The inspiration for these Marketing Matters comes from an article that was available several years ago at titled “10 Ways to Market Your Non-Profit Online.” (The page is no longer available.)  Since your school is a non-profit, I’ve tweaked them a bit so that these items relate directly to your school and what you need to do to market it effectively in today’s technology-rich environment.

9) Monitor your brand and your industry

While it almost goes without saying that it’s vital to continually educate ourselves as educators (call it metaeducation?), it’s important to be aware of what’s being said about education in the media and online. In this era of unprecedented access to the Internet, it’s also CRITICAL to stay up-to-date on what’s going on regarding what’s being said about your school online! Impossible? Hardly. The following free tools can help facilitate keeping up with what seems impossible to keep up with:

  • Google Alerts: Google Alerts allows you to type in any term and Google will email you the latest Google web results about that term. You can track your school’s name, any other schools in your area, or any other relevant keywords for the education industry.
  • Twitter: Twitter allows you to keep up with what’s happening right now. If you don’t have one, create a Twitter account and follow people working for your school and other schools in the area get a better handle on “what’s happening now.” You can use Twitter Search to monitor conversations and find new followers. Twitter can be an amazing resource to both keep up with what’s going on, but because it’s instantaneous, it does require dedication to consistently checking in and sharing.
  • Instagram: Now that Facebook owns Instagram, it’s becoming another standard platform, especially since it communicates with pictures and not just written comments.

It’s interesting to note that ten years ago, Google Reader was another tool that could aggregate social media postings about your school. Today’s it’s no longer available. The speed of technology not only accelerates the speed in which we have access to information, but also the speed of obsolescence.

10) Use online Facebook ads to drive traffic to your school’s Web site and Facebook page

Facebook provides a great venue for extremely targeted ads to push valuable visitors to your school’s Facebook page and Web site at a very low cost. Facebook allows you to hone in on your target audience by their location and demographic but more importantly, and unique to Facebook, by their likes, interests and friends. While this can have little influence on your marketing to bring more students to your school, it can help bring more alumni together.

For instance, a few years ago, I received an invitation from my high school to a dinner where a member of our class was being honored. Where did I go to contact friends from my class to get at least a table of folks together? My address book? Nope. I went to Facebook. There were three couples that attended that had never been to the event before. It was like a mini-reunion, and helped raised some additional dollars for the school.

Make sure if you send people who click on your ad to your Web site, as opposed to your organization’s Facebook page, that you create a landing page on your website that caters to visitors coming from Facebook. It’s been found that people using Facebook like to stay in Facebook (as evidenced by their highly-criticized messenger app). So, if a Facebook ad connects to something other than another Facebook page, visitors may leave if they connect to something other than a Facebook page for your school.

© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2011-2021 (Original Publication Date: 201103028)