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So you are ready to jump into social media to boost your enrollment. Or maybe you already have a social media account that you use, but would like to step it up. Increasing your engagement and reach with current and future students is a way to boost your enrollment.
Before we get into some of the ideas listed here, I want you to think about what is best for you and your program. Increasing your enrollment and marketing for your program should be enjoyable and not something else you have to do. These ideas are meant to get you excited, not overwhelm you. Episodes 3 and 17 give ideas that can be done without managing your social media accounts if that is currently where you are in regards to social media.
With CTE month right around the corner, I’m going to share some ways that you can boost your enrollment for your career and technical education program using your social media account to fill your schedule with the classes you truly want to teach.
In this episode, Khristen discusses:
- Post to social media consistently throughout the month
- Set a goal to use stories every day on Instagram and/or Facebook
- Do a giveaway to boost enrollment
Post Consistently to Social Media Throughout the Month
You’ve heard this one, right? Consistency is everything when it comes to social media and the algorithm. In Episode 15: Are You Tired of Not Knowing What to Post on Social Media? discusses the ideas of content categories like student spotlights, quotes, and course highlights.
I want to challenge you for the next month to post once a school-day for the entire month! What? How in the world are you going to do that? It’s going to be with schedulers. Using templates with schedulers make planning and posting a breeze. Get the 5 customizable social media templates here. As a bonus, there are caption prompts to also help you know what to write.
There are set-it-and-forget-it schedulers and reminder schedulers. (There is probably some actual technical name, but those are the two I use to remember.)
Sidenote: the schedulers I will talk about here have desktop versions so you don’t have to do everything on your phone.
When I was a kid, I LOVED infomercials! To the point that for Christmas I would ask for As Seen on TV items. My favorite inventor and infomercial salesman was Ron Popeil who used “set-it-and-forget-it” to gain audience participation when he was selling a rotisserie (which I sadly never got).
Ron Popeil would show the audience that he could put all the ingredients into the rotisserie, set the time, and just leave it alone and let it cook to perfection.
That’s what these types of schedulers do. It takes some time on the front to get all your photos and captions ready, but then you pick a date and a time and your posts will go out. Currently, I like using Creator Studio as I can have it post to Facebook and Instagram in one shot.
The other scheduler type is a reminder scheduler like Planoly. It too can be used as a set-it-and-forget-it scheduler, but it doesn’t have to be.
You can plan out your posts, but also, you have a grid that you can rearrange your posts. As long as you don’t set a predetermined time to post when planning, you can move around the images so that your grid is more visually appealing–if you care.
The other advantage of using Planoly is that you can schedule a post, but instead of the app posting automatically, it will send you a reminder. You then open the app, copy the caption, and post yourself on the social media platform. This helps with the algorithm because it doesn’t appear that you are using a third-party app to post.
Plus, since you just posted yourself, you can hang out for 10-15 minutes and engage with any of your followers who comment on your post. This drives the algorithm as well.
Set A Goal to Use Social Media “Stories” Every Day on Instagram and/or Facebook
Have you realized there are two types of social-media consumers? The scrollers and the tappers. Not know what I mean? I’ll explain.
Scrollers (once again not a technical term) are those social media users who like to scroll through their feed.
Tappers (I’m on a roll today) are those users who prefer to go to the top of the screen and tap through all the quick stories.
Most of our students are tappers. And if you’re not also posting to your stories, they may not be seeing your posts.
Stories play their part in the algorithm and can also have engagement through polls, questions, and slide bars (all of which students love). They can also direct people to your posts because you can link your posts into your stories themselves to draw attention.
If you feel like you’re ready, try to post a story every day in order to boost enrollment.
Here are some ideas to get you started: video clip explaining your program, video giving a tour of your classroom/shop, a link to one of your posts, a student testimonial, project insight, virtual field trip, etc.
In the “bonus” step of Episode 14: Spotlight Students on Social Media in 3 Easy Steps, I mention using student-created videos in stories. Check out that post for more.
Do a Giveaway to Boost Enrollment (or at Least Engagement)
Who doesn’t love a good giveaway? I enter giveaways all the time, even though I cannot recall a time that I’ve ever won. It’s the thrill of the possibility that keeps me entering time and time again.
Businesses (and influencers) on social media use giveaways to get more followers. While we’re not quite in the same boat because we are targeting a specific follower–a potential student to our program that lives in our community–you’re current followers and students will enjoy playing along.
On Instagram, people typically get an entry based on “liking a post,” “following the profile,” and “tagging” another person. All of these tactics will boost engagement on that particular post. To make your life easier, the giveaway should be based on one post, not scattered throughout your feed.
Here are some things to think about when planning a giveaway. First, you’ll need to set some rules. Can any student at your school enter or just your current students? Can your former students enter?
What will an entry look like? Do they get an entry for each person that they tag? Do they need to only tag people in the community? Potential students? Depending on the time you want to take, you may make these suggestions, but you may not want to sift through all the entries to validate them.
Next, you’ll need to set some dates. When will you post the giveaway information? When will your giveaway end? What are you planning to do to announce the giveaway? During your giveaway, you’ll want to add reminders on stories that continue to direct people back to the original post so they can enter.
Once your giveaway has concluded, you’ll need to figure out who the winner is. I just Googled “select a giveaway winner” and there were several websites that came up with suggestions. You can always go old-school and pull up the post on a desktop and print–yes I said print, like on paper–the comments and cut them apart and randomly pick one.
Make this fun and exciting and be sure to record the process so you can post it on a story as well. One of my husband Jared’s former students did a giveaway where he cut up all the entries and then used a grinder to blow them all away until one remained. What could you do with the equipment in your classroom or lab?
Finally, giving the prize away is another great time to take a photo or video for you to post.
Depending on how/if you limited your entrants, you may need to request a direct message of an address. I know I talk about not using the DM’s, but in this case, you can always receive a DM and not respond.
So what are you waiting for? Get started boosting your enrollment or at least increasing your engagement on social media by posting consistently, using stories, and having a giveaway. Come hang out with me on Instagram and let me know what you have tried and how it worked!
- 5 FREE Customizable Social Media Templates
- Have You Been Wondering How to Utilize Social Media to Recruit Without Having to Do All the Work?
- 3 Things to Easily Promote Your Program This Year
- Are You Tired of Not Knowing What to Post on Social Media?
- Spotlight Students on Social Media in 3 Easy Steps
- On Your Prep Podcast Community
- Follow me on Instagram