Instagram for Schools Best Practices to Engage Students
When Instagram was first launched a decade back, it was just an online social network for sharing photos with other friends (with some cool filters that create the illusion of being like professional photographers). The wildly popular online platform for social networking has become a significant component of schools’ strategies for social media to reach parents of the generation Millennials and Generation Z pupils alike.
Instagram has been through hundreds of modifications, algorithm changes, and algorithm updates. You can now purchase Instagram followers. Many of these are inspired by Facebook following the purchase of the social network. Although these modifications have changed Instagram from a simple photo-sharing site to a marketing and advertising giant, however, the platform still relies on focusing on uploading high-quality photos and videos to keep followers, which is a method that is vital for schools in the present.
Before you start Before You Begin: Key Terms to Understand
Corporate Profiles: Instagram was built based on personal profiles; however, it has grown (like Facebook) to offer only to companies and other organizations, including schools. Suppose your school or district is currently based on a personal account. In that case, it is possible to convert it to an official Business Profile through Settings and by following the instructions provided on Instagram.
Explore Page When you’re using Instagram to aid in your efforts to prospect, The Explore Page should be part of your plan. The Explore Page (found by clicking on the magnifying glass icon on your application) Instagram’s algorithm suggests videos, photos, Reels, and IGTV content in response to the content that users are actively engaged with. Your hashtag use plays a part in whether and when — your content is displayed on the user’s Explore page.
Stories: These short posts permit you to post live posts all day. Stories are accessible on the Explore page. It helps you connect with people who do not already follow you.
Highlights If you’ve caught some unforgettable moments on your Stories and would like to see them live on the school’s Instagram page for an even longer time, you should consider using Highlights. This feature lets you organize your stories in a single category and displays them right above the Instagram grid.
IGTV On Instagram, you can upload videos in long forms in the IGTV section. It is a great way to store videos that are recorded live and video series and much more in your education. IGTV lets you organize your videos into collections similar to YouTube playlists which means that you can arrange long-form video content directly through the platform. Previews of your IGTV videos can be uploaded to your average Instagram profile too. When your school makes any IGTV videos, then clicking the IGTV button will be automatically included at the very top of the feed on Instagram of your school.
Reels are Instagram’s latest feature; Reels are making a big splash as a method to interact with your viewers. The short videos of around 15 seconds, usually with music or following themes, get an abundance of prominence on Instagram as it tries to challenge TikTok. Reels are easily located via Instagram’s Explore web page and their own space within Instagram’s Instagram app. If your institution has developed Reels, then it is possible to click the Reels button will be automatically placed on top of the school’s Instagram feed.
Anatomy of an Instagram Post that is Effective
Before you dive into the strategy you’re planning to implement, it may be beneficial to determine what a successful Instagram post looks like. Determining what “good” is can vary based on your specific goals; for instance, an Instagram post designed to reach out to families in your current situation is different than an admissions-oriented post. But there are some standard guidelines that each post should adhere to.
This example comes from the International School of Brussels (ISB) is a perfect example of how to tick all the boxes:
- This Image: Every image or video you post on Instagram should grab the viewer’s interest and convey a story. The ISB image is bright, shows the spirit of their school’s community, and showcases real students. Beware of blurry or dark photos on this social media platform driven by visuals. Remember that pictures are more likely to receive more engagement than images.
- Its caption must be in line with the content of the image or video. It should be casual in its tone and ideally provide your audience the chance to be involved, whether you post questions, invite the participation of a group or ask for a specific action. The caption for ISB describes the cause they are trying to help, inspires its members to get involved in the reason, and provides an opportunity to share pictures directly related to the issue. The tone is positive without becoming overly serious (note the Emoji! ). The tone is in keeping with the energy of the picture.
- The hashtags: While ISB does not utilize the suggested thirty hashtags (more details on that later), it does employ relevant and brand-name hashtags to increase its reach and boost brand recognition. They go the extra mile by establishing an official hashtag to promote this event, #ISBredout. It’s so they can collect users’ content during the event. I’m a big fan of ISB!
If you can recognize the benefits of an Instagram post, We can begin to explore the best strategy for you!
Create a Hashtag Strategy
Hashtags can be utilized to categorize and categorize the content. Numerous schools have integrated branded hashtags in their marketing and events to stimulate discussion and broaden the audience reach. Hashtags on Instagram are crucial in attracting new followers, growing your followers, and engaging the school community.
Which hashtags are considered to be appropriate?
Hashtags are a crucial element of an effective Instagram strategy. Posts with hashtags instead of those that do not have them see an average rise in engagement by as much as 12.6 percent. If you are a school considering using hashtags as a strategy for growth, it is recommended to use all the 30 hashtags that Instagram allows for a single post to include. This will increase the visibility of your post to as many potential new and existing followers as you can.
How do we create hashtags?
We’re aware that 30 hashtags may seem like an awful lot (I think creating 30 different words for the same post of a player in soccer isn’t exactly a good idea). Don’t be focused on how many hashtags you can use.
You can develop specific hashtags using:
- We can see the other accounts that are being used
- Type hashtags in the bar of the search; you can check similar searches and the volume
- The challenge is coming up with your school’s brand hashtags. It doesn’t need to be overly imaginative -for example, Covenant Day School is an example, utilizes the straightforward but highly effective”#CovenantDay” hashtag for their posts!
To raise awareness about your school’s hashtags To increase awareness about your school’s hashtags, you can:
- Include the hashtag within the content of your posts,
- Make the hashtag visually on the feed and
- You can run contests on your platform to get your followers to join the hashtag!
Capture the experiences
Your photos should show off your experience at school — both online and in person. Find out which photos best reflect your beliefs without needing many words to describe them. Video is particularly effective because Instagram (like Facebook) prioritizes videos over static posts. Content in favor of static posts.
Incorporate User-Generated Content
Instagram is a fantastic platform for sharing content created by your school’s student body. Suppose it conforms to the guidelines of your social media policies. In that case, you can ask users to post pictures, create an official hashtag or hold competitions to collect authentic content from your local community.
Tell Real Testimonials and Stories
Your school doesn’t just possess its own story; however, students and members of your school are also able to share their perspectives that influence the essence of what your school is all about. Instagram is a fantastic platform for showcasing the members of your school – from faculty and students to former students. This is because the Regis School of the Sacred Heart incorporates testimonials and quotes in its captions to highlight the school’s beliefs and let prospective families know the advantages of attending.
Include Stories and Reels into Your Weekly Strategy
Instagram is a platform that allows you to display what makes your school unique such as extracurricular activities, particular campus locations, and much more. Today, there are more ways to showcase your school’s uniqueness on Instagram than ever.
With the rise of Stories and the recent renaissance of Reels posting to what you consider your “normal” grid is becoming less critical for your everyday content.
In all, the recommended daily content for Instagram comprises:
- Three to two posts to feed your feed
- Two Reels and
- Five or more stories.