Marketing Your Language Classes with Social Media

Sunday, November 29, 2020 Blog post author: Lauren Lauren
Marketing Your Language Classes with Social Media

How and why to use social media to help grow your language teaching practice

To Tweet or not to Tweet?

If you have been running your language school or teaching practice for a while now, you have maybe spent a lot of your career relying on more traditional marketing practices to grow your language school such as billboards, posters, radio ads, Google ads, and word of mouth. While many of these may still be working well for your school, if you haven't considered using social media platforms to market your school, you really should.

Maybe your school has been growing steadily, but you're ready for a big boost in student registration. Maybe your enrolment has taken a slight dip and you are ready to drive up those student registrations again. Either way, let's look at some of the ways social media can help your school grow.

To get you started on your journey into the wild world of marketing your language school on social media, we'll take a look at the following topics:

  • Do I really need social media for my language classes?
  • Which channels do you need?
  • What kind of content do you need to create?
  • How often do you need to post?
  • Extra tips

Do you really need social media for your language classes?

In a word, yes.

In the modern world, online and social presence is more and more considered a measurement of pertinence and an unofficial "background check." Of course you've already built an amazing website for your language school which should be the ultimate source of truth and information for your potential customers, but social media is a sort of necessary addendum. Think of it like the footnotes to an academic article. The article (your school website) is the home to the most pertinent, developed, and in-depth content, but the footnotes (your social accounts) provide a kind of evidence or secondary sourcing for your claims.

Beyond this "footnote" idea, your social media accounts can also be used to generate new leads and draw in new students. If you take the time and develop some good strategies, your social media channels can be doing some very inexpensive marketing for your while you are busy teaching or running your language school.

Which social media channels do you need?

TikTok? Twitter? Instagram? Facebook? Snapchat? Wait ten minutes and there will be another option to add to this list! Social media is ever-evolving - just think of how quickly TikTok has gone from lesser known to top of the headlines over the past few years. Don't be overwhelmed. Your goal is to market your language school, not to became an influencer. You do not need to have every single kind of platform. We recommend choosing a few essentials that you are comfortable with and which will help you to best promote your language classes and school.

If you want to stick to the very minimum, we recommend Instagram. Why? Well, because instagram is fairly manageable, has permanent content (so people can refer back to a history of your content), has messenging services, and allows you to create connections with your target audience. Facebook also provides similar services and one advantage is you can connect your Instagram and your Facebook accounts so that if you post to one, the publication will automatically be posted to the other. Some people argue Facebook is declining in popularity, and while that may be true, make sure you take a little time to research what is popular in your area and with your target demographic.

If you have an employee or coworker at your language school who is comfortable with some of the other platforms and looking to try some things out, why not?! Again, the important thing is not becoming a viral sensation (that is a different approach altogether), the important thing is creating a presence for your school. Remember, your language teaching practice or your language centre is a business, so you don't need to behave the same way that an individual does on social media. You aren't looking for just any followers, you are looking for language learners.

What kind of content do you need to create?

This is the part where you get to get a bit creative. However, there are a few key rules of thumb: 1) Quality images 2) Consistency 3) Relevence.

  1. Quality images: Sounds obvious, and yet some people still upload images with tiny text that is impossible to read or pictures of their teaching staff that look like they were taken during a power outage. Remember, most people are looking at this kind of content on their phones so it needs to be readable on a small screen. If you are posting grammar tips for language learners, think about fonts and colours which are gentle on the eyes. If you are introducing your staff members, remember that you want them to look inviting and kind (which means well-lit and in-focus!)
  2. Consistency in content: Before you start posting, think about what kind of content you want to post. For example, posting language tips and lessons to help students discover you is a great idea, but give yourself some themes and guidelines. If you are starting a new beginner class soon, maybe spend 8 weeks posting content targeting beginners. You don't have to limit yourself to one thing, but you want to think about someone who arrives on your profile and what will keep them there. If a potential student is drawn to your language school Instagram account because of a funny meme about French pronunciation, but then all of the other posts are about German classes, there is nothing more for that potential French learner to do on your page. Your colour, image, and font choices should also be consistent so your account reflects a harmonious brand.
  3. Relevance: If you just want numbers, go for bikinis and memes. But you don't just want numbers, you want an engaged audience of potential students who trust and respect your institution. You are trying to sell them language lessons, so think about who you are targeting. What is the native language of the students you are hoping to enroll? What is the (are the) target language(s) you are looking to teach? How old are your potential students? Are you targeting students directly or parents? Let all of these considerations help you to create content for your social media that is functional for your school.

How often do you need to post?

If you are using social media to market your language school, you need to make sure that above all you are consistent. If you only post once every three months, visitors to your page during the no-post months may think your school is no longer active.

Some people believe in posting every day to grow as quickly as possible. For many people, this is a bit unreasonable unless you can hire someone to manage your social media or unless you are a language teacher who wants social media to be a bigger part of their practice.

We recommend picking a target (say 1-3 times a week) and creating a schedule. Post at the same time and on the same days every week where possible. Don't forget to leave yourself time to respond to activity on your page. This means you should dedicate a little time to respond to any comments, check out your new followers, and respond to any messages.

Extra tips to get your language school growing on social media

  • Get to know the competition. Look at the accounts for other language schools. What is working? What isn't what do you like? What makes you roll your eyes?
  • What makes you special? When you were building your website or branding your school or language teaching practice, you took the time to think about what sets you apart. Is it your pedagogical approach, your course offerings, special resources, mission statement? Whatever it is, make sure it is all over your social media accounts.
  • Make a map to your school registration. Your social media needs to drive people to register for your classes or sign up for your language lessons or tutoring. This means you need to set up your accounts so that everything always leads back to the point of purchase. Link to your website or your language school marketplace postings in your Instagram bio or your Facebook About page.
  • Be a follower. Don't forget social media is a network. This means you can't just create an account and expect webs to build around you. You need to reach out as well. Hashtags will help new visitors discover your page, but mutual engagement is very important too. This means following other pages with related topics, pages where your audience is likely to be, and commenting on other people's posts as well.

If you are looking to grow your school, you are maybe thinking about how to streamline some of the administrative end so you can spend more time growing your language school and finding new students. One great way to free up some time for strategizing and planning is by adopting language school management software. Language school management software can help take care of tasks like billing, class registration, receiving payments, assigning students to language classes, and distributing information to your team of language teachers. If you are managing your own teaching business, it can also be a good way to free up more time for teaching! Follow this link if you are interested in learning more about school management sofware designed specifically for language schools or contact us and we'd be happy to chat all things language schools!



Blog post author: Lauren
Lauren
Lauren Clinton is an English language instructor, PR consultant, translator, and editor based in Montreal. She has lived, learned, and played music all around Canada and beyond.

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