Social Media Becomes Crucial Part of Private School Marketing

Schools have to be more active than ever across social media platforms to boost their enrollment.

OLNEY, MARYLAND, Social media is rapidly proving to be one of the most effective tools in boosting school enrollment for independent, charter, and private schools of all types.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat & TikTok have seen explosive growth in school marketing within the past year, leveraging the ability to communicate directly with prospective parents to give independent schools an advantage in a crowded market.

Trends in Private School Social Media Marketing

Social media is a source of disruptive discovery, allowing for new and exciting perspectives to make impressions on parents and families that might not otherwise be actively searching for a private school. Retargeting allows private schools to hone in on parents who have shown interest in their school but haven’t filled out a form, and these platforms allow for open communication with these prospective parents via direct messages to answer questions and provide information. This two-way dynamic creates new avenues for marketing a private school.

But which social media platforms are growing the most?

TikTok has proven to be a dynamic, responsive, and effective advertising platform for businesses of all types, but private school marketing may be one of the most surprising areas of growth that TikTok has assisted. Content marketing for schools through TikTok allows schools to highlight their unique details with engaging content, creating an impression in moments that can last for months. The simple-to-use format creates a low bar for entry, letting anyone upload content as is convenient.

Private school marketers are taking advantage of hashtags, duets, and continually emerging TikTok trends to keep their schools relevant and in the spotlight. By attaching their video content to a trending video or hashtag, marketers are able to leverage the trend to maximize impressions on their videos.

Challenges, another common TikTok trend, also provide opportunities for marketers to introduce their school to a wide new variety of potential prospective families.

Snapchat, on its face, may seem like the least applicable social media app for private school marketing. However, it’s a great opportunity to turn students into advocates, allowing them the tools to create ephemeral content that can turn their friends into potential new students for your school.

Besides the basic 10-second video ads, schools and school marketers have also leveraged sponsored lenses, creating something fun and memorable for students to engage with, potentially gathering more impressions as they share this content to their own stories.

Snapchat influencers can also grow the impressions created by a school, harnessing the influencer’s base of current followers to further spread the word about private schools.

Most schools, independent or otherwise, have an Instagram account, if not several. Across platforms, Instagram has the biggest combined audience of potential students and parents, with 67% of the millennial age demographic owning an Instagram account, making it a key feature of most school social media marketing strategies. Facebook and Instagram advertising for school marketing is one of the widest-reaching steps that school marketers can take, with high exposure and short conversion times.

Instagram has also introduced a feature known as Instagram Reels, a short-form video content scroller similar to TikTok. This helps school marketers even further, allowing them to use similar content across both platforms without having to change the content significantly to make it eligible for the other platform.

On both short-form video platforms, video tours tend to be a popular, if not overdone, option for school content marketing. Current best practices dictate that marketers should use more human-focused content on teachers, staff, student, brand, and ethos. Authentic content is king, and a proper display of a school’s personality can make impressions that last.

Parents are becoming more inclined to use Twitter, especially with the advent of Twitter Spaces, a group call-style environment that allows schools to answer questions about admissions, programs, teachers and more. Schools may opt to skip Twitter Spaces, due to its anonymous nature and ease of access for anyone from the internet, but parents often prefer this platform because of this anonymity. Parents can ask questions and receive information without having to give up personal information, choosing to do that later in the process when they’ve made a more informed decision.

Independent schools have historically moved slowly in regard to trends, but the current market means that schools are forced to adapt.

Social media is one of the new biggest frontiers for private, independent, and charter school marketing, with use cases across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & more.

Schools will have to continually update their methods of marketing and communication, or rely on private school marketing consultants who will guide them in the right direction.


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