Marketing Your Social Media Channels

One of the questions I hear all too often is “We have our social media platforms, why don’t people follow or like us?” Well, the concept of “if you build it, they will come” is only partially true when it comes to social media.

It’s important to remember that just because you are on a social media platform doesn’t mean your audience knows you are. First, it is important to pick social media platforms that you know your audience is using. Once you have decided what social media platforms to use, marketing them is important to their success. Some individuals will instinctively know the district or school is on social media, but not everyone will have considered the possibility. Even if they might have considered that you have a social media account, they still may not follow or like you. Part of your marketing message should be to tell parents and community members why it would be beneficial for them to like or follow the school or district. If they see the value, they will be more likely to do so.

When considering how to market social media, it can sometimes be challenging to come up with fresh ideas. Here are some suggestions on how to market social media to parents and community members, all of which we have done in our district:

  • Sidewalk chalk outside each school
  • Yard signs
  • District publications
  • Webpage
  • Flyers
  • Newsletters (school and district and staff)
  • Cross promotion (posting link to district page on school pages)
  • Links on our app
  • Links in email signatures
  • Information on business cards
  • Connect with us postcards
  • Information in community youth activities publication
  • Like and interact with city pages
  • Run contests on Facebook page
  • Tagging businesses or people who are in published stories
  • Facebook advertising
  • Share or retweet content from other sites that are relevant to your audience
  • Media stories about the launch and linking to positive media stories about your schools and district

It is also important to note that your social media platform is also a marketing tool. If you post regularly and respond to questions, those that like or follow you will notice. The page will create its own buzz. People will talk about what they see on your page and word of mouth is the best and cheapest form of marketing.

I’d be interested to know how other school districts market social media in their district.

4 Replies to “Marketing Your Social Media Channels”

  1. Also – we found the best way to grow followers is to let people know you will be announcing snow day info on the social networks. Increase followers by 300% overnight – over a snowy night, but overnight nonetheless!

    1. Jack you have a good point. As you know, living in Nebraska we occasionally have a snow day. I often have parents tell me they sit there refreshing there news feed because they know we announce snow days on Facebook generally before the parent call goes out.

  2. Great tips and what I’ve seen definitely lines up with what Jack said about inclement weather announcements.

    Sometimes I have to caution people to have realistic expectations about their social media accounts. After a year of running the pages and claiming and merging lots of pages that already had fans, our average number of Facebook fans on an elementary school page is about 190, ranging from 68 to 434. I’d much rather have those numbers consisting of parents and users who engage with our posts, than bigger numbers who aren’t really interested and have very low engagement with our posts.

    1. Dave great point! I agree it is very much a balancing act. You want to make sure you are marketing your pages so individuals can like/ follow you but there is more to it then just having a high number. Engagement is an important factor to keep in mind. It is something I am constantly reminding some of our principals of….quality over quantity.

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