Schools have been 'doing' social media for years but many still have trouble with getting it right. Social media is now an integral part in most school’s marketing strategy and therefore every school should be planning, implementing and monitoring a social media marketing plan – rather than just 'doing' it. Many schools join social media channels just because they think they should. But with no clear direction, your presence on Twitter, Facebook and Youtube and other social media platforms can be damaging to your brand. Your school should set clear objectives and goals the same as you would for any other marketing activity. These objectives should be realistic and measureable so that you can easily determine whether your social media marketing activity is successful.
How To Align Your Content Marketing And Social Media Efforts
Social media and content marketing are intrinsically linked, but they are actually quite different. Though there can be quite a bit of overlap, the easiest way to think about their relationship is that content is needed to drive social media and social media is needed to distribute content as well as listening to your audience likes (so that you can then create content relevant to them). Whilst you can have a content marketing strategy without using social media, (by utilising your website as a platform for your school’s content), it is very difficult to gain a wider audience for your content without social media promotion. In the 21st century, in the competitive education market, you can’t really have one without the other. As we said above, content marketing and social media complement each very well, but how do you make sure they are aligned with your overall marketing strategy? The key is to create one with consideration for the other; what we mean by this is that when creating your content, you should be giving thought to how it will translate to your social media communication channels, and when deciding which social media channels to use, you should consider the type of content you are going to create. This boils down to a strategy for both your content and social media, so what do you have to consider for both of these when creating aligning strategies?
What is the desired outcome of posting content on this platform? Before you sign your school up to a social media channel and commit to posting regular content, you need to know what it is you are trying to achieve on that platform. Whether that is to gain more followers or boost your school’s brand, knowing the overall goal of social media posts will help inform the type of content you produce. What type of content does your audience want to interact with in this social channel? It is important to analyse the types of content typical to a particular social media platform. For example, utilising YouTube would require you to create video content on a regular basis and it is important to know if you have the technical capabilities and time to commit to this. Furthermore, consider the kind of informational needs people in this channel have and how you can help.
Who are you trying to engage with your content creation? Your content is what will enamour your audience to your school and keep them coming back for more, but without distribution channels, it is almost impossible to attract a new audience unless they visit your site. This is of course where social media comes into focus. Therefore, it is really important to consider the type of audience you want to engage with your content; for example, if you wanted to engage prospective parents you might go for Facebook as a communications channel as it has a slightly older demographic than Twitter or Instagram. Considering the target audience for your school’s content will help inform which social media platforms you should use. The best way to be successful when it comes to your school’s content marketing efforts is to always consider how you will communicate with your audience, and in the digital age, social media has fast become the number one communications tool, so make sure you align the two!