How to make your school’s social media posts more engaging

Friday, 15 February 2019 | Written by Jonathan Wallis-Leggett; Digital Marketing Manager at PrimarySite

In brief

  • Many schools want to become more effective with their social media but do not have the time to produce more content.
  • Better quality content, and not more content, is key, data shows that adding photos into posts can make them significantly more effective.
  • Producing photos for use in social media is no longer complicated or difficult thanks to the good quality available from smartphone cameras.

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A new opportunity to engage parents

We previously discussed how 65% of adults in the UK use social media such as Facebook and Twitter and how this presents a perfect opportunity for schools to grow their reputation and engage with both parents and the local community in a whole new way.

Because of this opportunity, many schools face a situation where they want to improve their efforts with social media but are struggling to find time to do so. Part of this concern is rooted in the idea that the only way to grow social success is by spending more time on it and posting more often.

Thankfully this is not the only option as schools can make a big difference by better understanding what kinds of content will get higher levels of engagement, and there is one very simple change that can have a big effect, embracing the world of visual content.

Increasing the effectiveness of social posts

With a huge amount of information flowing through most social feeds people have become used to scrolling and skipping over most of the posts they see, so even if a school creates a post, it is not a guarantee that their followers will see or engage with it. Posting more often will not help change this behavior but creating posts that stand out more will.

One effective way of doing this is to include a good quality and relevant image, instead of just posting text. Images don’t just grab attention by standing out either, they are a great way of demonstrating a school’s values and principles in action, they help to capture a moment and can tell a whole story in an instant, and as the old saying goes “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

What the numbers say about visual content

Data backs this up too, with one study showing that Twitter updates that include an image can receive 150% more retweets and 89% more favorites, while another shows that Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement.

The growth in the importance of visual content is also evident in the rise in popularity of photo and video-based social networks like Instagram, which currently boasts over 1 billion active accounts, 500 million of which are active every day. If a school is already producing images for use on Facebook and Twitter it is worth considering taking advantage of Instagram; the content is already being produced and by using a free tool such as Hootsuite, updates can be posted to multiple networks simultaneously, meaning it will not take up any additional time.

Capturing the moment with ease

The beauty of adding images is that the resulting rise in effectiveness can occur with little extra time investment, which is great news for time-stretched staff who are trying to run a social account in addition to their day job.

In the past pulling together images for social media may have required a lot of specialist equipment but with most modern smartphones boasting a good quality camera, it is quick and easy to snap an image and add it into a post. In addition to this, it is also easy to produce good quality video, which is another fast-growing and highly engaging social media trend that may be worth considering as part of a social media plan.

In summary

When communicating via social media, being effective doesn’t have to take up much time, it doesn’t have to require lots of daily posting, it just needs good quality content to post in an eye-catching and engaging way, and images are the perfect way to do this.

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