Social media marketing is an important element of any ed-tech marketing plan. But making sure your tweets are seen amid the flood of messages on Twitter can be a challenge.
According to the website Internet Live Stats, every second around 6,000 new tweets appear on Twitter—which adds up to more than 350,000 tweets per minute and 500 million per day.
How can you make sure your social media marketing tweets are seen by educators? Here are three key strategies.
1. Tweet during relevant education chats.
For a list of regularly scheduled education chats, check out this Google Site created and managed by five educators who are active on Twitter. The site lists about 350 education Twitter chats (and counting), with a description of when each chat is held, who it targets, and what its hashtag is. A separate chat calendar shows you which education chats are occurring on Twitter for that day.
Suppose you sell a game-based learning product that teaches students about STEM concepts, and you hope to target Texas schools in particular.
For maximum exposure to the kinds of educators you’re looking to reach, you could tweet during the Texas Ed Chat on Sundays at 8 p.m. CT using the hashtag #txeduchat, during the STEM chat at 7 p.m. CT on the first Monday of every month using the hashtag #STEMHQ, and during the Games for Ed chat on Thursdays at 7 p.m. CT using the hashtag #games4ed, among others.
Twitter chats are opportunities for two-way conversation. For the best results, don’t just schedule social media marketing messages during these events and then forget about them. Actively participate in the conversation by monitoring the chat, responding to others’ comments and questions, and providing useful information—not just product pitches.
2. Tweet during education conferences and events.
Many conference participants set up their Twitter feeds to monitor tweets with the conference hashtag, so they can follow the latest conference news and discussions in real time. If you’re a presenter or exhibitor, you’re missing a key opportunity to connect with attendees if you aren’t tweeting with the conference hashtag throughout the event.
But even if you aren’t attending a conference in person, you can still take advantage of the interest generated by that event to make sure your tweets are seen by more educators. Check out the schedule of workshops and sessions for conferences you can’t attend, and if there are any sessions related to the topic of your product or service, then tweet during those times using the conference hashtag, so your tweets might be seen by people attending those sessions.
Again, this works best if you use Twitter to engage in a conversation about the topic, not just to push out your social media marketing message. Follow the conference hashtag during any sessions that are relevant to your business, and join in the conversation that is occurring naturally during that time.
(For a comprehensive list of ed-tech conferences, check out this EdSurge graphic.)
3. Use more effective hashtags.
Using hashtags in your social media marketing tweets helps make sure they’re seen by educators who are interested in that topic—and a free service called Hashtagify helps you find the best hashtags to use for the topics you’re tweeting about.
If you enter your topic in the Search box, you’ll see a visual map with the most popular hashtags related to that term. Click on the “Table Mode” button, and you’ll get a list of these related hashtags from most to least popular.
Another tool, Rite Tag, helps you determine how relevant your hashtags are. You can link the service to your Twitter account, and when you compose a new tweet, RiteTag gives you a color-coded rating for each hashtag you type: Green is good, blue is OK, and red means it’s overused.
Together, these services can help you find effective hashtags that will bring the most visibility for your tweets.