Dennis Nelson

Teacher & Education writer

I’m a change agent looking to build capacity through empowering schools. Today’s generation deserves the right to follow their passions and let curiosity take them to new heights. My passion? Create structures to help schools question the status quo and invite students to find their voice.

Dennis Nelson

Teacher & Education writer

How to combine Word of Mouth with Facebook to increase enrollment9 min read

Word of mouth marketing is an effective tool. It helps drive new families to your school, build your brand of college preparation, and expand enrollment.

How can you predictably engage these tools in a community of over 2 billion people?

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Apply timeless techniques in Facebook’s online community to raise awareness and boost enrollment.

Schools should be using the “word of mouth” technique daily to take advantage of Facebook’s immense community reach. Follow our tips, and we’ll help build your school’s enrollment in the most inexpensive and effective ways.

Shout it out: Word of mouth as a marketing strategy.

Let’s take stock of what we already know: word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing techniques out there. After all, 9 out of 10 18-34 year-olds seek recommendations from friends and family before making a big purchase.  

That’s a Return of Investment you can’t ignore.

Conclusion? Word of mouth is an effective marketing technique used to build your brand, create trust, and develop long-term value. You’re already incorporating it in some way.

But you know this; you’ve seen it in your school:

             

A family, invested in their child’s education, tells another family about the  opportunities, activities, and even college preparation provided by your school. Suddenly you have a new prospective family waiting for a tour.

 

Are your efforts reaching as many people as possible? You work tirelessly to “get the word out” and wait for new student applications. And the explosion in enrollment never arrives. Are you left empty handed and disappointed?

How much can you rely on this predictably working?

 

What if there were a way to use word of mouth marketing techniques in an online marketplace which has over 2 billion customers ?

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Our first step would be to apply what you already know about marketing techniques to Facebook’s online community space.

Step two ?
Multiplying your visibility by creating new ways for your families to spread the word

Step three ?
Hello, exponential enrollment!

 

Why Facebook?

Simply put, there are few channels that can currently reach over a billion people worldwide. When looking for a community with such a wide scope, no other social media tool comes close.

 

Remove the doubt of word of mouth marketing predictability by using Facebook’s tools.

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Stay in control with predictable, reliable, and valid structures.

Here’s how:

Facebook’s structure aligns perfectly with the 3 E’s of social marketing:

  • Engage – Engage a wide audience by creating a trustworthy and reliable brand, one that is dedicated to college preparation and character development.

     

Your marketing reach extends far beyond the city block when you choose to engage with an audience outside of your geographic vicinity. This is your chance to showcase your brand of future-focused academics.

 

  • Enable – Prospective families and interested learners will want the chance to spread the word about your school. Enabling them with our tools and strategies will help to turn anonymous content into a reliable recommendation. 

     

  • Evaluate – Facebook allows users to test marketing campaigns in real time. You have immediate feedback at your fingertips that you can use to shift, pivot, expand, or adapt.

     

This is feedback your school can apply to expand in exponential ways.

You’ve already engaged, so let’s start at the Enabling phase.

5 ways to apply Word of Mouth Marketing Techniques on Facebook.
 
 

1. Incentivize what parents already do.

Most likely, you have parents sharing content online through Facebook posts and events. Tap into this resource even further by incentivizing their “advertising”. 


When parents share an image, a link to an upcoming event, or even a blog post written by a teacher, let them know you saw their contribution. Comment underneath their post to acknowledge their contribution and make it visible for their network and yours.

Then provide tangible incentives for their participation:

Incentives at the student level: Homework Passes, Dress Down Day Coupons, or even tickets to the school’s football game on Friday night.

Incentives at the parent level: Gift card raffles, public (or private) recognition, Twitter “Shout outs!”

Offer rewards to families who share the content within their digital communities. This content, like School Newsletters or Board Meeting Notes, helps to build your school’s brand. 

2. Create Facebook Messenger Groups

Families want the chance to get the word out about your school, but may not know how. Using Facebook’s built-in Messenger app, they can reach out to new families and prospective students.

Set up a wide variety of Messenger groups and encourage families to invite their friends. These groups can be for all sorts of reasons:

  • Frequently asked questions
  • Academic support
  • School volunteering opportunities
  • Event organization and preparation
  • Athletic event participation

Families spread the word about your school’s dedication to student success. New families want more information.

Your school wins.

3. 10x referrals through Facebook group pages

Group pages are an essential tool for building word of mouth marketing techniques through Facebook. Schools usually control the content and encourage posting materials which show off your best side.

But what else can they do?

Facebook group pages can build immense visibility. Put families in charge of controlling the content, like pictures, posts, and event reminders. You automatically encourage the multiplier effect of communication.

Families love sharing pictures and memories from school events. Smiling faces encourage smiling faces. Build word of mouth marketing through posting memories made with the school community.

 

4. Use Facebook events to spread the word.

There are dozens of event invite applications and calendar reminder hacks out there. These can spread families in too many directions. They often ignore the most important recommendation of any public invitation:

Bring friends.

Allow guests to invite friends to school events like Curriculum Nights and Open Houses through Facebook. This spreads your message at a massive scale. Plus, it’s cheaper and more effective than paper fliers.

Facebook events are streamlined and consistent. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3:

1. Create an event page for your Open House.

2. Incentivize and encourage families to invite members of their network.

3. Spread your value via word of mouth

5. Post school reviews on your Facebook page

It’s difficult to get and use authentic feedback. If you’re looking for some creative strategies, check out our blog post on ways administrators can actively listen to their school’s families.

But what’s the next step? How can you capitalize on these rave reviews?

Let the parents share all the reasons why your school is the top choice.

Use your school’s public Facebook page as a landing space for parent and student reviews. Invite families to review your school by creating an event entitled

“Show us your love: Explain how we add value to your life in one sentence.”

 

 

Wrap it all up

These kinds of actions make word of mouth marketing and individual recommendations predictable. Follow our guidelines, and invigorate your marketing techniques with hope.

And reliability.

Then use this word of mouth marketing to build your school’s brand and expand enrollment.

The possibilities are endless.