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Instagram might be all about the visuals, but without a scroll-stopping caption, your posts won’t get the engagement you want. Your school marketing needs those likes and comments because the more engagement your posts receive, the more visible they will be to your followers. So, take a few minutes before you publish your post and make use of your outstanding copywriting skills to write engrossing captions.

Image Captions

Captions should be brief. Even though there is a 2200-character count limit on Instagram posts, your viewers will need to click “More” in order to view any copy after the first 125 characters. Make those first 3-5 lines count. Leave hashtags, mentions and any extra information for the end.

Brevity might not always be an option, however. Sometimes you have a story so compelling you need a long caption to do it justice. Add line breaks to create clear, easy-to-read copy. Use your phone’s return key to add line breaks.

On Instagram, you should adopt a light-hearted tone and avoid trying to promote your school. This is a platform where you can be clever, fun and even a little silly. One way to add personality to your posts is to use emojis. Sometimes, emojis are the only copy you need. If puns and punchy one-liners don’t align with your school’s brand, stick with a tone that’s relatable and consistent.

Exclusive FREE Bonus: Download the pdf How to Write Instagram Captions that Increase Engagement for Your School to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues at your school.
Video Captions

While you can’t upload video captions at this time, there are some pretty big reasons to consider transcribing your video and burning them right onto the video itself.

  1. Many, possibly most people, watch Instagram videos with the sound off but will watch the video if they can read captions.
  2. Video captions also make it easier for followers who are not native English speakers to follow and understand the message you are trying to convey.
  3. It also makes it possible for people who are hearing-impaired to receive your message (according to Interactive Accessibility, 7.6 million people in the U.S. have a diagnosed hearing impairment).

Here are the tools and direction needed to add captions to your videos.

  1. Apple Clips lets you shoot a video, then automatically turns your words into text and adds it as captions. This works if you download the app and turn it on before you start shooting. This feature is called Live Titles and not only automatically converts your words to text, it magically syncs them with the voice on the video.
  2. If you’ve already shot your video, you can use Rev to create captions of your video. The price is so reasonable – $1 per minute. Instagram videos should be short – like 2-3 minutes – so that’s a very reasonable price. Here’s how to do it. Go to Rev and select their Caption Service. The caption file they will send you is what you need for your Instagram video, but they will also include a transcription file for free.
  3. Once you have your caption file, you’ll need to upload or sync the captions file to insert the text into the video. Rev recommends using Adobe Premier Pro but you can also use Windows Movie Maker or Apple’s iMovie apps.
  4. Upload your video to Adobe Premier Pro then drag the captions file you purchased from Rev onto your screen. Then play the video and, as you start a new line in your captions file, simply drop a marker onto your video timeline. This essentially syncs your video file to your captions file.
  5. From there, save your captions as “open captions” to ensure they stay on the video. To do this, go to New Item > Captions > Open Captions. Then, drag the Open Caption Box to the bottom left corner of the screen to your main work area. Your captions will now be automatically inserted into your video, and ready for you to fine tune with the font, size, color, etc. to fit in with your school’s branding.
  6. Save your completed video with captions added by going to File > Export. Now you can upload your video to Instagram as you normally would.
Add Hashtags

Once you’ve perfected your caption, add relevant hashtags to get found in search (and add emphasis). Some Instagrammers recommend using six or fewer hashtags and other recommend using the full 30 hashtags you’re allowed. Other experts claim that using 11 or more will garner the best engagement. In a study conducted by Louise Myers, visual social media expert, 11 or more hashtags received 79.5 percent interaction (per 1k followers), while using 6 hashtags only received 33 percent interaction. So, if you want to grow your account, I suggest using 11 or more hashtags in each post.

Instagram hashtags can be added in the caption or in a comment after posting. There doesn’t appear to be any difference in the functionality by placing them in either the caption or the comments. However, they don’t stand out as much if you post them in the comments and virtually disappear if someone else comments on your post. It’s your choice.

Want to know how to research hashtags for social media? Click here to learn more…

Use a Call-to-Action

Drive engagement by including a call-to-action (CTA). Ask viewers to double-tap if they agree with your post, tag a friend or comment. Use strong action verbs to encourage a response from viewers.

Direct Viewers to a Link in Your Bio

If you are trying to drive traffic to your website or another channel, include a “Click the link in bio” CTA. Links aren’t clickable in Instagram except in the single “Website” box in your bio. Update the URL for that field whenever you upload new content that you want to direct people to, and then refer to it in your caption. Use shortened links that include UTM tracking codes so you can see how much of your traffic came from your Instagram page.

Ask a Question

Encourage people to comment with their own experiences by asking a question. Here’s an example:

“Afterschool cooking club recipe for Bread in a Bag. What’s your favorite recipe for cooking with kids?”

Check for Spelling and Grammatical Errors

Finally, always check for spelling and grammatical errors before you share. Use the Grammarly free writing assistant tool to ensure there are no mistakes.

So, before you upload your next Instagram-worthy visual, spend a few minutes writing and revising an irresistible caption. Your audience will be sure to reward you with likes and comments.

What Instagram engagement tactics have worked for you? Please share with the rest of the school marketing community in the comments below.

Exclusive FREE Bonus: Download the pdf How to Write Instagram Captions that Increase Engagement for Your School to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues at your school.

