Two weeks ago I was invited to give a 1 hour lecture about social media and e-mail marketing to a rather intimidating audience. The event, dubbed “Maximizing Online Technology to your School’s Advantage”, was organized by AHEAD, one of the leading academic and professional training companies in the country. The roles were reversed during this talk because I was actually giving the lecture to educators: school managers, principals, and teachers.
The talk revolved around best practices for digital marketing for schools. I started by sharing the latest statistics and then moved on to the different tools available and how to maximize them. Let me share with one of the major points in the presentation.
PH Schools Need Better Websites
Prior to the talk I visited the websites of several major universities and schools in the country. Suffice to say most of them badly need an upgrade. Most of the websites I checked fall into either of the following three categories:
- Outdated designs. Looks like they were made in early 2000 (Web 1.0-1.5).
- Uses Flash heavily. Not mobile friendly at all and it takes a while to load.
- Cluttered like there’s no tomorrow.
The website is the heart and soul of your digital campaign. Not only is it a powerful information dissemination tool, it’s also a platform where you can build the brand of your school. A sucky website probably means a sucky IT/Design program.
As a peg for a good school site, I shared with them the website of The University of South Dakota. It’s clean, easy-to-navigate, has a strong call-to-action, and has beautiful images. It’s also packed with a lot of important information for the school community.
After discussing best practices for websites we then jumped into a series of slides on driving traffic via the different tools available.
Here’s a nice video by the way that we found on Youtube showing a principal talking about what kind of content you should put up on your school website. You might want to wear earphones or headphones when you watch this though since the volume is quite low.
Social Media Education and Etiquette?
To end the talk I shared several disturbing statistics about social media and technology usage by today’s youth. I also challenged the audience to start thinking about including social media education and etiquette in their programs. Adults should stop surrendering their “expertise” and “authority” on technology and the internet to their children. They should always know better.
TNM would like to thank LESSM AHEAD for inviting us to speak at this event! It was definitely an enriching experience.