School’s out for summer!
With summer fast approaching, students and school staff will be eagerly anticipating a long-awaited break (or at least a quieter time at school for year-round staff!). Before the mass exodus of students can begin, it’s important for a school to consider their social media communications during the summer holidays. Even though your students may have left the building, it doesn’t mean your school social media presence has to do the same. Keeping an active social media presence across the summer holidays will not only foster community engagement with parents, students and staff alike but also offer the opportunity to share meaningful and useful communications updates ahead of the new school year starting in September.
With vast experience of working with clients in the Education sector, WSA has helped develop digital marketing and social media strategies for schools across the country. In our latest blog post, we share our top 5 tips on how schools can maintain an active social media presence over the school summer holidays:
1. Planning is key!
With any good social media strategy, the aim is to get ahead of the game and develop an evergreen social media content plan. One of the common questions is “What shall I post for summer?” Developing a content calendar to fill the school holidays in July and August with post ideas such as signposting to local community events, repurposing existing blog content or sharing useful learning resources can help provide valuable content to parent, staff and student communities. This won’t be a million miles away from the usual content you may post on your social media channels during term-time, but the aim is to curate social media content that can easily be planned ahead of time. Parents and students will be grateful for holiday activities to stave off boredom at home so think about education-based games or online learning platforms that can be shared.
2. Use a social media management tool
Take out the stress of reactive posting by investing in a good social media management tool. With many on the market, all systems will feature a content calendar scheduler which can help you pre-plan and post your social media content when you need it. Depending on your budget, social media scheduling systems can also offer powerful insights such as taking out the guesswork in what time to post content for maximum audience engagement or sentiment listening. By taking your content calendar and pre-scheduling your content ahead of the summer holiday, you can alleviate the stress in not knowing what to post during the holidays or mothballing your social media channels until Autumn term.
3. Share positive achievements
Whilst pre-planning content is key, sharing real-time achievements of students and staff in the school community during the summer holidays is a nice way to celebrate successes. Create a post encouraging your school social media followers to submit any stories they want to share to a dedicated email address or point of contact. This can include participation in sporting competitions, sharing any hobbies such as art and crafts or inspirational travels as well as sharing key examination results from GCSE and/or A-Level results. For younger school students, consider other ways to get involved such as starting a fun ‘Teddy Bear Travel’ series where students can share a bear during the school holidays and take photos of their adventures. This helps to foster engagement with school stakeholders during a traditionally quieter period for schools and create a positive rapport.
4. Get ahead of the new school year
Use the time of the school summer holidays to get parents, staff and students into a positive mindset ahead of September. Posting helpful reminders ahead of starting the new school year such as new dates for the school term, uniform shop signposting will also be of great value or even a throwback to some of the school year’s achievements is a nice way to commemorate the hard work of students and staff alike. Use your school blog to create a handy FAQ post or interview-based content to prepare students for the new term. For example, if you have a Sixth Form, think about questions a new Sixth Former student will want to know – could this form basis of a ‘Day in the Life…’ type social post? Using your school’s social media presence as a tool for guidance, reassurance and thought-leadership can help gently guide the school community off to the right start.
5. Reshare helpful content
To balance out user-generated content, think about resharing or retweeting helpful content from reputable sources. The great benefit is that the content is already there with ready-to-go pictures and captions. This can includes content such as sharing handy guides such as staying safe on the internet from UK Safer Internet Centre, following local newspapers for round-ups for local events or free ideas for keeping kids entertained from websites such as Free Time with the Kids. Sometimes sharing even a motivational quote or quirky factoid of the day can help boost out social content.
We hope the above tips have helped to kick-start your summer social media content plans! Sometimes you may need additional support with understanding how to shape your social media strategy for the summer, think about how to align your wider marketing goals to your social media content or if you simply don’t have the time to manage your social content, you can take the stress away by speaking to content experts who can help. If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!