Earlier in the week, I shared Part One of this series: 3 Ingredients of Your School’s Social Strategy. The first two ingredients, having good “integration” and being “interconnected,” are crucial pieces in a school’s social media strategy. The third ingredient—the special sauce, if you will—is the strategic effort of making a solid plan. As we mentioned in Part One, it must act as your recipe as to “what-when-where-to-post” to ensure anybody pays attention to what you’re whipping up for them to consume.
So, No. 3 in the ingredient list is:
No matter how hard you try, trying without accountability leaves you trying harder to understand why trying harder doesn’t give you results (whew, that’s a tongue-twister). Like a first-time marathoner who bolts at the sound of the starting gun only to give out at mile 7, your long-term social media system is built on a systematic plan with intentional efforts made in topic, timing and teamwork.
Create an Editorial Calendar
Make yourself a calendar (a physical wall calender or an online version works well, too) where you can decide 3 months in advance what topics need to be addressed. To start thinking in late January about writing in early February about the value of a parent’s investment in their 3 children at your school will leave you with no content to share. Why? Because the busyness of schedules will leave you without the blog article you need from your Head of School or the video testimony from your favorite parents of 3 students. So as those other 17 families wrestles with re-enrollment season, your voice of value is unheard. Like Christmas coming every December, there is an annual season for parents to decide to sign on for yet another year – and that time should come as no surprise to you. Begin collecting those amazing family case studies and the articles from board members or principals well before Thanksgiving. Like a TV news show dispatches reporters on assignment often weeks or months in advance of the actual airing, creating a calendar ensures you have the content available to share when the audience needs to hear it the most. While the topics are easier to imagine, timing is everything!
Build an army
Finally, don’t hesitate to gather a team to build your social media system. While volunteers tend to dictate their level of commitment and urgency to a matter, assembling the right set of volunteers with an understanding of your social media strategy allows you to populate the content in the various tools when your audiences are eager to consume it. Staff members (and some students) may not be formally trained in school promotion or even reminded that they are participants in marketing your school, but enlisting them in the gathering of video, audio, textual or image content solidifies their participation in the success of your social media system.
Like a masterful culinary creation that excites, invites and invigorates the consumer, the ingredients of your social media system’s success are the keys to creating ample online opportunities to showcase your school. The systematic assembling of your school’s social media marketing system gives you the perfect online companion to offline strategies. As well, it becomes a content machine that takes advantage of fresh material (while continuing to find value in previously posted content) and ensures your intent is matched by rewarding results.
With these ingredients solidly in place, you are well-positioned for a sustainable strategy of social media success.
What’s your secret ingredient?