November 30, 2023
In December, some private schools consider taking a break from their social media posting strategy. But even though people are busy with travel, hosting families, and holiday activities, there is plenty of downtime. And many people spend some of that time online, visiting social media to stay connected.
Even though your students aren't in session during the holidays, your school’s social media marketing for private schools should stay active.
We talked to two leaders in private school education who have thought much about this topic—Penny Abrahams, ISM Senior Consultant, and Clint Losch, Outsourced School Solutions Head of Digital Marketing, to find out what they recommend.
What should my school be posting during the holiday break?
"Many schools get stuck in the mode of posting what's happening now or this week. And if nothing is happening, or school is not in session, they think they don't need to post," Losch said. "This is the perfect time to schedule 'evergreen posts.' Create messages about your mission or school that have nothing to do with what's happening."
"Schools must take advantage of timeless, evergreen content related to school, mission, program, features, and benefits. This type of content is great to fill in during the slow times—even normally during the week," Losch added. "Evergreen content might include spotlighting alumni, highlighting one of your programs, or new technology."
"If your school has a faith-based mission, share content around that and maybe holiday traditions," Abrahams said. "Ask faculty to share their family traditions; this would make a great blog post in addition to social content."
For example, if you ask 10 faculty members to share a quick video clip, you have a post for nearly every day of the holiday break.
"You don't always have to post new content," Abrahams said. "Look back and see what performed well and reshare it. And you don't even have to tell them 'In case you missed it,’ because of the way social media algorithms work, chances are they didn't see it the first time you posted it."
Other social media content ideas to consider include:
- Faculty engagement: Have your STEM teacher share cool holiday gifts to consider for those who are interested in STEM. "This translates well into video or hard copy form with a photo," Abrahams explained.
- Testimonials: Share a link to review sites like Niche.com and ask your readers to leave a positive review. "This is especially effective during the holidays because people have more downtime," Abrahams said.
- User-generated content: Ask people to photograph themselves wearing school gear during their holiday travels, post it on their personal account and tag your school, then your school can reshare their post.
- Year in review: Post the top 10 popular stories from your social media or publications and do a recap. "Many private schools have students participate in service activities—share a recap highlighting how the school has impacted the broader community this year," Abrahams said.
As for how many social media posts to schedule, Abrahams and Losch agreed to aim to schedule at least one post per day. "However, some is better than none, so don’t get too caught up in the frequency. Always focus on quality over quantity," Abrahams said.
Should I monitor my school's social media during the holidays?
"Whether you’re regularly posting or not during the holidays, make sure several people monitor your social feeds.
"Create a shared document that includes all the administrative passwords to your social media accounts, and share the document with a few people across departments," Abrahams said. "That way, if you're on vacation or busy and something goes awry, someone can log in and fix it. This is good practice during the holidays but also year-round."
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What type of social media content should I create for my school?
"A mix of content is good—different people have different preferences," Abrahams said. "Ideally, you're looking at your analytics and making decisions based on that. However, if you don't have the time, aim for balance."
"If we were having this conversation a year ago, I'd say video, video, video, and do more video," Losch said. "In the past, algorithms used to prioritize videos, but that has since changed. You can post images, and they won't be penalized in the algorithm. But if you aren't creating any video content, I do recommend mixing up your feed with some short-form videos."
What tools should I be using to schedule my social media?
"All the tools available are going to be similar to a degree," Losch said. "Try them out and see if they have the functionality you're looking for—some platforms do a better job with videos than others—so it's a matter of what works for your school."
Scheduling tools to consider:
If you're still wondering what to post to your social media accounts during the holidays, check out a recent webinar Losch hosted titled The 'Evergreen' Social Media Framework. Losch offers valuable insight for digital marketing for private schools.