Jul 032014
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By: Deborah Fishman

The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is designed to help schools integrate social media into efforts in areas such as recruitment, alumni outreach and fundraising. Created in partnership with Darim Online, the program is in a third national cohort comprised of 15 schools. The Academy includes skill-building webinars, one-on-one coaching, peer support and action-oriented projects in social media, social fundraising and social media policy development, for which matching funds of up to $10,000 are granted.

In a series on the Darim Online blog, a staff member from participating schools in the 2013-2014 cohort are sharing about their social media projects and the lessons learned. Some of these takeaways include:

  • Strategically plan out what posts will be featured on social media and when – then judge by the metrics which are most successful (Solomon Schechter Day School of Greater Chicago – read post here).
  • Develop an internal “compass” in your social media work – this entails finding your authentic voice and an organized strategy (Cohen Hillel Academy – read post here).
  • Enlist your teachers as ambassadors who can spread the word and advocate for your school (Leo Baeck Day School – read post here).
  • Target your efforts to the population you are seeking to reach (Ida Crown Jewish Academy – read post here).

The following post is from the Golda Och Academy in West Orange, New Jersey. It is cross-posted at the Darim Online blog.

Experimenting with Facebook’s Boosted Posts
By: Carly W., Marketing Associate at Golda Och Academy

Our participation in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy inspired our Marketing Department at Golda Och Academy to tweak our social media strategy and one of the most exciting trials was our experimentation with boosted posts on Facebook. Prior to this experiment, our Golda Och Academy Facebook page was popular among current parents, students, faculty, and alumni, however, we wanted the opportunity to bring new eyes not only to our Facebook page, but to our website and brand through social media. With the recent nosedive of a Facebook post’s organic (unpaid) reach—particularly coming from a company page— it seemed like the perfect moment to try boosting our posts.

We boosted posts that included student enrollment-related videos about our Kindergarten program, a partnership with a community business, and one about a current student who transferred to our school. On average, a typical Facebook post on the GOA page would organically reach between 300-1,500 people and earn between 5-50 likes prior to boosting. We did find that depending on the amount paid (usually around $25 per post) and the audience chosen, our boosted posts would reach between 5,000-20,000 people. Although we did not necessarily find a correlation between a boosted post and an increase in post likes, we did find that a boosted post would bring in new page likes, which helped us achieve our goal of bringing new e. Our foray into Facebook advertising is absolutely a work in progress, but along the way, we have learned a few things that we would like to share:

3 tips to maximize a boosted post:

  1. Expand your existing network. Although you are more likely to reach a larger audience by selecting nearby towns and the ages befitting to your demographic, the more valuable demographic (for example, for a niche as specific as those interested in a Jewish Day School) would be the “People who like your page and their friends” option. The people who already like your page are more likely to have friends with mutual interests than the general public and are more likely to engage with your posts.
  2. Less words, more photos. Think about the posts that catch your eye while scrolling through your personal Facebook feed. It’s usually not the lengthy post, but probably a single eye-catching photo or cute video. In fact, Facebook will reject your boost if it’s too wordy – make use of Facebook’s helpful grid tool to achieve the perfect photo/text balance.
  3. Promote your services. While boosting a post about a particular student’s accomplishment is nice, it isn’t necessarily providing a service to the community and to potential fans of your page. If your school hosts open houses, an after-school program, a summer camp, or any other special services, this is the information most relevant to potential fans.

 This blog post is part of a series from schools participating in the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy. View the series here.

Complete the Social Media Self Assessment for your school at http://www.dayschoolacademy.org/assessment