Grow Your Enrollment by Integrating Your School Website and Social Media Marketing Strategies

Grow your school enrollment

Why do we cringe when we hear the word “marketing” as it relates to our education services? Maybe because we think of “marketing” as merely “selling” goods and it’s not in our nature to push a product onto our friends. (Admit it—you’ve hidden from your multi-level-marketing-selling friend too.)

Marketing Campaigns & Student Enrollment Goals

But when it comes to marketing strategies as they pertain to student recruitment, we’re talking about promoting the services we have to offer that will lead to increased enrollment to meet our enrollment goals.

school marketing and enrollment goals

Whether primary, secondary, or higher education institutions, our goal is to educate students in a world in need of caring, responsible individuals, well-prepared for the future rigors and challenges of the world.

You Have It All

You know you have the goods (products) to do it. You have a fine program and amazing teachers. You have witnessed many success stories of past and current students, and you’re pumped for the challenge.

You just need to appeal to that prospective student who will appreciate what you have to offer and improve student enrollment so you can enjoy the fruits of your labors. You need to find (dare we say, recruit, entice, sell—market to) future students and the parents who will make the decisions about where their child will go to school.

Appeal to Prospective Students to Increase Enrollment

So, how can we reach potential students? What vehicles should we employ to convey our marketing messages to prospective students? Will one platform give us an advantage over another? And how important is search engine optimization (SEO), really? And what about the all-powerful Google? Is it all it’s hyped up to be?

Is increasing your website traffic going to give you an advantage over another particular school that may be vying for similar, highly sought-after future students? How does increasing your school’s visibility online fit into your enrollment strategy?

Let Me Tell You a Story

I think I can answer most of these questions with one simple, personal story.

A few years ago, my daughter-in-law was researching the options for her children’s education. Would she send her children to a public, private, or charter school? Or would she decide to home-school them?

All the above were viable options, but the one she felt was the least likely, was sending them to one of the local school district’s public elementary schools. She wasn’t happy with the direction she saw the public school system going and was determined to find a better option for her young and growing family.

Time to get serious

Time to Get Serious

With a job change and new opportunities, her family, including her then four-year-old son who would be entering kindergarten the following year, began building a home in a new neighborhood. Now it was time to get serious.

She had already applied and been accepted to a local charter school she felt great about. But she felt she had to be sure, and since she was moving to a new school district, she began a personal quest to research what would be her children’s new school in their new public school district.

Success Stories

She reached out to “people who knew people” whose children attended schools in that district as well as those who already had enrolled students in the elementary school her children would attend. She became intrigued as she followed her would-be new school via various social media channels.

Conversation after conversation, I heard her say things like, “I love that they’re really active on Facebook,” “It seems like they do a lot of fun things,” and “I keep hearing and reading good things about them.”

The more my daughter-in-law followed them on various social media platforms, and the more she went back and forth from social media to the school’s website, the more impressed she was, and the more she wanted to be part of their community—their family.

By the time their new home was built, she had turned down the charter school acceptance and was ready to register her son for kindergarten in her neighborhood public school.

The school’s social media marketing, the success stories it propagated, and its seamless integration with the school’s website was the main factor in her important decision.

A Testimony for the Whole Process

Since that year, that family has increased to four little ones. Number three will join other new students in the public school system in the fall, and number four will follow soon after. Now they are valuable word-of-mouth and online marketing (via their own social media posts) advocates for that school and the entire school district.

The school’s very successful integration of social media and school website management was a crucial component that led to increasing enrollment of some ideal students (IMHO) for the foreseeable future.

Improve your school enrollment

Do You Need to Improve Your School Enrollment Rates?

My daughter-in-law’s enrollment journey is not an isolated incident. Thousands of parents are searching for the best fit for their families every day. In your quest to improve enrollment at your school, whether public, charter, or private; whether you have elementary or high school students—or even college students, the principle applies. Leverage technology to increase student enrollment.

More Parents and Prospective Students are Using Mobile Devices Than Ever Before

According to Broadband Search, “as of January 2022, mobile has taken the lead at just above 55 percent of the market, with desktop devices taking up to 42 percent.” So, since most of social media viewing is done on mobile devices, it stands to reason that schools must be present in the world of social media.

3 ways to integrate the two

3 Easy Ways to Integrate the Two

There are several simple, organic ways to integrate your social pages with your school website. And as you keep the flow moving between the two, your school will rank higher and higher and be picked up by most search engines, like Google, allowing you to be found and letting the world know what student life could be like for them at your school.

1. Tell Your Story

Tell your school’s story via your social media platform. It should include your school events, program highlights, and parent and student testimonials. Then link to more information about those events, programs, and testimonials on your school website as well as other helpful content that will shine a light on your best features, guiding more students to you.

2. Begin the Conversation

Begin a conversation about topics important to your audience on your social media pages, then link to the corresponding blog articles on your website. This content marketing strategy will help widen the net and attract more people to your website. An active blog page is one of the most valuable tools to help you rank well in organic search results, helping to increase enrollment at your school.

3. Toot Your Own Horn

Toot your own horn

Let your audience know about your amazing students and staff or the fun you all had at the last football game or field trip.

Did a teacher receive an award? Post it on your website News page and your social media pages. Then link to the Staff page on your website to tell more about the teacher.

Tell about student accomplishments and link to more information on the News page of your website.

Of course, you’re proud of your programs, and you want others to know about them. Highlight them, one by one, on the News page and your social platforms, and be sure to link back to the up-to-date specifics on your website.

digital marketing for schools

A Digital Marketing Strategy that Appeals to Prospective and Current Students

You may not think of an Instagram or Facebook post as “digital marketing,” but that’s exactly what it is in its most basic form. Prospective students and current students will appreciate your robust online presence. When current students are proud of the school they attend, they share it with their friends, and you reap the benefits of natural (and free) enrollment marketing.

It’s impossible to tell your entire school’s story through your social media platform; therefore, your social media must be integrated with and entice your audience to visit your responsive (mobile-friendly) school website. And vice-versa.

Does This Apply to All Institutions?

If you’re involved in higher education, you may be wondering how to increase college enrollment at your higher ed institution. Does this article apply to you? The answer is Yes! If you’re a community college or another higher education institution, the same principles apply. Community colleges and universities are also challenged with recent decreases in undergraduate enrollment. In January 2022, NPR reported that now “more than 1 million fewer students are in college.”

Enrollment at Higher Education Colleges and Universities has Decreased Dramatically

College enrollment at many colleges is way down! According to the same NPR article, though college enrollment has been decreasing since 2012, the recent pandemic “turbocharged the declines at the undergrad level.” Colleges and universities are suffering great losses. Looking to digital marketing efforts via their college website and social pages may aid their efforts to increase college enrollment.

Higher education, college websites, must also keep up with the online demands of their audiences if they want to increase enrollment.

Let us help you

If It Seems a Bit Overwhelming, Let Us Do It for You

When it comes to integrating your school website with your social media, School Webmasters knows the drill. We’ve been doing it for almost two decades. We’re happy to discuss various content marketing strategies or search engine optimization. We have social media gurus available through our Social4Schools services or public relations specialists through PR4Schools to help manage your school website and social media communication channels. Contact us today.

Judy Bittner, School Webmasters Project Director