According to the latest research, people spend more time on social media than they do cooking, eating or even socialising in person. Every year we spend more and more time on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. The implication for marketers is huge – if you want to reach people during their downtime, social media is one of the best ways to do so.

What’s more, you can target people according to very carefully chosen demographics and track every stage of the process so that you can justify every pound spent on social.

Social media use for businesses (schools included) is split into 2 main types; organic and paid. Organic reach is unpaid and from your own profile or via mentions – for example, if you post a status update on your school’s page, the people who see that will come under ‘organic reach’. Paid reach is when you pay for people to see your content, either through standard advertising on any of the social platforms or by boosting posts. As Facebook continues to tweak its algorithm, more and more marketers will be pushed to pay for their reach since the organic reach is increasingly restricted.

Here are some simple tips to improve your social reach and provide more value on social media:

  1.  Ask your parents to ‘see first’ on Facebook: Facebook’s recent changes mean that it’s going to be harder than ever to get business page content in front of users. You can overcome these changes by encouraging your parents to put the school page in their ‘see first’ list. This means that your content appears before everything else in their news feed, and you are not filtered out of the algorithm. We recommend asking parents to do this via analogue methods as well as posting on social media, since your post may not be seen by everyone.

 

  1. Boost key posts: it doesn’t make sense to pay for every post to be boosted, but if you’re letting people know about things like open days which can directly have an impact on your budget and intake, it’s important that as many relevant people as possible see that post. You can target people beyond your followers, so make sure to use all of the relevant demographic options. There are over 800 to choose from, including precise location, parents (and the age of their children), interests, and estimated household income.

 

  1. Show off your social presence: make sure that your social media links are on your school website and your email footers, so that people can easily find your profiles.

 

  1. Create a content calendar: it’s likely that you know what’s happening around your school in advance, so why not plan ahead so you know exactly what you’re posting? That way, you spend far less time trying to find something to post and a structured approach means that you can ask people for content in advance – you can even ask teachers to send pictures for a particular deadline or write some news posts ready to go out.

 

  1. Make parents’ lives easier: writing about a larger range of items gives you additional scope and the freedom to mix up your news feed a little. Rather than just writing about what’s going on at school, you can include content on revision tips, education news, and even provide a list of recommended reading or activities going on over the holidays.

 

Chris Knight, innermedia