4 Questions to Ask About Your School’s Facebook Strategy
Facebook continues to rule the social media world with over 1.5 billion users. It’s amazing that this site continues to dominate. In fact, just this week, Mark Zuckerberg just presented his 10-year plan for Facebook.
In every school that I provide enrollment and marketing coaching, I usually begin my process with a parent survey. I always ask a question about the social media sites that they use. For the past several years, Facebook has always been the number one social media site used by parents. I continue to test this and the result is always the same (at least for now!).
Since Facebook is the primary social media site used by current and prospective parents, it is critical to focus on this key tool and to answer the following four questions about your school’s Facebook marketing effort:
1. Have you mastered the use of Facebook?
If you can’t answer yes to this question, then you shouldn’t move on to other social media sites. In every school that I begin working with, I always conduct an assessment of their entire enrollment and marketing effort which includes an extensive social media review. It always amazes me when I review a school’s Facebook page and only see a few posts. Even though Facebook has been around since 2004, some school leaders are not effectively using this key social media site.
You should post at least once a day. Typically, I will work with a school to get to this point. Then, when this has been accomplished, I will encourage the school leader to post two to three times a day.
I believe that you should master Facebook first before you consider other social media sites.
2. Are you using Facebook to tell your story?
Every school has a story to tell and you have great stories to share every day. Do these stories make it to Facebook? I just started working with a large school that had little presence on Facebook. Now that they have started to tell their story online, it’s been amazing to see the amount of engagement and reach from their posts. With Facebook, your success will only be found in your story-telling effort. It will take time and effort, but you will find that story-telling on Facebook is a great way to connect to your current and prospective parents.
As I have written in other blog posts, I am huge proponent of storytelling. The more stories that you can tell about your students, parents, faculty, alumni and programs, the more real your school will be to the reader and viewer. Your goal is to bring your school to life online through the stories you tell.
3. Are you creating reach through effective posts?
Creating reach is very important in every school’s Facebook strategy. After all, you want your posts to be seen by your fans. According to Facebook, “Reach is the number of people your posts have reached.” Makes sense, doesn’t it? One way to determine the effectiveness of your posts is to measure the reach.
According to Terry Williamson at Boom Social, the average organic (FREE) “per post” reach on Facebook just a few years ago was 16% and now it is 1% – 2%. You can calculate your “per post” reach by dividing the reach number at the bottom left hand corner of each post by the number of fans you have and multiplying that number by 100. Take a look at the posts that received the greatest reach and you will find posts that are most effective for your audience. You can also view your post reach under the Insight tab on your school’s Facebook page.
The key is that your posts need to reach your fans. If not, then you are not posting effective content since they won’t appear in their newsfeed. You will only create reach by posting effective content that resonates with your audience. Of course, you can pay for reach by boosting your post. However, your primary goal is to get this reach organically.
Therefore, it is critical for you to have a content posting strategy. Otherwise, you will be scrambling for the next post idea while letting announcements fill your school’s timeline.
4. Are you driving traffic back to your website?
This is the one of the biggest mistakes that most school’s make. Facebook should be used to share content from your website, not just as a scrapbook to share daily posts of school activities and announcements.
If you are regularly posting news, stories and blog posts on your website, then this provides a steady stream of content to share on Facebook. And, when you do it, this content will work to drive traffic back to your website. Too often school marketers do not consider the link that should be made between your website and Facebook, as well as other social media channels. Your school’s website should be the hub of your content which should be shared to your social media channels. If none of your posts link back to content on your website, then Facebook won’t be linked to your primary marketing tool—your school’s website. This doesn’t mean that every post on Facebook should drive traffic back to your website. However, it does mean that you need to work to intentionally post content from your website.
How did you answer these four questions?
Are you using Facebook as your primary social media site to effectively reach your current and prospective parents?
Have you mastered the use of Facebook in your school’s marketing strategy?