What does it take to get your school, college or training company to be a top respected brand on the internet? It takes a LOT of hard work and grit. But it takes more than that. It also takes strategic planning and a clear set of ideas and goals.

If you want to be noticed on social media, then you need to know exactly how to build an audience, gain their loyalty and keep them coming back to your sites time and time again.

Why do we need a digital marketing strategy?

While many companies have the advantage of having built up their name over countless years and huge amounts of investment to pour into their marketing and sales, it’s still really the strategy that is the big difference.

What you need to consider is:

  • How to make the most of your online brand
  • How to leverage the power of social media to gain shares, likes and followers
  • How to integrate your social media with your website for better synergy
  • The most important platforms you need to be on
  • How to make your brand professional
  • How to grab attention with great headlines
  • How to deliver true value
  • How to avoid losing followers
  • How to become part of a community
  • How to work with influencers
  • How to provide value

Here is the single most important thing you must know about thriving on social media: it is absolutely imperative that you always provide value. What does this mean? It means that you’re going to be offering something concrete and tangible to your audience and giving them something that they can benefit from. Think of your social media much like a product or a service in its own right and NOT just a means to get as many people to your website as possible.

This simple paradigm shift is the absolute difference between a successful social media channel and an unsuccessful one. You need to give people a reason to follow you, a reason to share your content and a reason to keep checking back to your page. Don’t just expect people to follow you on Twitter because they ‘like your brand’!

So how do schools, colleges and training providers go about providing value? In the case of social media, this can mean offering:

  • News of Events
  • Up to date information
  • Discounts and offers
  • Competitions
  • Inspiration

How do you know if you’re doing this right? Ask yourself this simple question: if your social media channel were to shut down today would your followers be disappointed? We’re not asking if they would notice – we’re asking if they would genuinely feel that something they enjoyed had gone.

If the answer is yes, then congratulations! You are officially providing value.

Don’t Just Promote

That’s what you need to do then but just as important is what you need to avoid doing. What is the polar opposite of providing value? The answer is simply promoting your business. And this is what too many misguided schools, colleges and providers actually use their social media to do.

Think about what you post or tweet – does the “Happy Friday” How does ‘Visit our site and see why we’re the best college at what we do!’. Or, ‘Our apprenticeships are second to none!’.
This is literally just advertising and it completely misses the point of social media.

Try to avoid it