How to use social media to promote a virtual school open day

With over 2.6 billion monthly active users on Facebook alone, social media’s ability to engage and influence audiences cannot be denied. The most successful users of social media are those businesses who serve up content that is relevant and useful for followers and subscribers.  Social media should be an integral part of any school marketer’s digital marketing strategy. Not only is it a means of engaging with current parents and students, but it also offers access to prospective parents who are interested in learning more about what you as a school can offer.  In this guide, Digithrive for Schools takes you through exactly how to use social media to promote a virtual school open day.

A vital part of a successful digital strategy is mapping your upcoming posts on a social media calendar so you have a good mix of content relevant to various persona groups (ie Existing Parents, Pupils & Prospect).

You should also investigate which social media channels best suit the demographics you’re looking to appeal to and how they prefer to digest information.

Once you’ve collated all the information on your virtual open day, make sure there is a dedicated pop-up on your home page and landing page with clear CTAs that you can lead your followers to. This hub will act as the main forum for those looking for information, so make sure it is relevant and provides adequate detail about your open day.

This in turn will allow you to devise a post on your chosen social media channel with bite-sized information. Think about the highlights of your virtual open day. Do parents get a chance to speak to the Headteacher one-to-one? Is there a live Q&A session where prospective parents can hear each others’ views and suggestions? Succinctly mention this in your caption in order to have the biggest chance of conversion. Don’t forget key information like when the open day is taking place and how prospective parents can join. You can hyperlink on a Twitter post, but make sure to update your bio link on Instagram.

Remember, it’s not enough to merely upload a post stating the facts of the virtual Open Day. Consider the reasons why people should give up their time to learn more about your school and incorporate these findings into other posts and stories.

For instance, upload short snippets of pre-recorded videos of the following:

  • Department heads discussing their achievements and curriculum
  • A video from your headteacher
  • A 360 tour of your school and its facilities
  • Videos from pupils talking about lockdown life and digital learning, as well as what higher education institutions they expect to move on to. This is key in conveying to parents how you nurture and help students progress after they’ve enrolled in your school.

In other posts you can also provide:

  • A link to a downloadable/online prospectus
  • A link to a booking system where parents are able to book meetings/interviews with Heads of Houses and other members of the senior team
  • A link to your ‘News’ page, which should be regularly updated as lockdown continues

You can also use Facebook and Instagram to find more leads who don’t already subscribe to your school. Read our guide on using Facebook ads to generate virtual open day leads. 

We hope you found this guide to using social media to promote your school's virtual open day useful.


hashtag

The power of the hashtag: What you need to know

Don’t miss out on being seen because you don’t hashtag. A Tweet with a hashtag is about 33% more likely to get retweeted and that makes all the difference between #Trending and getting #LostInTheCrowd.

What are the basics of hashtagging?

Turn any word or group of words that are important to your business into a link that can be searched for with the hashtag (#). When you’re hashtagging forget punctuation and space and keep your message clear by capitalising each word #LikeThis, know as CamelCase. 

Hashtagging can help you reach out to your audience by joining a conversation they are already a part of, as well as start a new conversation for your audience to engage with.

How do you hashtag effectively?

It’s a no brainer that using hashtags can help you reach potential new customers, but how can you do this effectively? To start, think about words that people would use when looking for your business and join in on those existing conversations. If you’re lost, a good place to check for ideas would be your competitors’ social media handles - particularly those with a strong following. Look at what they are using but always remember more is less, for both scope and in presentation. Keep in mind to look for Niche hashtags that have more engaged following.

Let’s take a look at an example: “Take a look at our latest collection today! #Trousseau #Bride #WeddingGowns” Is better than “Take a look at our latest collection today! #WeddingBells #WhiteWeddings #Weddings #Brides #Bridesmaids #FloralWeddings #WeddingShopping #Springwedding #WeddingsToday”

Memorise this, K.I.S.S - Keep it Simple Social-Media-User! Hashtag and put yourself in front of someone who’d have never found otherwise. 

