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Suniti's Advice Corner

How to Use Social Media to Grow Your Educational Consulting Business

Posted by Michael Henry on Tue, Aug 08, 2017

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Are you an Educational Consultant trying to grow your business? If so, first of all, kudos on doing what you do! Through your work, you are helping several students reach their full potential in high school, college, and beyond. Secondly, as you probably already know, if you want to get your name out there and reach a broader base of customers, you need to meet your target audience where they are.

These days, you’re probably going to find most of your target audience online. More and more, kids and their parents are using the Internet to research colleges and to prep for the SAT and ACT. Therefore, it is highly effective to leverage social media to reach more people and grow your business. There are so many different features on the different social media platforms that you can use to make your content more interesting, fun and relatable to your audience.

In this post, we’ll first give you a rundown of the reasons you should be using social media. Then we’ll talk about which platforms you should use for which audiences and the features you should use to make the most of these platforms.

Can I really get business from Social Media?

Of course you can. We know from experience. For many of our students some sort of social media interaction impacted their decision to sign up. Here are 6 reasons we use social media and why so many use it to their advantage. 

  1. It’s (mostly) free.

The best things in life are free, right? On social media, you don’t have to spend excessive amounts of money on advertising. It is free to create an account or page and to post on any platform, and should you decide to use paid advertising to reach potential customers, you can spend as much or as little as you want depending on the number of people you are hoping to reach. On social media, just a little bit of money can expand your reach.

  1. It’s a great way to expand awareness of your services.

Once you start reaching the right people, your following will start to grow organically. With the right type of content, your followers will be inclined to share your posts among their networks, creating a ripple effect. On social media, you can reach many more people and get your name out there much faster compared to non-digital methods of advertising.

  1. There are so many built-in features to help you create more interesting content.

Whether it’s videos, photo albums, live streaming, or stories, social media platforms are filled with fun and innovative features that will help you capture your audience’s attention. You should take full advantage of these features and use analytics to determine which ones give you the most reach and engagement. Keep in mind that the newer features are likely to get the most engagement, since apps and websites like to promote them the most. We recommend always keeping variety in the type and content of your posts to keep your social channels fresh and more interesting.

  1. It’s an easy way to communicate.

Teens typically spend anywhere between 6 and 10 hours online a day. Social media seems to be their preferred method of communication today. If they have questions about anything school-related, they’re likely to quickly pull up your Facebook page and send you a message rather than call or email. Having a presence on social media allows for your audience to conveniently get in touch with you.

  1. It builds your credibility.

These days, every business and brand has a presence on social media. If you are not already on social media, you are doing yourself a disservice. Building your credibility is not only posting about your brand, but also by sharing information that is genuinely useful to your audience.

In the marketing world this is called “trust factor.” You need to show your audience that you are legitimate. To do this, be sure to post about news, testimonials, reviews, and company culture. There will be potential clients who look you up on social media to find trust factor. You want to make sure to look professional, knowledgeable and successful. Otherwise a poorly displayed business on social media can look a poorly ran business. Take a look at TestRocker's Facebook Page as an example. 

  1. It shows your personality.

Followers like to see the person behind the brand, and social media is a great way to do just that. Showing your personality through photos, videos, stories, and live streaming helps your audience build a connection with you, which will increase engagement and ultimately bring in more business.

Now that you’re convinced to get on social media to build your followership and your business, we’re going to discuss the most important social media platforms for reaching your target audiences, namely students and their parents.

We came up with 9 of the most important Social Media tips to grow your business. Download the list and be sure to follow each tip and watch your business grow!

Get Social Media Tips

Most Effective Social Media Platforms for Parents

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  1. Pinterest
Parents, especially mothers, often use Pinterest to exchange ideas about such topics as recipes, DIY around the house, and of course, their kids. Posting infographics  or downloadable resources is an effective method to garner social media attention and get more contacts.

Parents are influenced by social media just as much as a teenager would. According to WordStream 93% of Pinterest Users use the platform to plan or make purchases.

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As you can see here this Pinterest post from a Homeschooling mother has 22 pins. Those are 22 influenced parents who are showing their trust and want to show their followers the post. 

  1. Facebook

Facebook is the largest social media platform and you can find almost everyone on here. While kids are still on Facebook they have taken to and spend more time on other platforms, you will still find their parents on Facebook. On Facebook, you can boost posts so that they reach more people in your target demographic.

