Why do you need a social media manager (SMM)? Don't you already have enough staff at the school? Why do you need to add to that? What's the point of Facebook, Twitter, and all that anyway? These are all fair questions, so let me answer them for you.
- Why do you need a SMM?
Why do you hire someone with a background in history for your History classes? Why a native Spanish speaker for your Spanish classes? Because they are the experts. Social Media Managers exist because they understand the trends of social media, and what that means for your organization (and in this case, your school). They didn't become experts overnight, and they definitely don't stay experts by doing nothing about their continuous learning. Social media, like so many other Internet and technology-based phenomena, grow at an exponential rate. Having a social media manager means you are not paying them to be good at their job, they already have to be good at their job in order to do their job for you.
- Don't you already have enough staff at the school?
In this 21st century world, it's actually quite difficult to say: who is in charge of social media at school? Is it the marketing department? Is it IT? Is it both? Schools don't traditionally have to keep up with new and upcoming marketing trends. Kids need to go to schools, so you go where the parents and kids go to market your school. Thing is, social media is so much more than marketing: it's engagement with the kids, the parents, the entire school community. Who is in charge of that? The principal? The admin staff? This is why a SMM can be useful. The smart SMM knows to harness the power of everyone, without making them work extra long hours to do so. The SMM knows that all aspects of the school should be represented, and how often to post, when. And the absolute best part of a SMM? You don't need to hire them full time. Yes, there are organizations and businesses that need full time staff to handle their social media, but not so in the case of the school. That means one less full time staffer (think employment benefits, budget, etc), one more desk space free in the office, and still the benefit of having a well-rounded social media strategy that is consistently representing your school.
- What's the point of Facebook, Twitter, etc?
According to the Pew Research Centre, today, 95% of America's teens (12-17) are online, and the Washington Post tells us that they are on social media for up to nine hours a day. Seeing as they are at school for nine hours a day, too, it's not so far-fetched as to say that they are on social media when they are also at school. Irony, coming full-circle, means that while they are at school, they are not connecting with the school. Being on social media can change that! Besides, social media is where people nowadays go to find out information first. If it's a typhoon day, snow day, or if there is a big announcement to make, being visible on social media means you are willing to connect and engage with your school on their level.
- It'll only interfere with the core academic message of the school.
Academia is slowly starting to embrace the use of social media. Classes in schools create private Facebook groups to share information and get updates from the teacher. Skype classrooms are on trend and other forms of social media can provide a wealth of resources for students and teachers alike. If social media is starting to play a role in academia, it's important for a school, as a whole entity, to start playing a role in social media too. The core academic message of the school can actually be enhanced and highlighted through the use of social media... SMMs won't share cat videos on a loop, promise :). Instead, they'll be able to harness the power of the school and also that of the Internet to share with the community. By doing so, the digital footprint of the school is firmly established and that alone is invaluable e-marketing of the school!
There are many more benefits of using a SMM to enhance your school's digital profile. The opportunities are endless: in college recruitment, in communicating with parents, in directing queries to the right department... if you want to know more, we'll happily set up a chat session. Contact us!