With so much to do, dedicating hours upon hours to your school’s social media strategy isn't always feasible. Social media is just a sliver of your daily responsibilities, but when conversations happen 24/7, it feels like a full-time job.
Mastering Instagram for your school or district can be a bit tricky, especially because the algorithm is always changing. But what if I told you it’s possible to overhaul the social media marketing strategy for your school in about an hour a week?
By spending just a few minutes each day on your school's account, you can keep up with these changes and make sure you're using Instagram in the best way possible.
A brief, daily check-in helps you catch onto new trends quickly, fine-tune your account to reach more people, and create content for one of the most popular types of social media for schools.
Instagram is the preferred platform for social media users ages 16-34, which includes many of your prospective students and parents. These users are spending more and more time on the app — about 12 hours a month, so it's a smart move to keep your school's story and achievements in the spotlight where your school community and potential new students can see them.
From tracking analytics to nurturing your community, posting engaging content, and staying ahead of trends, we've curated social media optimization tips and Instagram ideas for your school to help you increase engagement without sacrificing your valuable time.
Time Invested: 30 minutes/week
You need to post on social media regularly, but content creation often takes a back seat when you’re in a time crunch. You shouldn’t create poor-quality content just for the sake of posting, but here are some ideas for posts when you're pressed for time:
- Repurpose content: Reuse types of content you know have performed well, like excerpts from blog posts, infographics, or snippets from videos. Repurpose them into bite-sized pieces for quick posting.
- Prepared Templates: Have pre-made templates standing by for quotes, announcements, or quick tips, like “Weekly Announcements” or #ThrowbackThursday.
- User-Generated Content: Share photos and videos from clubs, teams, students, teachers, or parents in your community.
- Stories: Instagram stories are a quick and easy way to share news, announcements, or other information. They don’t have to be flashy or perfect; you can create the post on the Instagram mobile app. If you want the post to last longer than 24 hours, save it to a highlight on your page.
- Content Calendar: By pre-planning posts, you can post quality content even when you’re busy. A content calendar is a great way to save time and create high-quality content.
Templates are a great way to work smarter, not harder! Aspen Academy utilized this graphic template at the beginning of the school year to announce new hires! We recommend you make your own so they are custom to your school or district, but you can get inspiration from pre-made templates on Canva.
Engage with Followers/Community Management
Time Invested: 10 minutes/week
Acknowledging and engaging with comments, questions, or feedback builds a sense of connection and trust with your audience — you show that their voice matters. Responding, liking, and sharing makes your school or district more personable and lets you better understand your target audience's needs, preferences, and pain points.
The average Instagram engagement rate is just 0.60%, but in education, the engagement rate jumps to 3.44% — your followers want to engage with your content!
It’s important to engage with your followers because:
- 71% of people are inclined to recommend something to their friends based on a positive interaction on social media.
- If your post generates high engagement, the algorithm will often reward you by showing it to more people.
- It shows your community that you care about your students and their families.
Pro Tip: If you receive a lot of comments on your posts, you don’t have to respond to every single one. You can also “like” the comment to show that their comment was seen, heard, and appreciated.
Keep Reading: How to Manage Your School’s Social Media Comments
Another way to connect with your followers is by creating polls, quizzes, and questions on your Instagram or Facebook story. It’s a simple and fun way to develop a line of communication with your audience.
Public Prep Charter Schools created an Instagram story highlight featuring responses to a question they posted, asking their followers to celebrate staff members. Their community poured out love and appreciation for their teachers and community members.
Review Social Media Trends and News
Time Invested: 20 minutes/week
Staying on top of trends and current events in social media allows you to stay connected and engaged with your students, parents, and the broader community.
It provides insights into emerging topics, allowing your school to join conversations, showcase relevance, and effectively communicate in a format that resonates with your audience.
Where’s the best place to find trends and news on Instagram?
The “Explore” page is a great place to start. This page shows you trending and popular content that Instagram thinks you’d find interesting.
You can also look through hashtags relevant to your school or town (#BostonSchools, #publicschool, #education, just to name a few) to find the latest and most popular posts. As you look over all of this content, take note of any trends you think you could utilize in your school’s social media strategy.
By leveraging these insights, your school can craft content, campaigns, and strategies. Plus, using popular trends is fun and engaging!
We’ve seen many schools get creative on social media, and their audiences love the content. A popular trend this year is this Reel template on CapCut. Bayview Academy did its own take on this video to celebrate the end of the year.
Time Invested: 30 mins/month
Monitoring your school or district’s social media accounts analytics is crucial as it provides insights into your audience's behaviors, preferences, and patterns. It shows you the impact of your content and what your audience connects with.
Pro Tip: You can find engagement rates by dividing engagements by impressions.
By knowing which posts generate high engagement, you can refine your school's social media strategy and tailor content to suit your audience's preferences better.
You might be wondering, “What data points should I analyze”? Engagement — measured through likes, comments, shares, and saves — is the easiest way to tell what content resonates with your community.
Engagement rates help even the playing field between various content types, such as Reels, which tend to receive more impressions due to the Instagram algorithm.
But monitoring your social media channels doesn’t have to be a long process. Simply look at the data, recognize what is or isn’t performing well, and put that knowledge in your back pocket for when you’re creating content.
You don't have to be your school's full-time social media manager to make an impact. Remember, consistency is key. Even a few minutes each day can help with your school’s social media optimization, boost your following, and make it feel less like your Instagram is a full-time job.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As the Social Media and Content Specialist, Hailey oversees Finalsite's social media accounts and helps grow its online community. Following her time at the University of Kansas, where she took up rowing, Hailey is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys playing soccer and running.