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
- 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.