Have you encountered the myth that summer is the slow time of the year for private schools?
If your school hosts a summer camp program, there continues to be a flurry of activity on campus. Classroom whiteboards display geometry formulas, soccer balls are on the athletic field and tye dyed t-shirts are drying on the railings.
If there is not a summer program, things may seem quiet. Only a handful of cars are in the parking lot and a passerby might think that nothing is happening in the building. However, if you are a school administrator, you know that summer checklists are long and this is the season in which you set your school year up for success.
Does your school marketing take a break in the summer? May it never be so!
In fact, some of the best word of mouth marketing happens when moms and dads are chatting at the community pool, when they run into each other in grocery store aisles, and when families meet up at the library, farmer’s market and other places around town.
Here are 5 things that you can do today to energize your school admissions program's word of mouth marketing strategy:
1) Audit School Review ProfilesAccording to Brightlocal, eight percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Does your school have an active profile on sites such as Private School Review and Great Schools? Take a few moments to create or update these profiles with current information and photos.
2) Gather Quotes
You will build trust when you give prospective parents insights to how other parents or students are being impacted at your school. Call a few enthusiastic parents or alumni and ask them for a quote about their family’s experience at the school. Use these quotes on the school website or as you create print assets such as brochures and rack cards.
3) Shoot Video
Similarly, build a collection of video testimonials from parents and students. Shoot quick video testimonials on your cell phone when a family drops off paperwork or is picking up their child from summer camp. Plan out a few questions to ask that will lead to interesting answers from your subjects.
4) Gather Facebook Reviews
Facebook offers star ratings to reviewers. One of the influencers Facebook’s algorithm considers when deciding how frequently to show your school’s organic post in a user’s newsfeed is star ratings. Beyond using star ratings, ask a few parents to write a review on your school’s Facebook page. You might want to give them some examples of reviews that others have written for inspiration.
3) Release Breaking NewsDo you have exciting news to share with your school community? Perhaps a new teacher has been hired or tablets were purchased for science classes? Send an email with details and photos to your word of mouth team and ask them to share the news with their networks.
It’s important to take a proactive approach when it comes to word of mouth marketing. Don’t just sit back this summer and assume parents are talking, writing reviews and sharing positive stories about your school in the community. Map out a plan and enlist the help of some enthusiastic parents and staff members to help you spread the word.