Social media platforms continue to evolve and the competition for attention increases, simply posting promotional notices, inconsistent photos, and boring “what it is” write-ups, is no longer enough.
To truly stand out and engage prospective families, schools must focus on purpose, authenticity, and sustainable storytelling in their social media strategies. By doing so, they can ensure that their content is not only seen but also resonates with their target audience and builds a strong, lasting connection with their school community.
As someone who values both the power of storytelling and the importance of sustainability, sustainable storytelling is a crucial aspect of our modern world and refers to the practice of telling stories that not only entertain and educate but also support sustainable values and positive and responsible behaviours, to the benefit of both people and planet.
Purpose vs Passion
When crafting social media strategies, it's important to understand the difference between purpose and passion, and how they can impact your approach.
Purpose refers to the reason behind your social media presence and is typically tied to business objectives, such as increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Your social media strategy should align with your purpose, and every action you take on social media should be geared toward achieving your goals.
Passion, on the other hand, refers to the enthusiasm and excitement you have for the content you create and share on social media. It's the driving force behind your creativity and the fuel for your engagement with your audience. Passion is what makes your content authentic and relatable, and it helps you build a loyal following.
While both purpose and passion are important when crafting social media strategies, the purpose should take priority. Your social media strategy should be based on your business objectives and should be designed to achieve specific outcomes. Passion can be a powerful tool for achieving your purpose and will naturally resonate with your audience. So, while your purpose should guide your social media strategy, infuse your content with your passion and personality.
As you navigate the world of social media, it's important to remember that even the social media platforms of educational institutions have the power to influence. With every post, you have the ability to shape opinions, inspire action, and create change. It is insufficient to merely post for the sake of posting. You must carefully consider the messages you want to convey to your audience and the effect you want to have on them.
Defining your "why" for social media establishes the foundation of your strategy. Your "why" encompasses the purpose and goals you want to achieve, and it helps you focus on what you want and how you plan to accomplish it.
Without a clear "why," it's easy to lose focus and get sidetracked by irrelevant metrics like the number of followers or likes. But with a defined "why," you can measure the success of your social media strategy based on how well it aligns with your goals.
Authenticity is crucial for educational institutions' social media presence. Social media users can quickly detect insincerity, which can harm the institution's reputation.
Sharing stories is one important way for educational institutions to showcase their real-life experiences and authenticity to their audience. By sharing stories in real-time, organisations can provide a glimpse into their everyday operations and offer a more personal connection to their followers. Social media stories offer a unique opportunity to capture candid moments and showcase the behind-the-scenes aspects of a school or university, which helps build trust and credibility with the audience. Through social media, institutions can share their authentic experiences, which can help humanise their brand and lead to increased engagement and loyalty.
The role of a social media manager requires dedication, consistency, and a requirement to be “in amongst it” living what you are writing about. Only then can you create captivating content that is accurate, observational, and descriptive and paint a vivid picture for your readers
How Educational Institutions Can Leverage Sustainable Storytelling
In today's world, sustainability is a pressing concern for educational institutions worldwide. With increasing awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment, educational institutions have a responsibility to take a sustainable approach to their operations. One effective way for educational institutions to promote sustainability is through the use of sustainable storytelling on social media platforms.
Sustainable storytelling is a form of communication that aims to promote sustainability through the use of stories. It is an approach that has gained popularity recently as the need for sustainable living has incresed. Sustainable storytelling focuses on telling stories that are inspiring, informative, and educational, with the goal of promoting sustainability and encouraging people to take action.
Educational institutions can leverage sustainable storytelling to create a consistent narrative across their social media platforms.
The first step for educational institutions is to identify their sustainability story. This involves identifying the areas where they are making a positive impact on the environment. By using storytelling techniques, high-quality images, videos, and graphics that are visually appealing, institutions will capture the attention of an audience, promote sustainability, and encourage people to engage.
There are many benefits that educational institutions can gain from leveraging sustainable storytelling on their social media platforms. Sustainable storytelling can help educational institutions to raise awareness of their sustainability efforts and promote their achievements. This can help to build a positive reputation for the institution and attract new students and staff who are passionate about sustainability. Sustainable storytelling can improve engagement with the institution's social media platforms. This is largely due to storytelling being a powerful tool that can help to connect with the audience on an emotional level. By sharing stories that resonate with their audience, educational institutions can encourage engagement and create a sense of community around sustainability.
Stronger relationships between educational institutions and their stakeholders will be created through a shared understanding and a sense of trust between the institution and its stakeholders. By sharing stories that showcase the institution's sustainability efforts, educational institutions can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and build stronger relationships with their stakeholders.
In conclusion, sustainable storytelling is an effective way for educational institutions to promote sustainability and create a consistent narrative across their social media platforms. By identifying their sustainability story, creating engaging content, using social media platforms, and collaborating with other organisations, educational institutions can leverage sustainable storytelling to raise awareness, improve engagement, and build stronger relationships with their stakeholders.
As the world continues to grapple with the challenges of climate change and sustainability, educational institutions play a critical role.
Author: Hannah Hall, Head of Marketing & Communications for Dubai's leading school of ecology, The Arbor School Dubai
Hannah Hall is a recognised pioneer in school social media enhancement and a marketing and events expert within education. Winner of the 2023 Stevie Awards MENA for Social Media Manager of the Year, Hannah's creative marketing strategies and passion for storytelling engage audiences in active, authentic, non-intrusive conversations, resulting in increased brand loyalty and customer retention.