The post How to Write Instagram Captions that Increase Engagement for Your School appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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“That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

~Walt Whitman

Required Reading

3 Ways to Improve Instagram Engagement

Is Instagram marketing a priority for you? Wondering what types of organic Instagram posts people engage with most? In this article, you’ll discover how you can generate more organic engagement on Instagram.

How Facebook Pages Can Start Attracting New Likes Faster

Facebook is home to 2.32 billion monthly active users, and as a business, this means there are more than enough people to reach on Facebook alone. While every social media platform has its own perks, Facebook’s immense monthly user count often makes it the first social media site that business owners want to promote on.

But there is more to Facebook than just buying ads.

When businesses grow their page’s following, it can act as a lead generation page that allows you to continually promote to the people that like your page. The issue is getting those initial likes, but there are ways to stand out from the over 60 million active business pages on Facebook.

Instagram Advertising for Beginners

If your business does well on Instagram, but you’d like more exposure for your content, maybe it’s time to consider advertising on Instagram.

It’s natural to wonder if it will be worth it to invest time and money on advertising on Instagram. The short answer: Yes!

Suggested Listening

The Power of Personality [Lead to Win Podcast]

Leaders must motivate people. The problem is that everybody’s different, so what inspires one team member may demotivate another. It can be confusing to lead a diverse team. But personality is not an unsolvable puzzle. We’ve identified three personality assessments that will give you a clear understanding of how your team members think, feel, and work. Use these in your business, and you’ll never wonder how to motivate your team again. You’ll gain an engaged, focused workforce that will bring their best energy to work.

Heard In The Facebook Group

QUESTION: Does anyone use WordPress for their school site? I thought about switching because it would be more flexible, but it also would be more difficult to maintain than our current provider. I also worry about the ADA compliance aspect. We have 9 schools and 10 different sites.

If you are using WordPress, do you have a theme you’d recommend and can you post a link to your site?

READ COMMENTS

The post What Will Your Verse Be? appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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Welcome to Episode 22 where my guest today is Paul Warner. Paul is the Communications Director at the Lawrence School, located in northeast Ohio. The reason I invited him on the show today is because he’s the main force behind their podcast, which is The LionShare Podcast.

In episode 21 we talked about an alumni podcast. In this episode, I wanted to highlight a podcast that is focused on enrollment and retention, and this podcast fits the bill. I’m very excited for you to listen to this show; I think you’ll have a lot of takeaways from it.

In this episode, here’s what we’ll cover
  • When and why Paul started the podcast
  • How focus groups played an inspirational role
  • What makes Lawrence School unique and how that played into the development of the podcast
  • Why a podcast is a good way to reach parents
  • How The LionShare Podcast stands out
  • Paul’s favorite podcasts
  • The goals for the podcast
  • How the podcast dovetails with Lawrence School’s Enrollment Management Team
  • How the podcast motivated a donor to engage with the school and increase his annual donation
  • The intended audience of the podcast
  • How an alumnus participates in the podcast production
  • The critical role the school’s Advancement Director plays in the podcast
  • How the topics for the show are chosen
  • Criteria used to determine if a topic is worth delving into
  • An anecdotal story about how the podcast is working
  • Production “Behind-the-Scenes”
  • How long the process takes from the time a topic is decided on until the episode is published
Items mentioned in this episode include

Links and resources mentioned in this episode

Editing and Publishing Software Podcasting Equipment How to find today’s guest:

Paul Warner, Communications Director, Lawrence School

Email: pwarner@lawrenceschool.org

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-warner-6a3a90b/

Paul’s bio:

Paul Warner is currently the Director of Communications at Lawrence School, a coeducational day school for K-12 students with language-based learning differences and attention deficits near Cleveland, Ohio.

Paul joined the Lawrence community in 2014 after spending the previous eight years at The University of Akron where he was the Associate Director for Athletics Communications. During his time with the Zips, he helped manage the publicity efforts for all 19 of the university’s sports teams with a primary focus on the 2010 NCAA national championship men’s soccer program.

A 1999 graduate from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, Paul began his professional career as a newspaper reporter and won two Ohio Associated Press awards for his work at the Chillicothe Gazette in 2001. Additionally, Paul received Master’s degrees in Business Administration and Sports Administration from Ohio University in 2004 and 2005, respectively.

Paul resides in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, with his wife, Sara, and two daughters, Claire (5) and Audrey (1).

Help Me Spread the Word!

If you enjoyed this episode of the SchneiderB.FM podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe.

Episode Sponsor

Do you want to know the secret to creating the best private school website? The truth is, website redesigns don’t have to be long, arduous, can’t-wait-until-it’s-over projects. The secret to avoiding the mess? Planning. Blackbaud K-12 has some interesting ideas on improving the school website redesign process. Whether your school is looking to redesign this year, or in three years, their new eBook, How to Design the Best Private School Website, will help you plan. Please download your free copy today at my special link schneiderb.com/blackbaud.

The post SBfm22 – The LionShare Enrollment Podcast with Paul Warner appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”

~Anais Nin

Required Reading

Nike’s Secret to Success on Instagram: Building an Engaged Community

Chances are you’ve come across Nike on Instagram at one point or another.

With more than 83 million followers around the world, Nike is easily in the top 20 most followed Instagram accounts globally (out of nearly one billion).

As you might imagine, that’s a lot of engagement.

