Social Media

The Right Social Networks for Your School

January 30, 2017

Driving engagement, marketing your school and providing a communication tool are just some of the ways in which social media channels have evolved to be used. To help you to make a more informed decision about the social media channels that your school should monitor, manage and be represented on, we’ll take a closer look at some of the more popular channels and how they can affect your school.

 

Facebook is perhaps the most popular social network utilised by school for both marketing and communication purposes. The network offers Business Pages.

  • Objective: Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
  • Pros:
    • Broad range of content types (images, videos, GIFs, web links, slideshows, events and more)
    • Many users with a wide range of ages and other demographics
    • For individuals, there is flexibility with privacy and security settings
    • Ability to create closed or private groups that require members to request permission for entry
  • Cons:
    • High level of personal use (when considering student use)
    • Difficulty in gaining organic reach for business pages
    • Competitive space for marketing
  • Best used for: information sharing about your school in every form, from event photos to important school updates, links to enrol online and more.

 

Instagram is primarily an image and video sharing network, with a focus on visual content more so than information sharing. The network offers Business Profiles.

  • Objective: Instagram’s mission is to capture and share the world’s moments.
  • Pros:
    • Currently a popular network, specifically for younger and middle-aged demographics
    • Great way to share photographic content for schools who frequently capture images
  • Cons:
    • Mobile only app
    • Information and captions can become lost as visual content is the focus
  • Best used for: sharing images and short videos from your school and events that you want alumni and recent school leavers to engage with.

 

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Twitter was designed to create an online place to hold quick, real-time conversations with 140 character-per-tweet limits. The network does not support Business Profiles - all profiles share the same format.

  • Objective: Twitter’s mission is to give everyone the power to create and share ideas and information instantly, without barriers.
  • Pros:
    • Direct contact with industry discussions and conference discussions
    • Quick, sharp and brief messaging
    • Mobile and desktop network
    • Demographics are largely close to potential school parents
  • Cons:
    • Character limits prevent more detailed information from being shared
    • Take-up of your school audience may be slower than for example Facebook
  • Best used for: getting involved in real-time conversations with industry professionals and people involved with the school and sharing live updates about your school

 

Linkedin is a professional network used for connecting with other professionals and sharing industry-relevant information. The network offers Business Pages.

  • Objective: LinkedIn's mission is to connect the world's professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful.
  • Pros:
    • Excellent source for education industry news, tips and information
    • Opportunity to connect with like-minded industry professionals
    • Recruitment opportunities for school staff
  • Cons:
    • Less engagement for promotional material
    • Higher number of users are of an older demographic
  • Best used for: connecting with school staff, industry professionals and alumni, and creating an online presence as an employer

 

Snapchat is an image and video sharing network designed to deliver real-time content with a sense of urgency and time-sensitivity. The network does not support Business Profiles - all profiles share the same format.

  • Objective: It’s three screens: Snap, Chat, and Watch, and it’s all about taking pictures and expressing yourself in the moment.
  • Pros:
    • If considering school-aged use, this is the largest age group on Snapchat
    • Broad reach for image and video content
    • Ability to add stamps to particular locations (example, school logo in the area of the school which can be added to Snapchat images or videos)
  • Cons:
    • Direct image sends that cannot be accessed again after being viewed can be abused
    • Difficult to monitor due to nature of disappearing content
    • Low engagement for older/parent demographics
  • Best used for: specific events, i.e. open days, performances, sports events, fetes that can showcase the energy and excitement of your school in real time.

 

Youtube is the world’s largest and most frequently-used video sharing network owned by Google.

  • Objective: YouTube's mission is to provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently.
  • Pros:
    • Large user base
    • Video consumption on social media is growing
    • Great way to communicate your school’s message
  • Cons:
    • To keep your channel current, it’s important to frequently update video content - this can be costly and time consuming
  • Best used for: sharing engaging, promotional and informational video content about your school that will entice potential students and their families to enrol.

 

Make sure that you keep in mind that if you create an account on any given network, this is not permanent - at any point, if issues present themselves, you can disable or hide your school’s account for a period of time or permanently.

Want ongoing tips about social media use and information about different marketing channels for your school? Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and follow us on Linkedin.