Education is one of the key pillars of a sustainable future. It shapes children of today into the citizens of tomorrow by inculcating knowledge and societal traits into their minds in the best possible way. Parents today are very particular about the schools they choose for their kids. More than the investment they must make in terms of fees and other expenses, their focus is to give the best to their kids. Just as in any other sector, the internet is a primary source through which parents search about schools and get to know about them before deciding to make the move for admissions. Additionally, qualified teachers lookout for schools with better reviews as their potential employers.
As such maintaining an online reputation has a direct impact on the enrollment numbers, the quality of teaching staff that can be hired, and the prospects of growth for the school. However, it is not an easy task as most schools do not have the resources or know-how on how to get ahead in their online presence. But it is not an impossible task as well.
Here are a few tips to help schools manage and succeed with their online reputation:
Have a web presence
The first step in building a positive online reputation is to ensure the authentic presence of your school in the entire web landscape where parents search for information and reviews. You can begin with an SEO-optimized website, set up listings on popular review and check‑in sites like Google, Yelp, etc., and ensure information to contact the school authorities is clearly available in as few steps as possible for parents. Your website too can have a review section that allows parents to review the performance of the school and these reviews can impact decisions of future admissions.
Be active on social media
With nearly 55% of the global population active in some form of social media, it is an avenue a school cannot miss out on creating a presence. Maintain official pages of the school on popular social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. It is the best place to identify sentiments about the school and one of the first areas to focus on while making announcements or responding to reviews and public comments about the school.
Engage with content
Be it your website or your social media channels, schools need to have a defined content calendar where they continuously update their web presence with new content. It could be in the form of blogs, informative news announcements, discussions on socially relevant topics where schools can take a lead in bringing about change, and much more. By constantly creating a buzz, a school can enjoy a steady stream of traffic to their websites as well as social media channels, and ultimately this traffic can translate into newer admissions in the future.
Have a response framework
Online reviews and comments on social media have the potential to wreak havoc on the reputation of any organization and schools are no different. Delays in responding to sentiments or failure to pro-actively put out statements on relevant topics of interest can result in severe backlash. To prevent this, schools need to have a responsive framework that holds a set of pre-written communication templates that they can pick and deploy as a response to online engagements. It could be a response to a comment on social media or a negative or positive review on Google Listings, an announcement for crisis management in times like the COVID 19 pandemic, and so on.
Creating a solid online reputation is important for schools to ensure sustained growth for their future. It may not be possible to have this entire activity managed in-house. This is when specialized agencies can help create the best online reputation for your school across all channels.
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