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How Should Schools Use Social Media?

Published: July 2015

Schools out for Summer and we know that teachers will be organising themselves and their lesson plans ready for the next school year in September. But has your school/nursery organised a social media strategy?

Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

Social Media is often neglected within the Education sector for many reasons. It could be down to lack of resources, knowledge or simply fear you’re doing it wrong. Here at Urban River we have been developing successful marketing strategies for schools across the country for over a decade.

School of Urban River – Social Media Rules

Here are our Top 10 Tips on how to manage your Social Media Strategy in the Education sector.

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  1. Remember Your School Ethos – what does your school stand for? What values do you hold as a school? These should not change with the use of social media. If you pride yourself on being an excellent, professional establishment with a passion for children’s education, let that message shine through.
  2. Reach Out To Parents – Your main audience will undoubtedly be parents of children attending your school, or those who are looking to bring their children to your school in the future. Don’t be afraid to engage with parents and let them feel like they are just as big a part of the community as their children.
  3. Assign A Voice – You may not have the resources to keep the same person monitoring social media all of the time, but it is key to maintain the same tone of voice. If you’d like that to change, perhaps assign one evening per week for a senior member of staff (a headmaster/mistress etc.) to hold a question and answer session with parents.
  4. Share Your Success – if your school/nursery/college has won an award or a pupil has received a special achievement, be sure to share it on social media – it could be a simple congratulatory Facebook status update or tweet to maintain your positive reputation – just make sure to check your school’s policy and permissions on sharing images etc.
  5. Safeguard Your Presence – A lot of teachers we have spoken to about social media are scared of what people are saying about them. The fact is, if you are not monitoring what parents/children are saying, nobody else is either, so would you rather control what others are saying, or leave them to continue?school-30969_640
  6. Ask Your Students – What would your students like to see on social media? If they are involved in some of the social decisions, it could benefit the strategy on a whole, making them more engaged and positive about their school’s reputation. You don’t have to take the ideas on board, but it’s always a good place to start.
  7. Keep Social and School Time Separate – There is no doubt about it, most of your students will be active on social media, but try and keep it out of the classroom. You could use social media to help them with homework after school to stay communicated, but it could be used as a distraction in the classroom. On the other hand, with college/university students, who have a duty to manage their own workload and attend seminars when they can, live social media feeds can work really well. Assess what is working at the minute for you and make a decision with senior staff and IT.
  8. Attract the Next Generation – Make your social footprint an interactive and virtual experience. Add videos to your profile to show prospective pupils and parents what a great school you are part of.
  9. Keep an Eye on the Competition – Monitor what other schools in your area are doing on social media. Analyse their strengths, weaknesses and threats – how can you make your strategy better?
  10. Positive Attitudes Prevail – The main thing to remember with a social media strategy for the education sector is to keep your profiles positive, professional and safe. Have fun with your campaigns, get creative and get everybody involved. Social media doesn’t have to be a tedious necessity; it can thrive into a positive, online community and allow you to get bums on seats next term!

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Would you like to find out more about how we can help with your school’s social media strategy and marketing campaigns? Contact us today to find out more, or take a look at some of our Education case study work.

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