But it’s also a ton of incoming conversations for Nike’s marketing and customer care teams to sort through. In fact, the team at Nike (led by Social Media Manager Wes Warfield) handles more than 1,000,000 conversations per year across 200 different social media accounts.

We sat down with Wes to understand just how Nike approaches customer care on Instagram and how they’re leveraged adding value to help grow a massive online community of athletes, influencers, and everyone in-between.

How to Improve Your Pinterest Reach: 4 Tips

Has your Pinterest traffic dropped off? Wondering how to encourage more pinners to interact with your content?

In this article, you’ll discover four tips to develop pins and boards that spark engagement from your audience on Pinterest.

Page Speed Optimization: Metrics, Tools, and How to Improve

Page speed is an important consideration for your SEO work, but it’s a complex subject that tends to be very technical. What are the most crucial things to understand about your site’s page speed, and how can you begin to improve? In this week’s edition of Whiteboard Friday, Britney Muller goes over what you need to know to get started.

Suggested Viewing

SEO Mistakes: Why 91% of Content Gets No Organic Traffic [AHREFS]

SEO Mistakes: Why 91% of Content Gets No Organic Traffic - YouTube

Heard in the Facebook Group

QUESTION: Apologies if this has been asked before but I am looking for an online-based, collaborative calendar system. Currently, my team is using a legacy Becasmp account for that purpose (and that purpose only) and I’d love to switch to something else. We’re a Google organization so we have systems in place for keeping projects organized, I just need the calendar function and the ability to send reminders about deadlines to the appropriate people. I’ve looked at Coschedule but we don’t need all of its features and $400/month is insane. I’m looking at Trello but worry about getting everyone on my team up to speed with it. Has anyone in this group found something they love?

READ ANSWERS

The post Life Shrinks Or Expands In Proportion To One’s Courage appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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Do you want to get more return out of our Facebook marketing efforts, but are challenged by time, staff power or budget?

Perhaps you’re struggling to identify which changes you need to make to improve your visibility and traction. Or maybe you know exactly what you want to implement, but don’t have the resources or staff to pull it off. Thankfully, there’s a whole host of Facebook marketing tools out there to help!

I love marketing tools, and Facebook is no exception. Facebook tools make it easier for you to set up your Facebook Page and measure your results. I’ve tried dozens of tools over the years. Today, I am going to share my top 18 favorite Facebook marketing tools designed to help you reach your marketing goals at every step of the way.

All of the 18 tools on this list will make your Facebook marketing easier and more effective. A successful Facebook marketing strategy includes everything from testing ads to analyzing engagement. Fortunately, there are awesome tools that will make your task of marketing on Facebook easier.

Here are my top favorite 18 Facebook marketing tools.

  1. Buffer

Buffer is a great tool for scheduling posts, analyzing performance and managing all of your social media accounts in one place. As a social media manager, you likely spend a good part of your day scheduling content for your school’s social media profiles. Buffer is a powerful app that can take your social media and engagement to the next level. It’s a simple way to schedule posts and track performance of your content on Facebook as well as other social media channels. Buffer offers a free plan; paid plans start at $15 per month.

  1. Sprout Social

If you are looking for a more advanced social media management system, I encourage you to consider Sprout Social. I really like their advanced analytics, reports and smart inbox feature which can save a lot of time! Sprout Social helps you deliver and measure valuable content, nurture relationships, mine social data and activate social listening. Pricing starts at $99 per month; all plans include a 30-day free trial.

  1. Post Planner

Post Planner lets you plan and schedule your social media posts, but that’s not all. The idea behind Post Planner is genius; unlike other scheduling tools, it allows you to easily find and post photos that have been proven to go viral…increasing your likes, shares, and views! Plans start at $3 per month.

  1. CoSchedule

CoSchedule is another great social media management tool. I love it because you can easily manage your team and keep track of everything. CoSchedule helps me plan ahead and saves me time. They offer a built-in editorial calendar that is customizable. Plans start at $0 – $20 per month depending on how many users you want to add; a 14-day free trial period is offered.

  1. Shortstack

Ever wonder how other marketers create amazing, professional looking contests, polls and landing pages on Facebook? They might be using Shortstack.

Shortstack lets you set up beautiful Facebook marketing campaigns simply using their drag-and-drop feature. Their templates are attractive and easy-to-use. I really like their analytics and the ability to interact with leads via email. Your leads are collected in a searchable, exportable database – and there are no storage limits. Plans start at $29 per month.

  1. Facebook Page Insights

Facebook Page Insights is built into your Facebook Page. Even though it’s not a third-party app, it’s still a valuable tool for school marketers.

Insights gives you important data that you can use to improve your Facebook marketing strategy. For example, it can tell you:

  • Demographics of your audience, including gender and location
  • When and where a person was when they liked your page
  • Your most popular posts
  • How people found your page
  • How many times each page tab has been viewed

Facebook Insights is free, simple and straight from the source, which makes it list worthy.

  1. Canva

I’ve sung the praises of Canva before, but a list about Facebook tools needs to include this awesome app. As you know, visual content on Facebook is a must and this amazing tool lets you easily create stunning graphics you can share on Facebook.

Canva offers a database of over 1,000,000 images and professional-looking templates. Simply log in to Canva and select “Facebook Post” from the templates, ensuring your Facebook post image will be the correct dimensions. Now you can choose from thousands of layouts, fonts, colors, elements – the choices are dazzling! Canva is free; some pictures, layouts or elements cost $1.