Why should I create an original hashtag?

Creating original hashtags gives your existing followers a place to engage with your brand. This helps build social media momentum for your brand and these original hashtags can also be used for promotions, contests, events or general brand awareness. Remember to keep them clear, unique, simple and catchy. No one’s going to remember or use a complicated hashtag. 

Imagine if Coca-Cola’s classic #ShareACoke Hashtag was #GoBuyACokeTogetherAndDrinkIt - would it be popular? An original hashtag gives your audience something to talk about and interact with your brand on a personal level.

Where should I hashtag?

The rule is not ‘one hashtag fits all’, each platform has a different and unique function so take your time and do your research on what platforms you think work best for your business. Each platform has an unsaid rule of how many hashtags are acceptable, Facebook posts get greater engagement with only one hashtag but Instagram posts with about nine hashtags perform better.

Make your words matter and connect with both potential & existing customers using hashtagging. 

Want to know more about social media management? Find out here, or book a call to with one of our digital experts. 


social media

How to Engage Your Audience Through Social Media


Did your social media traffic skyrocket at first but is falling flat nowadays? Don’t sweat it. A lot of hours and hard work have gone into perfecting the use of this not-so-secret weapon.

We all start with zero readers and zero traffic anyway and anyone can write a blog but it's what you do with it afterwards that counts.

Once you perfectly understand how Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram strategies work and which can benefit your business best, you will be an expert at handling them and many other factors mentioned down below.

Facebook, Google and Twitter

What works: Images, videos, calls to action, industry-related content, general share-worthy content.

What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, poor business/related/share-worthy balance.

Videos and images, which are mostly used for redirecting consumers to your website, are essential to catch the eye of social media readers, though video works a little better to hold the reader’s attention.

The main ways to get traction with your blog, to get your readers to back up your business is:

  • Get them to go straight to your website or store
  • Get them to like and follow
  • Get them to share your content

Let’s illustrate that with a few examples :

Three people see your business posts about a “2 for 1 sale”. These posts just likely to be seen, and not shared. Once people start liking and sharing your posts, you’ll start to see new eyes on your page. In the case of a fitness coach, for example, try and get your readers excited to see and share those workout tips and you’ll have a better chance that someone who needs trainer will come across them.

Once you’ve gained the attention of your readers with a photo or video, a call to action is the ideal way to guide them to their next step. That being said, calls to action can be used for almost every type of post. These posts may not lead your reader straight to your website, they will, however, get you more likes and shares.

Packaged in with the importance of shared content is the name of your business. Every time your post is shared, someone new has the chance to see you.

That’s brand-recognition!

On the other hand, lengthy content, bland posts, and a poor balance of business/industry/shareable don’t work well on these media channels. People do not have the attention spans to read posts that are more than a couple of lines long.

Keep them short and concise! Don’t post bland, filler content like, “Happy Friday!” unless people have a reason to share it. “Happy Friday, here’s a hilarious cat meme” can improve brand recognition, but only if shared - use humour to your advantage.

Try to find your balance between business and shareable content.

Pinterest

What works: Images, videos, industry related content, general share-worthy content.

What doesn’t work: Lengthy content, bland content, business-related content, long texts.

Pinterest is ALL about pictures. People usually go on Pinterest to look for creative ideas. If your business provides projects, how-tos or even the means with which to make ideas happen.

For example, a hardware store will greatly benefit from Pinterest: once people get the ideas from you, they’ll come into your store to buy the necessary tools to get the job done! (Remember, brand-recognition!).

The best use of Pinterest includes non-business related content. Show people ideas that may lead them to your business, but don’t try to sell them right then and there.

Last but not least, the text attached to Pinterest posts is often ignored, so any applicable text should go into an infographic displayed as an image. That isn’t to say that you shouldn’t use any text. Although a small headline or message will suffice here.

Instagram

What works: Images, video, projects.

