A Social Media guide with example posts for Chicago Early Learning preschool programs.
What do you want to get out of your social media platform? Why are you doing it? Are you trying to have higher enrollment numbers? Are you trying to keep parents informed? Do you want to build relationships with parents and boost loyalty? Your answers to these questions should affect the type of content you post.
Who follows you? Parents? Other education sites? Who are you trying to engage moving forward? What are their problems and/or needs? You can make a few assumptions to get started, but over time you’ll want to craft a well-researched profile.
A. Monitor their engagement on your page
Compare different kinds of content you post, do they like and comment on one type more than others?
B. Ask them
This can be done by making a text post or poll that asks your audience what they would like to see.
You can post content every day, but if you don’t interact with your followers, it will be a struggle to grow your account. Engaging with your audience can take a lot of forms, but here are 2 easy ways to do it.
A. Comment on other posts
By commenting on other people’s content, you’ll take advantage of someone else’s audience. Head over to similar accounts and converse on their posts. Make sure your comments are insightful and helpful.
B. Participate in groups
Facebook has tons of groups (some public, others invite-only) created around countless topics. Join other groups (as your brand page). Post your content and reply to others. Be genuine, helpful, and add value.
A hashtag is a word or phrase that combines content around a certain topic (example: #ChicagoEarlyLearning). Users who are interested in certain content can click the hashtag or search for it to see all posts that include that hashtag.
A. They expand your influence outside of your current audience. Users do not have to be your followers already to see your posts with hashtags.
B. It’s a high targeted method of reaching new people. You know someone is interested in early education when they’ve searched for “#EarlyChildhoodLearning.”
Stick to one or two hashtags per post on Twitter. Use up to 30 on Instagram, but add a few return lines after your caption so that they don’t clutter or take away from the actual post.
One of the most important rules for growing a social media account is a consistent posting schedule. Your audience will grow to expect your content. A recommended amount of posts is 2-3 times a week.
If something worked well on social media, post it again! Just do it in new ways. See example below about sharing an education article:
Video is the most engaging content type on every social media platform. So, it's always a good idea to create at least some form of video content to maximize engagement on your page.
Lots of views can lead to increased reach, engagement, and exposure for your organization.
Change your Page profile photos and cover photos - Your profile photos and banners will be some of your most-viewed content. Use these tools to showcase all of your great work and the stories of those who benefit from your services.
On Facebook, consider changing your cover photo at least once per month and profile photo at minimum once every 6 months.
Add links to your social media accounts in the header or footer of your website.
Follow relevant accounts. When you follow others, they are notified of the new follower. This gives them an opportunity to discover your account. Even if they don’t follow you back, your feed will be populated with their content, which may be worth sharing to your followers or finding similar activities to implement at your school.
Add links to your social media accounts in your email signature.
Not sure what to post? Here’s a strategy template:
Awareness - Shares, more Followers
Text post, “apply now”, Flyers that can be easily shared
Conversation - Comments, likes, @Mentions
Photos of children learning or doing a fun activity
Sentiment - Comments, Shares
Testimonials from current or previous families
Facebook Cover Photo: 820px by 360px
Tip: The facebook cover photo is a great place to advertise upcoming events, feature team members, or even promote open enrollment.
Tip: Facebook cover photo mistakes to avoid:
1) Having too much text. However, your cover photo should actually be an image that’s able to speak for itself. (ex: photo of classroom, teacher/student, etc).
2) Not adding branding. When possible, always adding branding, like a simple logo, to your image can make a big difference with having families and your community remember who you are.
Facebook Event Cover Photo: 1920px by 1080px
Instagram Post: 1920px by 1080px
VERTICAL: 1080px by 1920px
HORIZONTAL: 1080px by 1080px
1) Do your best to use high quality photos. Use natural lighting for clearer photos with more vibrant colors.
2) Post the types of content your audience wants to see. What motivates them? What do they love? Once you know this, you will be able to create quality content around what they like to see.
3) Create a balance between promotional and inspirational posts. People go on Instagram to see images that make them feel something (ex: photos of their children, of the school, of their favorite teachers). Rather than making every Instagram post an ad for your organization, find ways to include images that inspire your audience and encourage them to start a conversation.
Instagram Story: 1080px X 1920px
1) Make sure your photos and videos are vertical.
2) Instagram stories can be fun and lighthearted. Offer your community of followers a genuine glimpse into your everyday life, or go behind-the-scenes at your organization's latest event.
Twitter Header: 1263px by 421px
Your social media bio is your audience’s first impression of you and your organization.
To make sure you cover your bases, we’ve created the following easy-to-use templates so you can create your own social media bios for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
To use this template: Fill in the blanks of the bio template that suits your needs. Then, copy and paste it to the appropriate social media profile.