What more visual marketing tools? Check out these articles:

10 Visual Marketing Tools to Help your Social Media Stand Out

5 Best Types of Social Media Visuals for Schools

  1. AdEspresso

AdEspresso is an advertising tool that makes ad creation and optimization easier and faster. Since it was founded in 2011, it has grown to become a Facebook advertising partner. Using the platform, users can create Facebook, Instagram and Google ads right through the interface. AdEspresso also offers an online university with webinars, experiments and video courses recorded by industry experts. Plans start at $49 per month.

Exclusive FREE Bonus: Download the pdf Top 18 Favorite Facebook Tools for School Marketers to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues at your school.
  1. Facebook Ads Compass

Have you ever run a Facebook ad that didn’t perform as well as you hoped? With Facebook Ads Compass, you can generate a report that tells you what’s working – and what’s not. You can compare your results to industry benchmarks and see exactly how much you’re spending. It will tell you which ads are performing well and which ones aren’t and give you insights so you can optimize your ad targeting by audience, age, location, and device. Facebook Ads Compass is a free tool from the makers of AdEspresso.

  1. ManyChat

ManyChat is an easy-to-use tool for Facebook Messenger bot marketing. Messenger marketing is quickly becoming the way people connect online. You can use ManyChat to leverage this emerging platform to grow and interact with your audience by delivering personalized, 1-on-1 experiences to your followers or inquiries. ManyChat offers a free version of the tool.

  1. Headline Analyzer

Headlines are vitally important when publishing to Facebook. About 80 percent of people who see a headline will read it, but only 20 percent will go on to read the rest of your content. Even if you content is truly unique and innovative, a weak headline will ruin its chances of being super successful.

The folks at CoSchedule conducted research and determined what it takes to write great headlines that ill instantly capture the attention of your reader. When it comes to social media, your headline has to be powerful and tell the story of your content, all within a limited space and in a distracting news feed.

This tool will show you exactly how to improve your headlines. Simply copy and paste your headline into the tool and it will give you feedback on the title length, sentiment, keywords and more. Headline Analyzer is free (and included in CoSchedule’s social media management tool.)

  1. Animoto

Want to easily create amazing, professional-looking video content? Animoto is a low-cost tool that will help you turn your photos and video clips into a professional video in minutes. It’s fast and simple to use.

Choose from pre-built story boards, then customize your video for your school. Enhance your video with music, transitions, changing colors, etc. Then simply post to your page and watch your engagement increase! Plans start at $5 per month (billed annually). Animoto offers a 14-day free trial.

  1. Likealyzer

Have you ever wished someone would review your Facebook Page and tell you exactly what you’re doing right – and what you’re doing wrong?

Likealyzer will grade your Facebook marketing efforts so you know exactly what you continue to do as well as how you can improve. The app uses over 70 different data points to analyze your page. Likealyzer is free.

  1. Facebook Page Barometer

Facebook Page Barometer is a super-cool tool designed by the makers of Agorapulse. Connect your Facebook Page to the tool, and receive insights on:

  • How many fans you’re reaching
  • Your engagement rates
  • How much negative feedback you’re receiving
  • How your page is performing compared to similar pages

Simply connect your Facebook Page to the tool and receive these insights and many more. Facebook Page Barometer is free.

  1. Facebook URL Debugger

Have you ever posted a link on Facebook only to have it display an old image – or no image at all? This can happen when Facebook has cached an old version of your URL. The solution? Run your URL through this handy tool to clear the cache and your link will display the way you want it to.

Once you’ve submitted your link to the debug app, scroll down to where it says “Link Preview”. This is how your link will display.

If you’re not happy with what you see, you can easily make the changes to your post or landing page and click “Scrape Again”. Facebook will now include the changes you made when you publish your URL. Facebook URL Debugger is free.

  1. Facebook Sound Collection

Have you ever uploaded a video to Facebook and then discovered that you’re not allowed to use a song due to copyright issues? This can be extremely frustrating.

Luckily, Facebook has a solution. There is a Sound Collection with over 2,200 songs and 1,731 sound effects, drums, horror screams, birds tweeting, waves and much more!

You can search for a song by keyword, music genre, mood, duration, and vocal type. You are free to use these songs if you publish your video on Facebook or Instagram. Facebook Song Collection is free.

  1. Pagemodo

Pagemodo is a social media suite for customizing and managing Facebook Pages without the need for graphic design or coding skills.

The Pagemodo tool offers:

  • Templates for cover photos
  • Contests, sweepstakes, giveaways and coupons for promotions
  • Custom tabs (including a shop where you can sell merchandise from a Facebook tab)
  • Post designer
  • Post scheduling
  • Suggests relevant content you can share on your page
  • Twitter headers
  • Design studio for Facebook ads

The free version of Pagemodo lets you manage one page and has limited features. Paid plans start at $6.25 per month.

  1. Grytics

Does your school have a Facebook group? If not, you’re missing out – and so is your target audience. Facebook groups are an important way to build community with your audience.

Grytics is a tool that offers in-depth insights into everything related to a Facebook Group. For example, Grytics will help you analyze:

  • Top posts
  • Comment statistics
  • Comparative metrics
  • Sort and rank groups, posts and search results
  • Key metrics and performance indicators

Have more than one group? Grytics lets you manage all your groups in one place. Plans start at $15 per month. Pricing starts at $15 per month. Grytics offers a free 14-day trial.

