In spring 2018, Shareable Schools were approached by the marketing team at Felsted School to help develop a plan to manage and enhance their social media activity. In the process, they wanted us to help drive more visitors to relevant pages of the website, promote the school as the independent school of choice in the area, promote events and increase the footfall of parents to Open Mornings.

The school was already a strong performer on social media, outclassing the local competition in terms of the variety of content they were posting about. The marketing team is incredibly active with lots of campaigns, events and projects. As a result, and with lots going on at the time, the team needed some help to focus and refine that volume of content across channels and to take some of the pressure off by helping with daily posting.

The Importance of Felsted’s Brand

Shareable Schools was fortunate to have some experience of working with Felsted on other areas of their business and so had some knowledge of their wider marketing goals.

However, before starting to work on the social strategy and planning in earnest, we re-reviewed the Felsted brand book and did an audit of what was working well and what could be improved further. It was important to try to ensure continuity in the tone of voice of content where it was already working well but to optimise content to make sure each piece was as visually appealing as possible. We also looked at the data for other schools in the area to see what was and wasn’t working well for them and how we could stand out from the crowd to showcase Felsted as the school of choice in the area.

The brand book helped us to consider how we would approach the planning for content suggestions as it helped us look at Felsted’s brand values, current hashtag strategy and assets and include them in our thinking. Further discussion around Felsted’s brand helped us identify other key information about the school such as partnerships with other organisations, messages around the school’s successes and accreditations and awards gained. Each of these areas provided an opportunity for further content creation.

Although Felsted only has one Facebook page, it has over 50 busy interdepartmental Twitter accounts as well as Instagram and LinkedIn pages, so getting a handle on these to ensure oversight and avoidance of repetition was also crucial. As with most schools, each social channel targets a slightly different demographic and so it was important for our team to become familiar with all of this information before starting planning.

Carving Out a Content Plan

Shareable Schools worked with Felsted’s marketing team to create a list of topic areas and imagery that should be promoted on social media for both prep and senior schools. These had to be considered separately because parents or prospective parents of children in each part of the school had different priorities and areas of interest, for example, careers and exams information was more relevant to those in the senior school that news of Forest School or after-school care, which might be more relevant to more junior pupils. We then created a plan for how to integrate a variety of posts across all channels that incorporated topics relevant to all audiences regularly.

Our team developed ideas and content to match the planned topic areas but also took into account what was going on at the school, what might work for different channels, forthcoming events, annual events both within the school and nationally, educational news and other items of interest to the key audiences. Once ideas had been recorded, these were approved or refined in principle in a weekly meeting or discussion with the team and then we created the content itself. Our Shareable software enabled the team at Felsted to quickly review posts, suggest amends, change photos or videos or make other suggestions, as required. This way, the content could be planned and tailored across channels in advance so that everyone on both teams knew what was being sent out and when.

Each month, an analysis of posts was run to see which type of content was most popular and this information was used to inform future content and other marketing collateral. It also helped us consider possible new hashtags to use to link into events and topics of the day with the wider community and reinforce the brand further.

Contributing to Wider Marketing Activity

As with any successful school marketing department, many marketing activities run concurrently, and our input had to work well with and be useful to that team. Ongoing advertising campaigns and forthcoming Open Mornings meant that we could work with Felsted’s team to create an integrated Facebook Advertising campaign to complement the work they were already doing in other areas.

It was not only important to create mini-campaigns within the content we were creating across channels that resonated well but also gave those marketing initiatives an additional push using specific campaign keywords and identified themes. This ensured consistent messaging over time. On occasion, different campaigns overlapped so it was important to plan out which one was a priority. Our team also fed into school marketing activities, where appropriate, such as when the school used a questionnaire to gain parental feedback.

Felsted was also taking part in various international recruitment fairs overseas. Our team researched the demographics for each country, how language use differed between different countries as well as expectations and values to create appropriate content for a series of Facebook Advertising campaigns to promote these events.

We carried out A/B testing and targeted demographic profiling to ensure these campaigns were as successful as they could be.

Positive Impact and Outcomes

Felsted School reported that they were very happy with the work we did for them, seeing an increase in footfall to Open Days at school, recruitment events overseas as well as increased engagement across channels and to the website. Once the methodology for content creation was well underway, the marketing team at Felsted felt confident to continue to build on this work in-house and now use our bespoke software daily to manage their content across channels themselves.

“Shareable has provided us with a platform to unite all the social channels we currently use. They take the lead in supporting us with our social media management, providing excellent support through its constant evolution, holding our hands so we can keep ahead of the curve.”

Sophy Walker

Felsted School