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Our pick of the best ‘digital marketing for schools’ advice blogs

1 April, 2015

School children raising hands in a classroom asking questions

It’s the Easter holidays, and students are preparing for upcoming summer exams (and perhaps a weekend of eating Easter eggs!). But if you’re part of a school’s senior management team, you’ll no doubt be spending the Easter holidays thinking about resource allocation, school budget planning and curriculum planning for the coming year.

How do you allocate your marketing and communications budget?

As both parents and students alike are increasingly using websites and social media as a primary source of information and advice, your school’s online presence is more important than ever. Printed documents and direct mail letters will always be an important way of keeping in touch with parents and other stakeholders. But digital communications can offer a quicker and more cost effective alternative for all your school stakeholder engagement activities.

I’ve worked with a number of schools to look at how they communicate and engage with staff, students, parents, and other interested parties (such as local press and media), and how they manage their reputation online.

Here I’ve gathered together tips and advice from our most popular schools digital communications blog posts, as well as the pick of the net, all in one place so you can give your school’s digital communications an “Easter audit”.

Starting out on social media

If you’re at the start of your schools social media journey, our Schools out, it’s social media homework time for teachers blog post gives a step-by-step guide to planning and managing school social media pages, and covers:

  • How to gain senior level support
  • Deciding which school social media platforms to use
  • Finding your voice
  • Building the school social media community
  • Social media time management and answering queries
  • Social media risk management for schools

Our 2012 AMDIS annual conference: social media in schools blog post also contains useful information on getting started using social media for schools, including a five-step process for targeting parents:

  • Step One: Establishing your goals
  • Step Two: Thinking about what parents want
  • Step Three: Thinking about the demographic of the parents
  • Step Four: Considering which platform to reach these target parents
  • Step Five: Choosing your school’s marketing messages

amdis-the-association-for-marketing-and-development-in-independent-schools

This Social media teachers guide on The Guardian also gives some great advice.

Netmums also provide this advice on children and the internet: social networking sites.

Improving your school website

With increasing competition, establishing your school’s strengths and promoting them online is becoming more important. Many parents now undertake a lot of research before choosing a school and it’s important they know how great your school is. Your school website is your main portal for information and the first place potential new students and their parents will look to see how well your school performs and how happy your students are.

Our Six simple digital marketing ideas for schools blog post will give you ideas and inspiration to help you improve your website, including:

  • Developing website case studies
  • Gathering testimonials for your website
  • Creating a mobile optimised website
  • Building games into your website
  • Embedding a Twitter feed into your school home page
  • Using social media to promote school events

Social media marketing ideas for your school

If your school is considering setting up social media pages, or you already have them but want to improve engagement and build up more followers, then our social media marketing tips for schools blog series will help. It is packed full of inspiration and ideas that you can use across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

These posts include information on:

  • Social media marketing planning for schools
  • Creating a school social media policy
  • Setting school social media objectives
  • Social media training for employees
  • Setting up a school LinkedIn profile and encouraging staff to do the same
  • Setting up a school Business Group on LinkedIn
  • Setting up parents LinkedIn groups
  • Setting up a Facebook school organisation page
  • Setting up a Facebook prospective parents group
  • Setting up a staff/student committee to manage content
  • Posting public events on Facebook
  • Linking with school alumni on Facebook
  • Advertising alumni events and blogs on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • Setting up a school Twitter account
  • Following others: schools, teachers, local MPs, key education organisations
  • Using Twitter newsfeed
  • Showing leadership and authority by adopting early
  • Seeking out new opportunities
  • Engaging with local prep schools to increase intake
  • Establishing heads of department as subject experts online
  • Helping parents to network and giving them business support
  • Setting up alerts through including Tweetdeck, Google Alerts and Social Mention to monitor what others are saying about your school online
  • Creating visual content

social media sites

Understanding the risks and benefits of social media for schools

Many schools leaders are understandably concerned about managing risk when using public platforms like social media, especially to engage with minors and vulnerable young people.

But by understanding the risks and putting appropriate mitigation processes and practices in place, schools can ensure they don’t miss out on the huge benefits that social media can offer.

Our Using social media in schools: risks, opportunities and benefits blog post covers this topic in detail, including things like legal compliance for schools, preventing and dealing with negative comments, managing time on social media and staff social media use.

Social media legal compliance for schools

Following an interview with Pete Bott, Blacks Solicitors LLP, Leeds expert on Social Media Law, we published the following two advice blogs on social media law, which include useful information relating to children and young people.

Pete-Bott-Social-media-Law

I hope you find this blog useful and would love to hear your comments and feedback.

Please feel free to share and post in the box below.

 

If you would like to discuss further how digital communications and social media could help your school, please give me a call on 011 33 20 21 21.

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