Facebook tools will make it easier for you to set up, manage and grow your presence on Facebook. The tools on this list cover many different aspects of your Facebook marketing, so you have time-saving help at every step of the way. All of these tools were designed to gain better results from your Facebook presence and make your Facebook marketing experience more pleasant.

What Facebook tools do you use? What did we leave off this list that you think should be here? Please share with the rest of the school marketing community

Exclusive FREE Bonus: Download the pdf Top 18 Favorite Facebook Tools for School Marketers to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues at your school.

The post Top 18 Favorite Facebook Tools for School Marketers appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.

~Gloria Steinem

Required Reading

Bill Gates Says You Should Ask 4 Crucial Questions to Assess the Quality of Your Life (1 Is From Warren Buffett)

Bill Gates is now 63. He fully acknowledges he’s not the same person he was when he founded Microsoft to put a “computer on every desk and in every home.”

To assess his quality of life, Gates asks himself different questions that we should be asking ourselves as we age–different from those of our youth.

THE 2019 LIST TO LEARN FROM

This is our round-up of the people and brands we follow and learn from every day. Their ideas are incredibly helpful for school marketers everywhere – especially when you want to share a stronger story for your school.

Whether you are working on brand strategy, updates to your website, a social campaign to promote your next open house, or improving the design of your next email, this list of resources will help school marketers everywhere.

How to Organize Social Media Marketing Tasks: 3 Tools

Do you need to bring some organization to your social media workflow? Looking for tools to help?

In this article, you’ll discover three tools to help you better organize social media posting, monitoring, and campaign execution tasks.

Suggested Listening

Merging Data with Word-of-Mouth Marketing, with Bill Diskin [School Growth Mastery]

In this episode, Bill shares the path of increasing enrollment through defining the school’s mission, refining their focus, and putting relationships and trust first. It’s intriguing how Bill blends the human connection with data to target his search for prospective parents. He gives specific strategies for dynamically broadening the reach of a marketing initiative through engaging parents as ambassadors for the school.

Heard in the Facebook Group

QUESTION: What are schools doing with Parent Association requests for Groups on Facebook? Our Mothers’ Association has their own closed FB group that they run and our school has the public business page that the marketing and communications office manages. A few Moms from the MA would like a Mothers public page for a more discussion based platform and I don’t see this as a good thing for the school, nor do I have time to look after it. Thoughts?

READ ANSWERS

The post Dreaming, After All, Is A Form Of Planning appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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Is it possible to get Facebook Business Page Likes without buying ads?

Many frustrated school marketers don’t think so.

You share great content day in and day out, use all the tactics and strategies you can think of to grow your fan base, yet you find your numbers are growing at a snail’s pace – or worse yet, you’re losing fans.

Perhaps things were different a few years ago. You were getting lots of new fans and likes, shares and comments, but over the last couple of years things have slowed down considerably.

Or maybe you’ve discovered that spending money on Facebook ads and paying for promoted posts has worked well, but it just isn’t sustainable to keep spending so much money.

What can you do to increase your Facebook fanbase without paying for ads or promoted posts? Here are some strategies to consider:

  1. Focus on posts that are likely to get engagement

The very best way to increase engagement on your Facebook Page is to post content your fans will LOVE. When people love your content, they will comment on it and share it. What’s more, the Facebook algorithm will notice your increased engagement and will be more likely to give your posts more exposure on your fans’ pages.

Want ideas for what to post on your Facebook Page? Here are 53 things to post on your school’s Facebook Page.

  1. Post video content

It’s no secret that video is tremendously popular on Facebook right now. Both live and recorded videos are great for getting view and shares, and ultimately increasing your fanbase. Facebook has stated that “posts that create meaningful interactions get more exposure in New Feed” and has indicated that live and recorded videos are excellent for facilitating interaction.

Want help creating videos for your school? Here are two articles that you might find helpful:

  1. Use images with your posts

Many school marketers find this to be one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase your engagement and get more Page likes. Buffer analyzed 43 million Facebook posts and found that images get even more engagement than videos.

Parents love unfiltered photographs of their kids and what’s happening on campus on a daily basis. Funny, inspirational, educational and motivational posts with graphics are always popular. It’s easy to create any type of graphic you can think of using my favorite graphic design tool, Canva.

For more tools you can use to create and optimize graphics for social media, check out these articles:

Exclusive FREE Bonus: Download the pdf 7 Ways to Get Likes for Your Facebook Business Page Without Spending Money to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues at your school.
  1. Consider posting more often

The Buffer Facebook study found that many brands report a positive increase in engagement when they post more often. However, some brands experienced the opposite. The top 20,000 Facebook Pages are publishing an average of 135 posts per month, which averages to 4-5 per day. Just make sure you are watching your analytics and making sure the additional effort is paying off in engagement. Note: only post more content if you have something really great to post.

  1. Optimize your content for mobile consumption

More than 95 percent of Facebook users consume content using a mobile device, so it’s really important that your content be easily consumable on mobile. Things to consider include:

  • Make sure you are using vertical video viewing because most people prefer to hold their phones in an upright position when viewing.
  • Optimize your content by considering video length and caption length. Buzzsumo found that the optimal video length on Facebook is between 30 – 120 seconds, so keep your videos under 2 minutes. Caption length should be short (one sentence), and always include a video or image.
  1. Use the Post Invite Button

This is NOT he Invite Friends to Like Your Page button at the top of your page. This is a completely different button that is attached to people who have engaged with a post on your page.

