9 Strategies to Reach Educators with Social Media
According to an analysis done by Edsurge, $1.85 billion of education funding was raised in 2015. So it’s no surprise to learn that there are hundreds of education technology companies trying to get their product in front of educators.
While many traditional approaches such as attending conferences, and sending mailers to schools are still popular, a survey done by the University of Phoenix College of Education states that 80 % of K-12 teachers use social media for personal or professional reasons.
Here are some steps to follow if you are looking for ways to reach educators using social media.
Which media works best?
Start by finding out which social media channels you need to be active on in order to reach the right educators for your product. Research and find out which social media channels are actively used by educators and create accounts for your brand in those channels.
For example if you want to target K12 educators, you definitely should consider Twitter. But if your target is Higher Ed Professionals, LinkedIn might be a better choice for you.
Know your audience. Really well.
Don’t start marketing your product without knowing what you are selling and who your audience is. Social media is a two-way communication channel. You cannot merely keep publishing content about your product and expect your audience to come find you. You need to know who they are, where they hang out and the kind of content they love reading.
Update your profile
If your social media accounts are set up, then be sure that your bio, profile picture and a social media header are completed too. Changing your social media headers every few months to keep your page looking fresh and authentic.
Oh yeah, start posting!
Many, many (MANY!) companies make the mistake of neglecting their social media pages after creating accounts. If you’re short on time, consider using tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule posts for the week.
Find them and follow them
Like attracts like, so you need to get the ball rolling by following profiles that are similar to the audience you are trying to attract. This could mean teachers, district administrators, principals and education influencers. Do not follow everyone and anyone as this dilutes both your engagement and brand value. And definitely, do not buy followers in an attempt to make your company look bigger than it actually is.
Who are the Influencers?
As you follow people, you’ll find that some educators have larger followings of their own. We call these people influencers. Many educational and edtech influencers often have their own popular blogs or products. Use tools such as Followerwonk or Buzzsumo to find these influencers and consider sending a sample of your product for them to use with their students. Teachers love to share educational products that worked for them in their classrooms with other educators. This in turn, helps spread the word about your product to a much wider community of educators.
While posting try to keep in mind that content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. You therefore want to share content that is both relevant to your following and visually interesting enough for them to engage and share the same. So be consistent and try to use images, videos and gifs regularly.
It’s not just about you
Don’t make the content all about your product. A survey done by BuzzStream and Fractl states that 45% of 900 respondents said that they would unfollow a brand on social media because of too much self-promotion. In addition to other news and useful content, remember to share content created some of the educators who are following you, so that later they in turn may do you the same favor.
Sometimes you can do everything right and it’s still not enough. That’s when you need creative ideas to give your social feed that push it needs. These could be contests or discussions, webinars or giveaways. Sometimes it could just be that your brand needs to be seen participating in other related events online.
Being active on social media and engaging with your audience will definitely make it easier to share your educational product with educators.
So find out which social channel suits your need and start getting social!