Marketing Montessori: Compelling Content Creation Concepts to Boost Engagement on Social Media
Social media plays a vital role in school marketing plans, but it can be a time suck, particularly for those wearing many hats.
Too often, those responsible for a school’s social media presence find themselves grasping at straws for what to post. It can be daunting to make in-the-moment decisions while generating meaningful content that authentically engages your audience.
Relying on primarily evergreen content (images and text that are continually relevant and do not grow stale with time) is a strategy that allows social media managers to plan ahead and work strategically.
Programs such as Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts ahead of time. As a result, they are a worthwhile investment, particularly for schools where social media is managed by someone who has multiple responsibilities during the school day.
Developing a social media plan based on evergreen content allows schools to build a foundation of pre-scheduled content. Select one or two themes to present a focused and recognizable campaign. This content can be completed in bulk and pre-loaded, removing the “on-the-fly” pain points of maintaining an active social media presence.
Once a solid foundation is established, time-sensitive and one-off content (think parent-teacher conference reminders and yearbook order deadlines) can be dropped into your calendar on an as-needed basis.
Keep reading for eight compelling themes for evergreen content that will boost engagement on your school’s social media platforms.
Social media takeovers come in various forms and are a fun opportunity to share unique voices within the school community. Think of them as “day in the life” features.
Managing takeovers requires care and upfront planning. Your approach will depend on your unique school community and access to resources. Some successful strategies include:
- Develop a brief handout that details guidelines for the program. What kind of posts are you looking for? Do you want them to use specific hashtags? Are there restrictions on what they can or can not share?
- Create an illusion of posting in real-time, but build in buffers. Have your guest poster submit photos and captions to you directly. You can then schedule these to post at a future date automatically. This strategy allows you to preview content before it goes live.
- Be incredibly diligent in the beginning. Work closely with your first takeover partners to ensure that they’re modeling the program you envision. After a few rounds, once you’ve led with strong examples, most individuals interested in participating in a takeover understand what you’re looking to achieve.
Takeover themes can include:
- Student Takeovers: think #FollowTheChildFriday
- Alumni Takeovers
- Faculty and Staff Takeovers
Using social media to explain the Montessori Method is an engaging way to educate families about the philosophy in small, easily digestible pieces of information. It’s also an opportunity to position your school as an expert in Montessori pedagogy.
Capture a single beautiful photo of a material or a child working with the material and craft a clear yet concise caption that explains how the material supports the child’s construction of knowledge. Be mindful of Montessori terms that may need to be defined for your audience.
Maria Montessori Quotes
It’s a classic for a reason. Consider taking the concept beyond simply quoting Maria Montessori and add a personal reflection or a reflection question to the caption. Asking your readers to respond or react to the quote in the comments is an excellent way to drive engagement and interaction.
Showcase Student Work
Photograph completed student work, students actively working, or a student’s work in progress. Intersperse these posts throughout your social media calendar. It is a simple yet effective way to round out your content.
Show Your Sense of Humor
Depending on your school’s brand voice, humor may or may not have a place, but opportunities to laugh and have fun with social media trends is a great way to get followers not just consuming your content but actively participating. Consider the following opportunities as a starting point.
Nothing beats the joy that comes with photographing young and eager students during their school day. Those of us who spend a lot of time taking pictures of children in action often end up with some hilarious outtakes. Select a silly photo and post it with a call to action: Come up with a clever caption of this photo by posting in the comments, and we’ll share some of our favorites!
Every classroom teacher has their favorite quotes from students over the years. Preserving these nuggets on social media can be a funny but also joyful experience.
Periodically poll your faculty and staff, asking them for books they’ve recently read that they especially enjoyed and current podcasts they’re savoring. Share these examples with your online community. Not only are you modeling lifelong learning, but you’re also sharing resources for parent education.
Have you identified a unique way to engage families and prospective families via social media? We’re looking to connect with schools for a follow-up article. If interested, contact email@example.com.
About the Author
Kira Hinkle (she/her) is a Montessori educator turned freelance writer. She is AMS credentialed (Elementary I). Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.