A cool feature to take advantage of is “Facebook Live,” where you can live stream your content. Facebook is all about their Facebook live feature because it's fairly new and gets great engagement. Good go to Facebook Live feeds are to do Q & A's, wacky challenges, hold a seminar or even showing the sights and sounds of a special event. 

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Other than these cool features Facebook can operate like Pinterest would. There are tons of impressionable parents on Facebook eager to help their student grow. 

  1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the place to be for professional networking, which is why you’ll find parents on here. In particular, LinkedIn Messaging has a high open rate because LinkedIn constantly reminds you to view a message until you’ve clicked on it or deleted it.

Most Effective Social Media Platforms for Students

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  1. Instagram

Today’s youth enjoy and engage with visual content more so than text based content, which is what makes Instagram so effective. According to New Survey, 76% of American teens are on Instagram. That's a huge opportunity. Followers want to see visually appealing things on Instagram. Aesthetic is everything.

It is important to get engagement with your content otherwise Instagram will give it a shorter shelf time to show to your followers. They want their users to have a good experience and showing content that doesn't perform well is not going to help. 

However, we understand your service isn't a visually tangible product. It's hard to create content around that. If you can supply a good mix of professional, fun, aesthetic and relevant content then skies the limit. 

Here are a few companies that also don't have the most visual products but still rock Instagram.

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  1. Snapchat

Today more than 75% of American teenagers use Snapchat. We’ve been finding that kid’s today are using this app for basic messaging, even more than texting and iMessaging in some cases. However, Snapchat can be a bit more complicated than a simple post and call to action.

For those of you who don’t have a good grasp on Snapchat, let me explain. The concept behind it is that you send a “snap” to a friend or a set of friends. A snap can be a picture or a video that can go for no longer than 10 seconds. After your friend views the snap it vanishes from their inbox forever. However, they can then reply with their own snap or text back. 

Live stories are also a fun feature to take advantage of. Stories are similar to a snap in that they are temporary. You can post a video or picture for your entire following to see and they can view it as many times as they want for 24 hours.

With those features aside, you can still privately direct message (DM) followers. This is where the value in Snapchat is for you. Again kids are starting to Snap and/or Gram as their preferred platform for communication. We have found that many students prefer communication on Snapchat or Instagram. Why wouldn’t you utilize that gateway to start a conversation?

" 'I enjoy the ability to directly send messages to others, and ‘streaks’ because they offer a good excuse to talk to people,' said Zena Meyer, a senior at Orange County School of the Arts, referring to a running count of how many consecutive days two users have chatted on the app. " - LA Times

" 'My friends and I usually start a conversation first with a photo, and then usually keep the conversation by texting through Snapchat,' said Simone Chu, a senior at Arcadia High School." - LA TImes

HubSpot taking advantage of their Snapchat account. 

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Follow us as we recently launched our account!

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  1. Twitter:

Not only is Twitter easy to use, it is incredible for getting information out in real time. It’s also easy to schedule posts in advance. When using Twitter, keep in mind that most tweets have a lifetime of 18 minutes according to WishPond, and possibly less if your followers are following lots of accounts. Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule your posts at times when you know your audience will be online and to re-tweet important posts to increase your audience’s chances of seeing them.

  1. WhatsApp:

In our increasingly globalized world, youth and adults alike are using WhatsApp to connect with their friends in different countries. WhatsApp is the worlds leading messaging app around the world. It's similar to iMessage where it does not rack up fees because it is a web based platform. Therefore, it is perfect for professional communication, international communication and even just basic communication if you prefer. For us as educational professionals it opens up a window of opportunity by making communication easier and cost efficient with our international students. 

We came up with 9 of the most important Social Media tips to grow your business. Download the list and be sure to follow each tip and watch your business grow!

Get Social Media Tips

 For More Ways to Grow your Educational Consulting Business - See Part 1

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Tags: For Students, International Students, For Counselors, sat, act

About Suniti

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Suniti is the creator of TestRocker, an online learning platform that helps you unlock your dream SAT and ACT scores. TestRocker is based on Suniti’s highly successful and proven method of teaching students how to maximize their SAT and ACT scores, a method she has perfected through tutoring thousands of students globally for more than a decade. 

TestRocker is a one of a kind online SAT/ACT program that empowers students to take control of their test preparation. After taking our diagnostic test a customized study plan, individualized to students' strengths/weaknesses, allows them to track progress as they work through the program. Each of the 1,200 SAT & 2000 ACT questions on TestRocker are accompanied by video explanations from Suniti. Parents are able to track their child’s progress through biweekly reports.

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