Here’s how to access the Post Invite Button:

Using the regular Facebook App (not the Facebook Pages Manager), click on the people who have engaged with a post. You’ll see two types of buttons. One will say “Invite” or “Invited” (depending on whether you’ve already invited them to Like your Page) and you will see a Ban button to the right of the Invite/Invited button. I have found that about 15-20 percent of people will accept my invitation, which is a good return on the time it takes to Invite them.

  1. Leverage your touch points

Take advantage of your other touch points, such as your newsletter, business card, and website. Make sure you have customized your Facebook page URL to be user-friendly, then add your Facebook page URL to your business card, marketing publications, email signature and make sure you use a Facebook Page widget to direct people to your Facebook page from your website.

I hope you find these tactics helpful as you plan out your Facebook marketing strategy for 2019. What are your thoughts about Facebook Marketing? Is your organic reach continuing to grow, stagnant or are you losing fans? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Exclusive FREE Bonus: Download the pdf 7 Ways to Get Likes for Your Facebook Business Page Without Spending Money to reference in the future and/or share with colleagues at your school.

The post 7 Ways to Get Likes for Your Facebook Business Page Without Spending Money appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

~Henry Ford

Required Reading

6 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic in the New Year

Did your blog have a bit of a holiday slump?

Many bloggers find they lose momentum with their traffic in January. So if it happened to you, you’re not alone. Your readers were probably online less than usual. A lot of my fellow Aussie bloggers struggle at this time of year because their readers are enjoying the beach or off on vacation. You may have taken some time away from blogging as well to spend time with friends and family.

But now you’re back at your desk, and want to start working on your blog in earnest.

Today, we’ll be looking at six things you can do to boost your traffic and get it back to where it was (or perhaps even higher).

Workflow Automation Explained, and 5 of the Best Workflow Automation Software For 2019

Manual data entry might be one of the most tedious and inefficient tasks in the working world. Not only does it put you to sleep, but it also wastes precious time and resources, slashing your productivity to bits. In fact, data entry wastes over 10 hours per week for certain sales teams.

Fortunately, there’s technology that can automate these mind-numbing tasks, eliminating human error and letting you focus on the work that actually matters — workflow automation.

Google tells some advertisers it will handle their campaign management

In seven days, the email says, Google Ads reps will start making changes to advertiser accounts if advertisers don’t opt out.

Suggested Listening

Season 1, Ep. 19: When Schools Close Their Doors – Strategies for Moving Forward [Enrollment Spectrum Podcast]

When a school faces closure, how can administrators and admission professionals align to ensure pieces of its heritage are preserved and students have a place to go? It’s an unfortunate reality for some schools, but there are strategies you can implement to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Heard In The Facebook Group

QUESTION: Facebook question – we posted an event that received some strange comments. If I delete the comments, does it alert the original poster? How do you deal with negative/strange comments on your events and posts? I have currently hidden the comments, but wanted your advice!

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The post When Everything Seems To Be Going Against You, Remember That The Airplane Takes Off Against The Wind, Not With It appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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Last year I wrote a post offering my 3 Predictions for School Marketers in 2018.

If you haven’t read that article yet I encourage you to read it now. Sadly, I think most of those predictions are still relevant for 2019.

Rather than create new predictions for 2019, I asked 19 school marketing leaders the following question:

Where do you see the biggest opportunities for school marketers in 2019?

Here are their responses:

Scott Allenby
Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives

Proctor Academy

In creating intentional structure around ambassador relationships with alumni and current parents. Schools are still under-utilizing word-of-mouth marketing and the best resources they have at their fingertips and will need to shift resources in their Admissions and Communications offices to better strengthen this marketing tool.

Shane Haggerty
President & Owner

Purposeland

I think the greatest opportunity exists in strategic campaigns that combine storytelling tactics. A well-rounded outreach campaign with measurable outcomes involving video, podcasting and live events with personal interactions can be complex to pull off, but these experiences are almost demanded now by today’s consumer. I would also say that we need to move beyond thinking social media is shiny and new as we have reached peak adoption of Facebook and Twitter and all the rest. Now people are beginning to decide which of these networks they are going to keep because of all the data breaches and toxicity. They aren’t going away, but as marketers, we need to stay in front of trends, and I’d say a big trend is the social space is shifting towards niche communities.

Trevor Waddington
Principal

Truth Tree Consulting

Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin – Definitely putting more money into creating compelling content and more time in boosting it to the right people. I’ll add SnapChat to that list if you are or have a high school. Marketing to prospective students is now more important than ever. The biggie is which schools will start creating flash briefings for current and prospective families. It’s easy and so far inexpensive. Get your voice-first real estate now before it’s gone.

William Bullard
President

EdChanges

Begin using data more effectively to enhance performance in admissions, development, and retention.

Mia Major
Content Marketing Manager

Finalsite

Marketing automation! In our work with schools, we’ve quickly realized that many schools operate with tiny departments where school marketers are wearing way too many hats! (Let’s be real, social media marketing is a full-time job when your audience is so diverse!) Marketing automation allows school marketers the opportunity to improve their strategy, save time, and achieve better results (even in a small shop).

Chuck Bankoff
Director of Web Services

Kreative Webworks, Inc.

