Seven ways to create incredible ELT social media content
English Language teaching (ELT) social media content is hard work, but very rewarding.
Those of you regularly creating social media content for English language learners will know just how engaged and enthusiastic they can be.
In the ELT world social media is a powerful way to connect with all of your audiences – whether they are business English students, general English students or young learners and their parents.
But keeping up a steady stream of engaging ELT social media content is hard work. And if you don’t have a dedicated social media manager, it’s easy for social media marketing to drift to the bottom of your priority list.
Digital marketing for educational institutions: why it’s important
Social media marketing is worth the effort. Right now, competition is fierce amongst language schools. After the spring lockdown and the subsequent loss of revenue, schools are scrambling to get students back into the classroom.
And there are some additional barriers facing language schools right now. People might be reluctant to sign up for classes, as they involve sharing an indoor space with strangers. As you’re probably aware, there was a boom in online teaching during lockdown, so there’s more competition than ever before. And in an uncertain economic climate, you’ll need to work harder to persuade language students to part with their cash.
With this in mind, a robust digital marketing strategy for your school is more important than ever. Compelling social media marketing helps you stand out from the competition. And it’s a relatively economical way to get your voice out there.
A ELT social media marketing strategy for your language school
The first step when it comes to your language school’s social media marketing is to define your strategy.
- Who are you targeting?
If you teach business English, you’ll be targeting professionals. If you’re teaching kids’ classes, you’ll be targeting parents. On the other hand, if your school offers a mix of classes, it’s worth developing distinct buyer personas, as their needs will be different.
- What do they need?
Obviously your target audience will depend on the type of classes your language school offers. Once you’ve figured out who you are targeting, it’s time to think about why they need your classes. An insight into your clients’ needs will inform the kind of content you share.
- What message do you have for them?
Finally, what message do you have for your audience? You’re trying to show that you are a great language school that will answer all their language-learning needs. So how can you convey this? Share fun, teachable moments, use your social media to create a community of learners, and give students an insight into what your language school is like – and why they should study with you.
Photo by ROBIN WORRALL on Unsplash
Seven ways to create content for your social media channels
Now you know who you’re targeting, and what you want your social media messaging to communicate. The content you share needs to be consistent, relevant, engaging, fun and professional – all the things that your language classes should be.
That means it’s time to find some inspiration! Here are our expert tips on creating content for your school’s social media channels:
- Ask your teachers for ideas
To create content that’s of value to language learners, call on the experts – your language teachers! Ask them about their most popular resources or activities – is there a way you can repurpose them for social media? Short puzzles, grammar quiz questions and interesting language facts are all good candidates for social media posts. If students are engaging with the material in a classroom, there’s a good chance they’ll find it engaging online.
- Run social media competitions
This is a fun way of involving your current students. Ask them to share a photo of their class, or an answer from their homework, or their favourite thing about learning English at your school. The prize can be something small, like a textbook or a dictionary – the important thing is getting them engaged with your social media presence. Just remember to follow the terms and conditions of the social media platform and have clear rules stated on your website.
- Keep your finger on the pulse
Timely and relevant content is useful for learners. Current affairs are a good source of inspiration. Use whatever is going on – locally, nationally or internationally if you think it might interest learners. But unless it’s part of your curriculum, mission or brand identity, it’s always best to err on the side of caution. For example, if it’s an election year in your country, share political idioms, rather than political opinions!
- Use Canva for images
When you’re sharing quiz questions or vocabulary, it will look much sharper to create an image, rather than just typing a status update. You can use a basic Canva account for free. If you create and reuse a template, the time that you’ll invest will be minimal for a much more professional result.
- Adapt your content to the social channel
You don’t have to come up with a different post for Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. Instead, think about the ways you can tweak one post, depending on where you’re sharing it. An Instagram post will be more visual. A Facebook post can be more text-heavy. A tweet has to be short and sweet…you get the idea.
- Get your camera out
Social media offers you a great opportunity to give potential students an insight into what it’s like to study at your school. Share photographs and videos of classroom moments. Show group activities, snap your teachers in action, take photos of day to day moments around the school. It’s a great way of adding warmth and authenticity to your social media presence.
- Don’t be afraid to sell
It’s good to apply the rule of thirds in social media. You want roughly ⅓ of your posts to offer something of value to your clients, such as language posts. Then, ⅓ of your posts should share resources or articles from other members of the community (but not your direct competitors, obviously!) This leaves the final ⅓ which promote your school. So don’t be afraid to sell! Tell your audience about offers you’re doing, or courses that you’re starting. If you’re sharing lots of other useful content, they won’t be put off.
For more insights into ELT marketing, have a look at our blog, where you’ll find useful articles on creating a content calendar, current educational trends, and using Linkedin for ELT among other topics. You can also download our ebook How to get the best results from your content marketing.
And if you’d like more advice on your social media marketing strategy, get in touch – we’re always happy to help.