In the spirit of this year’s virtual NFL draft, I have put together my 2020 Social Media Mock Draft for school marketing.
With increased importance for social media during our school closures, what has your district been seeing as your top social media platforms? Has your community gravitated to new social media that you can utilize for better audience engagement?
In this article, I draft and discuss my top social media picks for remarkable engagement.
My Top Social Media Platforms for 2020
Here is my ranking of the most important social media platforms for 2020:
Round 1: Facebook
Facebook is the highest engaging social media platform for our school district. Driven by parents (we don’t see students here much anymore), this social media powerhouse continues to be our top social media platform. It drives the most visitors to our website than any other social media platform.
Our most influential demographic on the platform is women aged 35 – 44. Mothers in this age range are a critical demographic for making decisions on their child’s education.
We have known for many years that organic posts do not perform as they did five years ago, but this veteran can score you some engagement wins with target and retargeted paid ads.
Ads can be very cheap compared to traditional media such as newspapers, radio and television. And with Facebook Live and Facebook Premiere, you can broadcast live video straight to your timeline. Streaming live has boosted our engagement numbers and has provided an extra unique element to our in-person events.
Although it is showing its age, Facebook still provides the best audience engagement out of all the social media platforms we are on. It continues to be our go-to platform to reach our parents. It will still be our number one draft choice for the second half of 2020.
Round 2: Instagram
We get most of our student traction from social media on this Facebook-owned platform. Students in middle school and high school engage most often and Instagram, and we have seen a massive increase of students on the platform since we have closed for COVID-19. If your school district does not have an Instagram account, you are probably losing excellent opportunities to interact with your students.
As I mention in a previous blog article, the key is to listen to your students. Survey your students. Learn from your students. Create a monthly sit down with influential students in your district. Not straight A students, but students who might run their own business, or write a fashion blog, or have a fantasy football podcast.
We are also noticing that younger parents have gravitated to Instagram. Find teachers, parents and community members who are active on Instagram, and then communicate with them using the comment section on their posts.
The game changer has been Instagram Stories. Stories were released in late 2016 to capitalize on the growing popularity of video and to battle rival SnapChat. With Instagram Stories, you can post a series of videos or pictures that tell your story. It’s a great addition to your regular posts.
There is a whole user group that interacts with stories, so think of it as another platform with your content. We have seen explosive engagement on Instagram by posting stories. We have been reposting our TikTok videos on our stories and have seen great engagement. We see almost four times the views that we see on the original post on TikTok.
Round 3: YouTube
Video plays a significant role in school marketing. Video is the most potent visual storytelling tool we have. Much like YuoTube, most of the social media platforms are now embracing video and making it their top priority.
Many do not consider YouTube social media (it is more like a search engine for video content). However, it is still the most popular platform for Millennials and Generation Z year over year, which why it is ranked number three in my draft.
YouTube has millions of videos and billions of video views each year. If you have children, you know how much time they spend on the platform. Five billion videos are watched each day on YouTube.
Video has become the king of digital marketing. More and more marketing departments are investing in video. We, as school districts should be doing the same thing.
There are simple things you can do now to boost audience engagement on YouTube and make the experience even better for your audience. In an earlier blog post, I spoke of five tips to make your videos stand out on YouTube.
Round 4: Twitter
Twitter is an excellent tool for self-promotion and interacting with like-minded professionals to fine-tune your professional development. It is my go-to resource to engage with my colleagues and professionals I would not usually be able to have conversations with in real life. I see many of our teachers and administration strengthening their teaching from other teachers and educational professionals on the platform.
However, just because Twitter is working for your professional development and networking, does not mean it’s working to drive engagement with your audience. It is vital you look at your data, including Google Analytics, to see which social media platform is connecting with your defined audiences
Five years ago I would have drafted Twitter higher. However, in our district, we are seeing a sharp decline in students interacting with our content on Twitter. We also see a decrease in parents engaging on the platform. Unless they have a strong connection with our district and seek our posts on Twitter, we do not see the engagement we once did. Twitter has become crowded. Hundreds of Tweets blow by us in our timelines each minute. It is hard to keep track of the accounts you follow unless you make an effort to engage.
Twitter has done a better job adjusting their algorithm to show you the content you want to see, even if it is a day old, but we are still not seeing all the content we probably want to interact with on our Twitter timeline.
I would highly recommend Twitter as a tool to heighten your internal communication with your teachers and staff. They are on the platform in droves. It is a great place to recognize educators for their hard work, and share valuable updates and content to keep them informed.
Round 5: LinkedIn
I believe LinkedIn will be a future star amongst social media platforms for school marketing. LinkedIn is not just a tool for HR. It has become a content hub for professionals.
LinkedIn is an excellent for showcasing your school district. It should be a district’s goal to develop LinkedIn as a strategic tool to recruit new teachers. It will be vital to create engaging content that will attract the digitally savvy, millennial job seeker. According to research, most post-secondary schools require their students to create a LinkedIn profile to pursue employment.
We also feel this platform will be a superstar when it comes to engaging our community and business partners. Now with “showcase pages”, we can provide strategic content to our different audiences. We are looking to take our content marketing to the next level with this professional player.
Round 6: TikTok
The topic of TikTok has come up quite a bit in School Communications. With much of the negative press, it can be scary to create content. Much like the early days of Facebook, the reported troubles of TikTok are overhyped.
My district recently launched a TikTok account to experiment on this popular up and coming social media platform. So far, we have seen tremendous engagement with our students. We have a total of 19 TikTok videos that have amassed over 25,000 views, 5,000 likes, and 2,200 followers. That is not too shabby for a new account.
The best way to learn the platform is to consume as much content as possible, and then when you feel comfortable, create your content.
It can be scary researching videos on TikTok, but if anything, it is an incredible insight into the minds of our students.
In my opinion, the key to performing well on TikTok is to find student influencers who will help your school district build your channel. It gives your account more authenticity.
The best thing our district did was finding a student who had over 200,000 followers on TikTok. Along with a younger administrator at the student’s school, they led me through the process of creating successful content.
Does your district have a ranking? What is you opinion on the most important social media platform for school marketing? Let me see your draft and hear your opinions.