like to be in the “know”, so make sure they have all the relevant information about what’s happening in your school, in your community, and beyond! Just make sure you publish information in a timely manner.
Create your own visuals
People prefer visual content because images are easier to digest. Use Canva or another photo editing tool to create unique graphics and be sure to use lots of school pictures.
This may be a no-brainer for your school marketing, but it’s a very important aspect of publishing engagement-friendly content.
A couple of tips for scroll-stopping visuals include:
- Make sure your visuals have a focal point
- Use highly saturated colors
- Create attractive creative designs
- Include a witty caption
- Include a call-to-action
Stories have resonated with people since prehistoric times. Stories allow you to reach families and connect with them on an emotional level.
Tell stories from the richness of your school experience. While the art of storytelling goes back to the beginning of time, today’s technology is giving us new ways to deliver our stories. Blogs, podcasts, case studies, websites and social media are all avenues for sharing stories your followers will love and want to like, comment on and share.
Incorporate more video content
Video has become more important than ever on all social platforms. Smartphone technology has made it easier to create and upload video content as well as easier to consume it as well. Now, in 2022, audiences are spending an average of 19 hours a week watching videos online.
You don’t have to have a whole production crew to start. You can share anything from simple animations or informational videos as well as interesting content sourced from your school.
If you’re needing more information on how to up your video content game, check out these articles:
- How to Create a Successful School Video Marketing Strategy for 2019-2020
- 36 Video Topics That Will Generate More Views & Engagement for Your School
- Your Old School Video is Dead with James Pizarro
- How to Maximize Your Reach Using Video Marketing
- How to Choose the Right Videographer for Your School
- How to Write a School Promotional Script for Your School Marketing Videos
- 6 Top Tips to Increase Video Production Productivity for School Marketers
Ask for feedback
One of the best ways to get parents involved in their children’s education is through feedback. Feedback gives parents a way to contribute to their children’s learning experience, but it also can provide valuable feedback about the school’s overall success. By sharing their opinions, parents provide useful insights that may otherwise go unnoticed.
The good news is you have an audience at your fingertips to ask your followers for feedback. You can do this by striking up a topic related to your school, requesting the type of content they want to see more of and making real connections with your audience.
Stay on top of your community management
Social media engagement is the key to building relationships with your audience, but don’t restrict it to social media posts and content calendars. Shift your thinking from one-way broadcasts to two-way interactions.
By responding to comments and posts, you’re showing your followers you’re present and you care. It’s an opportunity for you to share more about your school, instill a sense of trust and credibility.
Schedule your content
Use scheduling tools to schedule your social media posts to ensure your posts are being published at the best times. If you publish your social media posts at a time when most of your audience is inactive, you won’t have the same engagement level as when you publish when people are active on social media. Modern social media scheduling tools will help you identify the best days and times to publish your content. Plus, scheduling social media will save you time and make your job much easier!
Learn more: 26 Social Media Tools for 2021 and Beyond
Consider running a user-generated content (UGC) contest
If you want to increase engagement, consider running a user-generated content (UGC) contest. People love contests, and it will definitely improve visibility of your social media accounts.
User-generated content hashtag contests are really popular at the moment, and for good reason. They’re easy to run, tend to be shared a lot, and can be easier to manage than other types of promotional campaigns. Plus, a (UGC) contest will provide you with user-generated content to use for marketing.
A (UGC) contest is where an organization asks its followers to post a piece of content on a social media network, accompanied by a specific hashtag, in exchange for a chance to win a prize. Most of the time, schools will require a photo that can be used for marketing purposes in the future.
Learn more: How to Run a Successful UGC Hashtag Contest
Now that you’ve got the top ten tips to improve your social media engagement, you’re ready to get going. By implementing these strategies, you will see a vast improvement in your social media engagement. Best of all, we know engagement leads to more inquiries, so your effort will benefit your school in multiple ways.
What social media engagement strategies are working for your school? Please share in the comments below…