5 Steps To Promote Your School’s Open House Through Social Media
Date posted: October 19, 2012
Hosting an Open House is the perfect way for your school to gather alumni, and current and prospective students together to highlight and expose your school’s uniqueness. Here are 5 quick steps to efficiently promote your Open House online.
- Include your students in the event planning: You know HEM whole-heartedly recommends having a Student Ambassador team to help with your school’s marketing efforts. Student Ambassadors are especially handy for Open Houses as they belong to the same demographic as your prospects. In fact, their friends are exactly your target. So get them involved! Have them propose ideas (beyond food and goodies), that will encourage their peers to come to your Open House. Perhaps they will suggest holding contests or activities that would both be fun and representative of your school’s culture (more on that later).
- Create an ‘Events’ page on your school’s website: It is crucial that your school’s internal and external communities are aware of all of the events going on on campus. If they are not aware of what is happening, how can they get involved? A designated ‘Events’ page on your website will ensure that people are up to speed every step of the way. In order to make it easy for people to attend an event, be sure to include a ‘Register now’ or ‘RSVP’ link close to each event. Based partially on your Student Ambassadors’ ideas, create a nice visual (no stock photography!) for this page, and for each event. In the case of an Open House, create a poster that can be used on this webpage, various other online platforms, and around campus
- Reach your Facebook fans’ friends through a Facebook Event page: Promoting your event on Facebook is an easy way to reach out to your current followers and their respective communities. Once the Event is up, if your students like it, the event will be visible on their friends’ feed as well. You can enhance the natural promotion by opening comments to all on the Event page and adding the event banner to your school’s Facebook profile. For an extra boost of visibility, and to be able to control the students you wish to reach, create (paying) Facebook ads. You can also consider organizing a Facebook contest.
- Promote your event on all your social media accounts: Do not limit yourself to Facebook. Twitter is a great place to send reminders to your community, and LinkedIn could help you involve alumni for the big day. Reward people who help you share the information with the community. For instance, enter all people who retweet your announcement into a draw.
- Start promoting the event early:
Following the steps we just described, here is a week-by-week description of tasks to promote your event online:
- 5 weeks before the event:
- Gather your Student Ambassador Team to discuss the event.
- Leave the meeting with a clear agenda for that day.
- The exact goals to achieve through the Open House
- All of your school’s features (labs, residence hall, campus, etc. ) that you wish to expose visitors to during the Open House
- A detailed timeline of how the event will unfold
- All the means of promotion
- Craft key messages and keywords for the event that will be used for the poster and for the promotion throughout social media. Have a list of all the platforms and a clear schedule of messages to be shared. If you choose to have a contest, determine the terms and prizes and the platforms on which it will be promoted.
- Get your design team ready to work on a nice visual that can adapt to all platforms: an event page, a poster that you will be able to print and use on your event page, and a Facebook banner.
- Enlist students to be present at the Open House. Here is what BU does.
- 4 weeks before the event:
- Facebook: Create the Event page and change your school’s banner. Create your Facebook Ads campaigns.
- LinkedIn: Invite alumni to join you for your upcoming event
- Facebook and Twitter: Promote the Open House to your social media communities through regular reminders: Are you looking forward to our Open House on (date)? Come out and find out more about (topic of the Open House)!
- 3 weeks before the event:
- Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: Decide who is catering for the event: (name of the caterer) will be providing food and refreshments at (your school’s) Open House on (date).
- 2 weeks before the event:
- Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter: Update on special guests, contests, etc.: “Have you entered our (name of school) contest yet?”
- 1 week before the event:
- Facebook and Twitter: send a reminder 2 days before the event
- During the event:
- Reach out to people with live updates Post pictures of the event as it unfolds.
- Facebook and Twitter: “We are at (name of the school) Open House. Next person at the statue will get a free t-shirt!”
- After the event:
- Facebook and Twitter: Thanks to everyone who joined us for our Open House. Great fun was had. Pictures will be up soon on our Facebook page! Don’t forget to check them out and tag yourself!