18 ideas for your school’s social media command center

A Private School Social Media Command Center for Your Next Open House

As you ramp up your organized admission/marketing events such as an Open House or Preview Night, you need to be thinking smart about social media.  You need your very own social media command center.

As a Duct Tape Marketing consultant (learn why I believe Duct Tape Marketing is the best marketing system for any private school), we focus on strategically thinking about social media, not just treating it as an isolated island.   Enjoying an integrated marketing approach for your private school will not only help you see better results, you’ll have the confidence of a long-term, strategic social media effort as opposed to a “fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants” way of doing things.   Some of you know what I’m talking about.  Let’s do social media better!

John Jantsch, the founder of Duct Tape Marketing, recently posted 18 elements of a strong social media command center.  Have fun looking at this list and thinking about how you could implement one or more of them during your marketing season.  You will need to put your innovation hat on and think “outside the box” as you adapt the suggestions to your admission event, but I suspect you will walk away with some game changing ideas that sets you apart from competing schools.

READHow to Create a Social Media Command Center by John Jantsch

School Marketing Retention Idea: Saying Thank You!

Private School Marketing - Retention - Thank You NoteIn an upcoming episode on our private school marketing podcast, we are talking about retention and the efforts it takes to cultivate “loyal ambassadors.”

Today, I read 2 articles to encourage your school retention efforts:

  1. What can we do to encourage our families to re-enroll early? (by Rick Newberry of Enrollment Catalyst)
  2. Increasing Student Retention – The Power of “Thank You” (Hyatt Bolden of The Ratner School in Pepper Pike, OH)

The article by Bolden reinforces how simple efforts play such an important role in cultivating an environment where families return year after year (loyal) and they talk enthusiastically about your school to their friends as if they were on staff with the school’s marketing department (ambassadors)!

To learn more about retention ideas, download the free ebook, “3 Rs of School Marketing” at the bottom of our website.  It’s FREE!


3 Rs of School Marketing – Referrals (Pt 3 of 3)

Private schools thrive by referrals!

NOTE: If you missed any of the posts in this 3-part series, click here.

In the final post of this 3-part series, we look at some ideas and realities of referral and word-of-mouth marketing! As we discussed in part 2 of this series on private school retention strategies, I want to remind you of the term “LOYAL AMBASSADORS.”

Loyalty speaks of the extent to which your families are not just re-enrolling out of a lackluster attitude of “aw shucks, I guess we’ll stay put.” This lukewarmness will never produce a quality referral. Loyalty is retaining families who would do whatever it takes to have the opportunity to continue another year. And they are not swayed by another school’s tuition rate or even extra-curricular offering. Fierce allegiance is earned and is intentionally cultivated.

In the same way, ambassadors speak with boldness and clarity. Just as the United States Ambassador to Benin speaks on behalf of the President, your school will struggle or thrive based on how many ambassadors you nurture. (By the way, read a little more about why I lived in this French-speaking West African nation.) From a biblical standpoint, 2 Corinthians 5 speaks to believers as being “ambassadors” as though God were “making his appeal through us.” Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the one who appoints them and they represents the interests to those to whom they are sent. Does your school’s leadership “appoint” your families as ambassadors? Do you place expectations on families to “make appeals” to their friends? Probably one of the sins (am I sounding preachy?) committed by any school is the omission of asking for referrals . . . better yet, asking your families to make them for you!

There’s an old adage in business marketing: the referred lead is easier to close and costs less to obtain. In lieu of spending thousands and thousands of dollars strictly on advertising only to generate a few clicks, an ambassador’s referral optimizes the leverage of their friendship to validate the lead. In other words, you are going to listen to and trust suggestions from your friends more than you’ll believe bullet points from a slick brochure. And when I ask schools, most of the time, they admit that referrals are by far the best source of new students. So why are you still having trouble filling seats year after year?

3 of the most common reasons why referrals are not made: (more…)

3 Rs of School Marketing – Retention (Pt 2 of 3)

Retention Marketing:  Keeping Families Coming Back for More to Your Private School

NOTEIf you missed any of the posts in this 3-part series, click here.

In the 2nd of this 3-part series, I begin focusing on how your school can transform your retention efforts!  In addition, we will explore in this 3rd post of this series how your referral strategy works together with your retention strategy to cultivate “LOYAL AMBASSADORS.”

The first word of that phrase reminds us all that loyalty helps ensure retention!  This is a common consideration in small businesses, but something often overlooked in private schools.  As one school administrator told me once, “when we retain even one family, it is our best fund raiser.”  So if your school’s financial solvency rests on the keeping your ideal families coming back year-after-year, then what are you doing to intentional cultivate loyalty?

First of all, in the first part of this series, we focused on recruiting the idea family (unless you know what makes someone an ideal family, you’ll be fighting your own efforts at retention).   Cultivating loyalty is made much easier when your ideal family is matched with your school’s excellent performance.  When an ideal family finds a suitable solution to the academic, spiritual or moral challenges facing them, they are more likely to stay year after year.   If at any time, this family feels taken advantage of, or taken for granted, their eyes may be lured elsewhere.

Here are 7 tips on ensuring your ideal families sign on year after year for your private school: (more…)