In our digitally-focused and technology-forward world, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education is more important than ever. Countries with higher levels of STEM proficiency will become global leaders in innovation. As of right now, the United States is not on track to be one of them.
STEM proficiency has been on the decline in the United States since the 1980s. According to a study by Microsoft, 93% of parents believe that STEM education should be a priority. Research by the National Center for Education Statistics claims that nearly 60% choose a school for their child based on academic programs and curriculum focus, including STEM.
Highlighting your school’s STEM program, after school clubs, and STEM summer camps in all your marketing materials is a highly effective way to boost your enrollment. Specifically, social media allows you to connect with potential parents and students more intimately, humanize your institution, and show how your STEM program is improving your students’ lives.
Highlight Success Stories from Teachers and Students
One of the biggest benefits of marketing your programs via social media is that it allows you to show instead of tell via STEM success stories.
Instead of telling prospective parents how your STEM program has benefited students and teachers alike, create posts allowing them to share their first-hand experiences, demonstrate projects they’ve done, and discuss their research.
Recruit students and teachers passionate about the STEM program to create their own content, or sit them down for more formal interview sessions that you can edit into polished reels.
Static images can also work, but a video is more likely to capture genuine enthusiasm. These highlights or features can help humanize your STEM program and activities and help create a connection with prospective students and parents before they step foot on campus.
Make the Data Visual
Many parents, especially those who care about the strength of your school’s STEM program, will also want to see hard data about how your students perform. Sharing this information on your social media pages is a great way to grab parents’ attention and get them interested in your school. You can share average standardized test scores, enrollment in AP or honors-level STEM classes, or reports on how many of your students pursue STEM studies in higher education.
However, you want to be strategic in how you present this information. You are competing with thousands of other accounts on social media to grab attention. You need to grab their interest quickly, retain it, and leave a lasting impression.
Post charts, graphs, and other visual representations of data can help you convey the success of your school’s STEM program to prospective parents and students with greater impact. Humans can process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. We also remember only about 20% of what we read but close to 65% of what we see.
Social media is already a highly interactive medium, but live streams facilitate an even higher level of interactivity. Live streams are an excellent way to host Q&A sessions with teachers, students, and alums. They serve as a more in-depth version of the highlight reels or features discussed earlier.
Almost every social media platform allows users to go live with their followers — including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. And live sessions offer some key benefits compared to other video content.
Lives can run for several hours at a time, whereas a Reel is capped at 90 seconds and YouTube Shorts are capped at 60 seconds. This extra time gives you and whomever you are featuring a chance to delve into STEM topics in more depth.
Viewers can also comment on the video as it’s happening, and you can enable the questions feature. This allows prospective parents and students to ask specific questions and receive an immediate answer, creating a better dialogue.
We recommend you save the live stream to your profile for asynchronous viewing and share it widely when you’re done.
Offer Virtual Tours
Virtual tours allow you to highlight the resources and facilities available for each grade. Again, this is showing instead of telling. You can say you have the most up-to-date STEM equipment and facilities, but people want to see it themselves.
Virtual tours are your chance to show off your STEM classroom. Science has come a long way in the past few decades, but unfortunately, many science classrooms have not kept up. Parents with a strong interest in ensuring their kids get a rigorous STEM education do not want to see science and computer labs that look like they haven’t changed since they were in school.
Virtual tours are another great way to use the live-streaming features on social media platforms. You could also film and edit a tour for your main social media feed or use the Stories feature on Facebook and Instagram and save it as a highlight on your profile.
Going live allows real-time dialogue between you and the viewers if they have questions about the STEM lab or equipment. A produced video can look more polished and give you more control over the finished content.
Connect with Prospective Students and Their Families
If you are actively posting about your STEM program on your social media pages, interested parents and students may comment on your posts or send you a direct message with questions about your school or programs.
It is important to answer them as promptly as possible and in a friendly and professional manner. Whenever you can, turn the interaction into a conversation.
Social media is built to foster connections. If you can make a family feel a connection with your institution before they even apply or visit for the first time, you have a much higher chance of getting them to enroll. Even if academics are their primary concern, they still want their kids to have a community.
If your STEM program is a huge draw, make sure potential students know it!
Social media is a valuable tool for marketing everything your school has to offer, especially your STEM programs. No matter what grades your school serves, highlighting a strong commitment to STEM subjects can only benefit your enrollment efforts.
Finding fun and engaging ways to share those achievements and successes with prospective families is important.
Want to expand STEM learning opportunities in your classroom? Check out SAM Lab’s STEAM and coding solutions for elementary and middle schools.