“The whole nature of photography has changed with the advent of a camera in everybody’s hand.” — Sally Mann
Between smartphones and social media, society has become a visual-consuming beast and everyone is now a photographer in some aspect — that means the nature of marketing has inevitably changed as well.
Marketing is an important aspect for a school’s livelihood to retain students and attract new applicants, and it’s no secret that social media is a powerhouse in marketing potential for schools. The visual nature of photos grabs our attention and can influence how we feel about a particular brand. Add to that how easy it is to share photos on social media nowadays and you have a viral marketing machine at the tip of your fingers.
That said, it’s not always easy to master social media marketing due to the constantly changing algorithms on social platforms. For example, since Facebook treats a school’s page the same as a business page, its biased algorithm automatically blocks 90% of a school’s posts from getting onto its followers’ feeds unless advertising funds are used to boost posts.
The Power of Unpaid Influence
Unpaid influence can be a powerful way to gain attention for your brand, and that comes from organically shared content, such as photos shared by your school’s families to their personal pages. In fact, its impact could surprise you — due to the organic nature of word of mouth, socially shared content creates a credible virality effect on social media that positions your brand in a different light compared to sponsored posts.
On top of that, unpaid influence is… well, unpaid. Brands have nothing to lose, and everything to gain!
Much of life is posted to social media these days, and it’s easier than ever for parents to share with pride when their child aces the big spelling bee, or starts in her first volleyball game. However, these important events can also pose some frustration when parents aren’t able to get a good shot of their child (stuck in the back row, again!).
Meanwhile, the yearbook photographer and other parents are snapping away, getting great photos of their child that they would treasure if only they had access to them. Certainly, if there was an effective way to get those photos into the hands of the families, they’d be able to delight in their student’s school experience — and they’d show all their friends on social media!
Quick link: Get your free whitepaper here.
The Recipe for Using Your Photos as Marketing Gold
Capitalizing on the excitement of your families when they share their proud moments can be a big boost to your social media marketing attempts. From our most recent study, we identified a surefire recipe that enables your school to push its photo content out to your families in a timely manner and take advantage of the exponential reach that individual sharing creates.
#1: Automated Photo Finding: Facial and Jersey Recognition
Utilizing facial and jersey recognition grants schools the ability to find and deliver photos of each student automatically and individually. With automated recognition, neither parents nor schools have to dig through endless albums to find photos of their students.
The time saved allows for much more engagement with the photos and, as a result, photos get shared to social media.
#2: Timely Mobile Delivery
Most parents only have access to physical copies of school photos delivered via yearbooks long after they are taken. Putting mobile photo delivery into action via text or app alerts to parents not only will delight them, but it also increases the likelihood they’ll share it to social media. Their sharing drives exponential reach and visibility for your school’s brand and builds community with your families.
#3: Integrated Branding
Current technology allows schools to include their branding on all photos before they are published and delivered to families. Branding photos with the school’s logo and using hashtags that point back to the school can drive massive engagement on social media.
As families share their photos on social media, an army of unpaid influencers is created, bringing value and reach through organic sharing and interaction. You’ll be reaching your school’s future families via your current families and their positive posting of their student’s experience.
In addition to the whitepaper, make sure you check out our webinar presentation hosted by Waldo CEO, Rodney Rice for a verbal walkthrough on turning your school photos into marketing gold.