Everyone is doing social media!Why should you engage in social media for your independent school? Because everybody’s doing it – that’s why. Not a good reason for doing anything, I know, and probably not the answer you were looking for but let me explain. During the course of this past weekend I noticed two examples from the business world of established companies engaging in social media in conjunction with their traditional outbound marketing.

  1. Heinz Tomato Ketchup – I took the picture on the right at my local grocery store and am impressed that Heinz was pushing people to their Facebook Page.
  2. Toyota Sienna – I hope you’ve seen the recent commercials launching the new Toyota Sienna. Pretty funny! At the end of the commercials Toyota posts a link to their YouTube Channel as opposed to their homepage.

Just because Heinz and Toyota are engaging their fans through social media doesn’t mean that you should rush out to use social media. You should rush out to use social media for authentic engagement with your different constituents, and  improved inbound marketing and branding, but use the lessons from Heinz and Toyota in the implementation of your campaign.

To Begin With Social Media Answer These Two Questions

Just because everyone is doing social media doesn’t mean that they are doing it well.  To begin, you should start by listening. After listening, before you embark on a social media campaign, you need to plan and there are two questions that you need to answer: 1. What are your Goals, and 2. What are the Metrics to measure the attainment of your goals.


Jumping into social media without a clear purpose will end up being a waste of time at best or a disaster at worst.  It is important for your school to have a clear purpose in mind when engaging people with social media. Your goals can either be simple or complex but they should be well-defined and known to your entire marketing and/or administrative team.

Return On Investment (ROI)

There has been much talk about social media and ROI lately and I think I have figured out the key to it all – only you can figure out what matters to your school and define how it is measured. As a result, you should determine the goal(s) of your social media campaign and then determine how you will measure it’s success.  In the end, this process will determine your return on investment.  ROI is, and should be, specific to each school and to each social media campaign.

Everyone’s Doing It

After determining your goals and metrics, revisit the social media campaigns from Heinz and Toyota for ideas on how to implement your own campaign.  If it’s good enough for ketchup it might be good enough for your school. I also encourage those of you who are already “doing it” to use the comment section below to share your goals and corresponding metrics with your own social media campaigns.


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