3 Major Private School Marketing Insights from 30 Social Media Audits in 3 Months

Consciously Networking

Over the past three months, we’ve conducted over 30 social media audits for private schools. This endeavor has been a labor of love, and it has shown several prevalent patterns highlighting significant opportunities that most schools are missing for stronger online visibility and engagement.


Before we dive into the insights, let’s understand what a Private School Social Media Audit entails. It’s a comprehensive analysis to assess the vibrancy and effectiveness of a school’s social media presence. Variables considered and scored include the completeness of profiles, posting frequency, content quality, and strategic networking. These are scrutinized to pinpoint areas of strength and opportunities for improvement.

In this article, we present 3 of the most standout insights:

Insight #1: Consciously Networking


A notable gap in private schools’ social media strategies is the need for more strategic networking and, specifically, in properly tagging influential accounts. While many schools excel in sharing daily happenings and achievements, they often need to pay more attention to the power of actively engaging with larger, influential accounts and communities. Of the 43 reviews, not one school got full points in this category. The average score was 45%.

Many schools focus on sharing daily activities on campus, student and staff highlights, or general school news on social media without realizing the importance of engaging in strategic networking. While the quality of your content is still paramount in determining how your audience will respond, networking creates pathways to other communities, significantly increasing the distribution of your content and, therefore, the size of your community.


Schools should consciously engage in proper networking through tagging, mentioning, and collaborating with key influencers and partners, such as local businesses, media outlets, and other educational institutions. This approach can significantly widen their reach and foster beneficial relationships.


For the privacy of the schools we’ve audited, we will use concept examples from higher education. Here is an excellent collaborative networking post between Yale and Harvard.

Consciously Networking

Harvard shows many strong examples of networking that are appropriately done by each channel with proper tagging and mentions for increased connection support. As you can see by their high engagement numbers, networking increases their results. Even the photographer is often tagged:

Chart Visualization

For planning, you can use a daisy chart visualization to draw your school as the center circle and create the categories of connections to your school, such as radio stations, local magazines or newspapers, sports teams, restaurants, local celebrities, and charities to populate with specific ideas. You can also do a similar concept where you map the topics you post about and look for thought leaders to cite their work and mention them to inspire appropriate conversations. The goal is to increase your engagement and, ultimately, your content distribution.

Private School Audit Response:

“Thanks again for a thorough review… it gave us some great starting points for improvement.” – Communications Professional, Texas-Based Christian School

Insight #2: Unique Content for Each Social Media Channel


Schools tend to repurpose the same content across different platforms without considering each platform’s unique audience and format. This strategy can diminish the impact of their messages. Only one of the 43 reviews conducted got a full score on unique channel content. It’s not a binary approach; it is scored from 0% to 100%. The average score in this category was 63%.


With great understanding and empathy, it’s understood that social media can be time-consuming for private school professionals who are already wearing too many hats! So, it can be hard enough to produce exciting posts regularly, especially for multiple channels. So it is beyond tempting to “copy and paste” or “repost” or even check the box of your publishing software to push the same content from one platform to another. This means that you’re not posing unique content to each problem. There are several problems with this practice. First, every channel is different and has subtleties from formatting to whether it allows links or not in the captions! So, when the same content is posted from one channel to another, it’s usually at the sacrifice of look, feel, and performance on the other channels you’re posting to. Since you’re reading this, you probably have a favorite social media channel: Facebook, LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram, etc.. When you see, for example, an Instagram or YouTube video randomly posted and awkwardly formatted on your Facebook feed, it feels off. It is a lesser experience than content properly formatted for the platform. Also, posting the same content on multiple platforms disincentives people from checking out your other platforms because they won’t see any new content there. You can easily imagine parents going from one platform to another to see different photos or videos of their children – you should be providing a similar, uniquely rewarding experience to your audience.


Tailor content specifically for each platform to harness its full potential. For instance, leverage Instagram for visual storytelling and LinkedIn for professional updates and networking. Customized content resonates better and strengthens community engagement.

Insight #3: Features and Trends: Staying Current


Private schools often miss out on leveraging the latest social media features and trends, such as Instagram Stories and TikTok-style videos. This oversight can lead to missed opportunities to engage with a broader audience. Of the 43 reviews, only one school got full points in this category. The Trends category average score was 71%.

This category extends beyond just understanding the latest technical features—it involves regularly conducting research to stay abreast of popular content types and trending features. While keeping up with these trends might seem daunting, especially for busy private schools that often lack dedicated social media experts, it makes the content creation process more fun and efficient. The research serves as training and provides more reference points for creating great content and achieving better results.


Update social media strategies regularly to incorporate current trends and features. Embracing new content formats like Stories, Reels, and video carousels can enhance visibility and engagement. Many fantastic resources exist to research the latest trends, including Social Media Examiner, Social Media Today, and MarketingProfs. You can search actively or absorb passively through their frequent newsletters and other content.

Final Thoughts

The audits reveal a common theme: there’s a vast scope for private schools to amplify their online presence through thoughtful social media strategies. Schools can significantly enhance their engagement and community size by focusing on networking, creating platform-specific content, and staying abreast of digital trends.

For schools looking to elevate their digital marketing efforts, consider these insights a starting point for strategic enhancements. Remember, adapting to the digital landscape is not just about keeping up; it’s about connecting more meaningfully with your community and showcasing the unique value of your educational environment.

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