What doesn’t work: Mostly everything else.

The whole point of this platform is to get users to follow you and talk about what you have to offer. This works best for restaurant accounts because your customers can post images of your food for their friends to see. This also works great for accounts posting about home improvements. Here, your business can post projects and progress pictures of what you’ve been working on. Seeing these images and sharing them can work well to compel the reader to seek you out.

Do not dismiss the reviews!

Now that we’ve covered the main social media channels, let’s discuss other ways they can be used. Facebook, Google, and other media channels support reviews. Reviews play a big role in a business, as they can make or break it. 92% of consumers now read online reviews and star rating is the number one factor used by consumers to judge a business.

You may be thinking “I can’t control what people rate my business”, and you’d be right. However, you can control how you respond to people. You can turn around even the angriest rater by replying to their review in a quick and professional manner. Check out our articles about how to respond to positive as well as negative reviews.

Listen to Your Audience

Social Media Listening is the process of monitoring digital conversations to get a better hold of what customers are saying about your business. This is ideal to identify your customer's pain points and responding to their questions and complaints.

This phenomenon is bigger that social monitoring. The difference can be explained with this simple quote : "Monitoring sees trees; listening sees the forest".

The short and sweet of this is that you need to be researching your competitors and your peers. What are people talking about, liking, and sharing, and how can you get in on it? You’ll want to shape your social media strategies around what’s getting the best traction everywhere else. Get researching!

Increase the Quality and Quantity of Your Website’s Traffic

The importance of SEO should not be ignored. When you search for your business’ name or keywords related to your work, how high on the results page does it appear? The more you and your readers are mentioning your name and other keywords in relation to your business, the better your SEO results will be.

Finally, Measure your Results in The Long Term

Finally, take a step back and look at what you’re doing. Naturally, you’ll want to look for what’s working and what isn’t. Whether you’re counting likes and shares by hand or using Google Analytics to track the information for you, understanding your trends may just be the most important part of the process.

Find out more about social media and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.


instagram business

5 Reasons You Need Instagram for Your Business

Instagram is now one of those must-have platforms when it comes to social marketing for your business. There are a number of reasons as to why it is imperative for every business to have an Instagram account and why those that don’t, will be pretty left out.

Boost your engagement

Data shows that Instagram is, in fact, the number one platform for getting your audience’s engagement. This means that if you want to establish a relationship with your current or potential client base (you definitely do), then you will need the post engagement that only Instagram can provide.

One of the main reasons why Instagram is now the number one platform for post engagement is due to its strong focus on visual content. This allows for a very unique space for large or smaller brands to interact with others.

Grow your following

Instagrammers want to see branded content and they do want to connect with brands - 80% of Instagram accounts are already following a business Instagram and 65% of the best performing posts feature products. When you add the engagement level for brands (4%), we have the optimal landscape for growing your branded following on this platform.

Generate leads

Instagram, like Facebook, is a very strong tool when it comes to lead generation. In this day and age, we are all aware that social media can strongly influence purchasing decisions. This can be at a subconscious level of the consumer decision-making process or at a direct level.  

60% of users have first heard of a product or service through the platform. Also, over 120 million Instagram users have visited a website, gotten directions or called/emailed/direct messaged a business as a result of their engagement with the platform - all of those Instagram users equal leads!

By using strategic content and links in your bio you can effortlessly generate new business and sales. In conjunction with this it’s imperative to use the Facebook ad platform to reach new targeted and engaged audiences through paid ad campaigns.  

Stay on top of your Instagram reviews

When an Instagram user posts something, using a location tag, it’s important to know that this tag isn’t owned or regulated by the business that owns the physical location. These Instagram Geotags belong to a separate public account that Instagram will store the posts under.

Therefore, for business, this can be a blessing and a curse:

Best case:

For example, if you own a local cafe and you have many dedicated and consistent customers who love to post at your cafe and have nothing but delightful words to accompany charming pictures of your space, this is what others will see when looking at your location on Instagram. With this, they are much more likely to convert and become loyal customers.