Live Chat: Parents of school-aged children grew up texting more than talking on a phone. They expect immediate gratification, and typing back and forth real-time is their comfort level. One of the schools we assist with enrollment marketing reports that they get more leads through their Chat Widget than they get over the phone or through submitted forms. Using a programmable chat platform that can guide a parent through a series of questions when a live enrollment specialist isn’t available is a huge plus.

Content Clusters for SEO: SEO is now shifting to a topic-centered model, where a single “pillar” page acts as the main hub of content for an overarching topic. Multiple content pages related to that same topic link back to the pillar page and to each other. This linking action signals to search engines that the pillar page is an authority on the topic, and over time, the page may rank higher and higher for the topic it covers. The topic cluster model, at its very essence, is a way of organizing a site’s content pages using a cleaner and more deliberate site architecture.

Lead Nurturing & Marketing Automation: Certainly not new for 2019, but just as important. Just sending a parent from social media to your Home page is rarely effective. You need to build a relationship and trust with them over time. This has been the way of the world for a number of years now, and I don’t see it changing in 2019.

Brad Entwistle
Founding Partner

imageseven

The biggest opportunity for school marketers in 2019 will almost certainly be nothing new. It’s execution. A great education product and a brilliant communication and marketing strategy can make your school stand out to become the school of choice in your marketplace, but only relentless and consistent execution can keep you there. You must be able to deliver on your strategic intent.

School marketers live in a world of ever-increasing demands with budgets that remain relatively static. Here are three tips for becoming an execution ninja:

1. Stop doing stuff. Schools are usually very proficient at starting new initiatives, opening new communication channels and creating a new campaign. But if you are already 100% committed, you only have two options available; stop doing something or spend less time and care on everything else. As positive can-do people, school marketers often avoid the decision all together and end up defaulting to the ‘spend less time and care’ option. Have an open discussion with your leader to determine what you can stop doing.

2. Aim for the value zone. Imagine a Venn diagram with two partially overlapping circles. One contains all the communication and marketing activities that are important to your school, your Head and your school’s strategy. The other contains the activities that are important to parents. Where the circles intersect is the value zone. This is where you’ll usually achieve most long-term return on your valuable time and attention. Next work on priorities that are important to your school. Usually, this will be advancing your part of the strategic intent. Last work on activities that are only important to parents.

3. Agree about what counts. If you are doing the same things you did last year with just a few minor improvements, you are probably not propelling your school forward on its mission outlined in your strategic plan. In consultation with your manager, consider your key performance indicators for 2019. Make them specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. Discuss your progress at least once per month with your manager to review and plan the next steps.

Emily Cretella
Owner

Cursive Content

I think the biggest opportunity for schools to move forward in 2019 is by going back to the basics and reevaluating their school story. Now, it’s easier than ever to adopt new marketing tactics and create polished materials, so what’s really going to set you apart is the story those communications are telling. Without a unique story that stands out from competitor schools, speaks directly to your dream families and makes prospective students trust you with their success, shiny new tactics won’t matter. Focus on story in 2019, and you’ll stand out.

Andreas Marinopoulos
Co-Founder

Enrollhand

Facebook advertising remains the biggest opportunity for schools in 2019. We are in the golden age of Facebook, even while the company is getting bad press. We will look back one day and sigh at how easy it used to be to reach parents. CPMs (cost per thousand impressions) is rising as attention saturation sets in. We are moving from attention to trust as the key constraint, as Seth Godin has been telling us for ages. If schools don’t jump on the Facebook advertising wagon in 2019, it will be hard for them to compete later on when costs are higher and advanced skills are needed to generate trust.

Bart Caylor
President

Caylor Solutions

I believe that the greatest opportunity for school marketers in 2019 will be in learning to balance the opportunities for connecting with prospects weighed with the challenge of doing so with a strong strategy. Too many times, we as marketers start playing with the tools without a strategy (creating a social media account with no plans) or get bogged down in the planning without doing (spending forever planning and analyzing without creating something that will move the needle). I believe the opportunity lies with those who can balance that tight rope and navigate the all the digital and print marketing well.

Dana Nelson-Isaacs
Founder and President

DNI Consulting

1) Using data in more nuanced ways – people seem to be grasping how to use some kinds of data in broad strokes, but getting more specific will glean better results.
2) Positioning the school as a thought leader and not “just” a school – offering expertise to the community, providing opportunities for people not associated with the school to still gain from the wisdom there.

Angie Ward
Co-Founder

Enroll Media Group

I believe the biggest opportunity will revolve around Marketing Automation.

Rick Newberry
President

Enrollment Catalyst

School leaders must continue to focus on a comprehensive approach to marketing a school. There isn’t a magical solution that will drive interest in a school. It takes a comprehensive approach that this is centered on word of mouth and inbound marketing strategies. Through these strategies, the focus must be on telling your school’s story in a real and compelling way so that it resonates with your audience.

Chuck English
Founder and President

English Marketing Works

The biggest opportunity in school marketing is to be the tail that wags the dog. As opposed to acting as a responsive resource that is mobilized after a decision has been made, school marketers can and should be at the table, being a catalyst to innovation. In our experience based marketplace, marketing drives overall school excellence by establishing a virtuous cycle of continuously articulating and fulfilling a school’s promises to its students and parents.

