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    Is Your Teen Summer Program Making the Most of Social Media?

    Is Your Teen Summer Program Making the Most of Social Media?

    Posted by Marie Schwartz
    Is Your Teen Summer Program Making the Most of Social Media?


    Social media enables teen summer program marketers to directly reach their best-fit target audience. If you’re not leveraging social media to your marketing advantage, you’re missing out on the opportunity to get your teen summer program in the palm of your potential participants’ hands — via their smartphones. 

    If your teen summer program has zero visibility on social media, you’re not leveraging the best tool to attract teens to your programs. In fact, approximately 90% of teens use social media on a regular basis. Additionally, social media is a great source for students to gain information about teen summer programs from their peers via comments, shares, and likes. Let’s uncover the best uses of social media for teen summer programs.

    Why Social Media Matters for Teen eSummer Programs

    In a 2013 keynote address, HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah described how the sales paradigm has shifted from buyer beware to seller beware: “we’ve long since known that the pen is mightier than the sword … I would posit that the tweet is mightier still." And this sentiment still holds true today. Think about it. Teens make decisions based on what their peers share, what influencers do, and what they are exposed to on a daily basis. Why not let them be exposed to your educational and fun teen enrichment program for the summer?

    If you want to be known as the best summer program for your specialty, social networks provide an easy way to start a conversation and gain traction quickly. Here are some reasons why social media is beneficial for teen summer programs to leverage:

    • Gain the ability to connect with families 
    • Social media is a low-cost way to humanize your brand 
    • 57% of consumers will follow an organization to learn about new programs or offerings while 47% will follow to stay up to date on company news
    • Social media is a public, real-time way to provide customer support
    • The more advocates you have, the fewer ads you need to buy

    How to Build Reach for Your Teen Summer Program

    Start by leveraging existing relationships. It takes time to build a following, but the process can be really rewarding and educational. Begin by following feeder schools, educators and thought leaders in your space. If your teen summer program is affiliated with a university, you’re in the enviable position of being able to hook up with their social media team and collaborate on content within an established network.

    Effective social networking is a two-way conversation, so use the “cocktail party rule” as a reminder to ask questions and share the content of others. As with our tips on content marketing, make sure 80% of what you’re posting is interesting and helpful, and only 20% is promotional.

    Lastly, don’t be afraid to mix things up! Post a variety of content including photos, infographics, videos, ebooks, slideshares, blog posts, contests and surveys. If you don’t have the time or resources to create this content yourself, try curating the best content you’ve seen and add your own commentary to it.

    Customize Content to Each Network

    Buyer personas are absolutely the lifeblood of a good marketing strategy. When it comes to social media, you’ll want to know where your personas are spending their time online and tailor the context of your content to each network.  Some things to keep in mind:

    Twitter is for fast-moving conversation, full of viral buzz potential. For the best results tweet early and often, use the right hashtags, use pictures, and video to enhance posts, monitor replies, and thank your retweeters.

    For Facebook, keep posts short and to the point. Be sure to post early in the morning and afternoon around 2-3 PM, use images, ask questions, do short surveys, but most of all, make it fun and personal!

    In regards to LinkedIn, you’ll want to post meaty, thought-provoking content to company pages and groups. On this network, it’s good practice to post before 8 AM and after 6 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Also, encourage your staff to share content to their own networks to reach as many eyeballs as possible.

    YouTube is another network with a huge impact on search engine optimization. Every time you make a video of your summer program is a new opportunity to post it in multiple places: embedded on your website, in a Twitter or Facebook post, and on YouTube itself.

    Final Thoughts

    Whichever social networks are most appropriate for reaching your audience, make sure your profiles are thorough, and that your unique personality and value shine through. And if you’re looking to maximize the reach of your teen summer program, TeenLife can help. Contact us to start boosting your program’s online visibility and receiving highly qualified leads.

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    Marie Schwartz

    Marie Schwartz

    Marie Schwartz is the CEO and Founder of TeenLife Media. Marie launched TeenLife in 2007 after moving to Boston with her husband and two middle school sons and discovering that there were no information resources for families with older children. Today, TeenLife's award-winning website lists thousands of summer and gap year programs, schools, college admission resources and volunteer opportunities for teens around the world.