Worst case:

If you were to own the same local cafe, but one dissatisfied customer took it upon themselves to post a picture of your front door, declaring their distaste with the service that they just received - this post will likely linger on the web and dissuade other customers from posting to the location. This has resulted in the loss of unknown amounts of revenue through prospects who were steered away from your business as a result.

Granted, you don’t really have any control over the things that users may be saying about your business (just like standard reviews), you can still alleviate some damage by creating a branded Instagram account and monitoring posts on your location.

Just like standard negative reviews, you are much more likely to prevent any harm to your reputation, by actively responding to negative Instagram posts.

Don’t get left behind

The release of Instagram business profiles and the fact that it allows you to run ads/analytics with ease have been large factors in driving the Instagram growth movement.  Don’t wait, get started on your Instagram strategy today to generate new leads, amplify your brand, and build new business! Find out more about Instagram.

Find out more about Social Media and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.

More: The benefits of advertising your business on Facebook and Google.


Social Media Monitoring

Why should you use social media monitoring?

Social Media Monitoring is the process of listening out for social media conversations that are relevant to your brand. Businesses use these tools to collect social mentions and track keywords, hashtags and URLs that they are interested in. Knowing what your social media audience is saying is crucial.

Why is Social Media Monitoring important?

Monitoring your social media channels is essential. The Sprout Social Q2 2016 Index discovered 34.5% of consumers prefer to reach out to brands for customer care through social media. That beat out other channels like live chat (24.7%) and email (19.4%).

The information you accumulate can help you make major decisions about your marketing strategy and your brand as a whole. Additionally, it can help you identify leads, build relationships, stay on top of trends, learn about your competitors, protect your brand and much more.

Why Should You apply Social Media Monitoring to your business?

  • To measure social media sentiment

Social media sentiment is a way of measuring the emotion behind social media mentions; it allows you to measure the tone of the conversation that is taking place. Sentiment adds context to social media and without it, data can be easily misleading.

Sprout Social found that 89% of social messages go ignored, which is a huge problem as not only do potential customers feel under-appreciated, but your business could be missing out on valuable opportunities. Brands need to be aware of whether their customers are happy or angry as people use social media to discuss the topics they care about.

  • To find leads & build strong relationships

Powerful relationships are essential to business success. When businesses build strong relationships with their target audience and customer base, it can lead to loyal clients, positive word of mouth and ultimately an increase in sales. Index found 30% of millennials and 32% of Gen Xer’s interact with brands on a monthly basis. With so much communication toward your brand on social, it’s important to monitor, respond and engage with those reaching out, to build or maintain a relationship with your clients.

  • To stay up to date with the ever-changing trends

It is crucial to monitor and listen to your customers’ requests, as if you are ill-equipped to meet their needs and respond to their requests, you risk looking antiquated and may lose that business to your competitors

  • To perform competitor research

This is a field of strategic research that involves the collection and analysis of information regarding your competitors. It is an essential tactic as it allows businesses to find out what their competitors are doing and the kind of threat they present to the overall success of the business. Keeping your finger on the social pulse will alert you about any unforeseen issues that may have repercussions for your business.

  • To protect your brand

Building up your brand’s reputation takes a lot of time and effort, unfortunately, all it can take is one messy situation to tarnish your brand forever. Monitoring your social channels allows you to identify any issues customers have and it is imperative to jump on solutions before they blow up. Problems occur, it’s inevitable. Responding promptly, especially to negative reviews, can help prevent and cure a toxic brand reputation.
Observing and monitoring your social media channels is crucial, and businesses are becoming more aware of this every day. The information you gather can help you make major decisions about your marketing strategy and your brand as a whole. If you do not have a plan in place to analyse, respond and integrate results into your business’s ongoing strategy, you may be missing out on some important opportunities.

Find out more about Social Media and how it can help grow your business, book a consultation now.

More: Tips to make your website useful