Daren Worcester
Sr. Content Marketing Manager

Blackbaud K-12

I believe more schools should engage with review sites such as Niche to be an active participant in those conversations. I also see LinkedIn Inmail as an intriguing option for reaching prospective families. It is new enough that people don’t necessarily view it as advertising, and LinkedIn’s data is better at enabling schools to target people by industry or job title than Facebook.

Michael Connor
President

Connor Associates

The biggest opportunity I see for school marketers as we move through 2019 is to get back to basics before deploying the latest social media platforms and tactics.

The first rule of marketing is not messaging. The first rule is to listen to those you seek to sell and, once sold, keep listening to those you serve. Every good marketing strategy starts with respectful listening to meet an often unspoken need. An Image Audit is the best first step that will your School prioritize the most important messages for particular constituencies.

To hear some marketing gurus tell it, however, the latest trend in marketing is to pivot from promoting your school’s brand toward being engaged in deploying exceptional, memorable customer experiences. We’re hearing a lot about the customer “journey” these days. Having “experiences” is the latest catchphrase, especially for Millennials.

I don’t know why the trend is to separate “brand” and “experience.” This is not an “either/or” a “zero-sum game.” Brand and experience are dependent on each other. How your customers experience, your school defines your brand in their eyes.

Carol Cheney
President

Cheney & Company

Let’s get practical. Get over your obsession with digital “derring-do” and platform envy. Your biggest opportunity in 2019 is in improved workflow and communications outcomes through better planning and assessment.

Mitchell Dong
Marketing Specialist

Social Media Examiner

One of the biggest opportunity school marketers have in 2019 is a chance to bring humanity back to their marketing. Hear me out…

With the increasing sophistication and accessibility of analytics and automation tools, we have the ability to know so much about our prospective families and stay in constant contact. But those things alone do nothing for us or our families unless we are oriented towards service. Automation alone can be very inhumane, leading to an impersonal interaction and bad user experience. When automation is paired with segmentation and a human touch, it has the opportunity to multiply your efforts and give those interacting with your school a personalized, high-touch experience. If we can leverage what we know about our prospective families and use the incredible tools and services that are available to us today, small and big teams alike can serve mission-fit families and nurture those relationships. This is your chance to cut through the rest of the noise and stand out during the often stressful experience families experience when looking for a place to plant their children to be cultivated for a flourishing life.

Jim Healey
Owner and Brand Architect

Pea Pod Design

At Peapod Design, we have noticed a major interest and upswing when it comes to consistent branding for schools across all platforms of marketing materials – print, website, photography, advertisements, etc. Schools have to really stand out and not have their message fraying around the edges.

For 2019, schools need to remember that even though social media is fun and powerful and popular, traditional marketing is always going to be a necessity and is the best foundation of brand identity. For example, we remind our clients that not only do you have to market to prospects, but it is important to market to your current school community about the school’s purpose and mission. Traditionally printed viewbooks are a great starting point for that. Viewbooks are an exercise of self-discovery that can serve both your internal and external marketing needs.

Where do you see the biggest opportunities for school marketers in 2019?

Please post your answer in the comments below.

The post 19 School Marketers Offer Their Biggest Opportunities for 2019 appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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“Kindness is like snow—it beautifies everything it covers.”

~Kahlil Gibran

Required Reading

Embracing Content Marketing to Tell School Stories and Achieve Institutional Goals

Gone are the days when communications directors could send a press release to the local media and get coverage. There are no guarantees that a school’s announcement would even be seen if a press release were picked up. After all, there have been tremendous declines in readership and viewership for traditional media. We have entered a world in which independent schools have become their own storytellers and content creators.

Thanks to technology, we can share our stories using blogs, podcasts, videos, social media channels, online magazines, and digital newsletters, and can provide families with deeper, richer insights into our schools.

Congratulations to the 2018 Brilliance Awards Winners!

Private schools worldwide shine in this year’s Brilliance Awards. The judges were dazzled by your creative, professional, compelling entries. You are brilliant!

We are indebted to the 2018 Brilliance Judges who volunteered their time, expertise and insights. Thanks to all the schools and agencies who entered! Mark your calendars for the 2019 awards in the fall.

15 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Presence in 2019

Do you have social media accounts set up for your brand?

If not, you’re making a huge mistake. It’s just about impossible to run a successful company in 2019 without setting up social media accounts on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for it.

You’re also making a huge mistake if you’re not taking the time to establish a strong social media presence. It’s not enough to just create social media accounts. You also need to monitor them closely and keep them as active as they can possibly be.

There are some pretty simple ways to give your social media presence a big boost in 2019. By acting strategically, you can connect with your social media followers more and build up your brand in the process.

Suggested Viewing

How to Increase Organic Traffic with a Content Audit

Conventional SEO wisdom will tell you to publish more content to get more traffic. But that’s not always the case.

There’s an SEO strategy that has gained popularity called a content audit.

In its simplest form, it’s a way to get rid of underperforming, low-quality pages with the goal to improve the overall “health” of a website.

Heard in the Facebook Group

QUESTION: Would love to hear your thoughts about Twitter. Are you still using it as one of your social media channels? If so, are you having success with it? We have seen no growth in followers and very little engagement with our channel the past 6 months. I’m tempted to shut it down and focus solely on Facebook and Instagram, but I wanted to hear your thoughts/experiences first!

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The post Kindness is like snow—it beautifies everything it covers appeared first on SchneiderB Media.

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