Schools and educational organizations are starting to realize that even though they are doing great work, they need to get that message out to their parents, communities, members, and constituents. “Branding and Buzz” is one of the “Supporting but Necessary” components of the Lead4Change Model, and encourages schools and organizations to state their case for the work they are doing, communicate with their community and beyond, tell their story, and present their evidence.
It’s really Marketing 101 for schools. Educators have rarely been in a position where we have had to do this in the past, and doing this kind of work is really new (read: foreign) to us. But today’s economy is hurting schools and education organizations. Schools have to fight for every dollar, and defend every innovative practice (forget the fact that there hasn’t been a time that needs good educational innovation more than now!). And strategic marketing is part of working smarter, not harder.
So where can a school or education organization start with Branding and Buzz?
Yes. Facebook and Twitter and blogging.
These aren’t just time wasters our students use when they should be paying attention in class (that’s a whole other blog post…). These are vital marketing tools. IBM has had a white paper out for over a decade on how they need to be hiring new employees with social media skills, so they can leverage those skills for their jobs (and part of my argument for why we need to be having students and teachers actively using social media in school, rather than banning it – but that’s also another blog post…). I’m not saying we all need to get ready to work for big corporations. I’m saying that the business world (read: employers, one of our major customers in education – or said differently, we’d like all our students to eventually get jobs) sees the value (necessity) of social media to their survival. For example, take a look at this.
But it isn’t enough to simply have a blog and Facebook and twitter accounts, or to post to each occasionally. We need to use them the right way.
And where are we supposed to learn how to do that? (We don’t all have access to social media wizards to help us out… Well, maybe we do…)
But for the rest of us, a great place to start is the Social Media Examiner Blog (consider subscribing to their RSS feed, so you won’t miss any of their articles).
Just look at this sampling of articles:
- 8 Small Business Social Media Tips From The Pros
- 10 Ways Non-Profits Can Benefit From Social Media
- 26 Tips For Writing Great Blog Posts
- How to Develop a Successful Multi-Author Blog
- 17 Twitter Marketing Tips From the Pros
- 9 Facebook Marketing Strategies to Build Super Fans
- 9 Facebook Marketing Success Stories You Should Model
Don’t you think that these would be helpful in developing your school’s or organization’s Branding and Buzz strategy!?
Of course, the hard part is taking what you learn here and applying it…
It’s Your Turn:
What your your best strategies for using social media to get your word out?