We asked district and building level educators about their go-to sources for information on products and services when we met with them at ISTE in Atlanta. Their top two responses emphasize that educators continue to value relationships with peers more than any other source of information.
- PLNs, professional learning networks, continue to be “my first source.” Educators seek out each other’s opinions about what is working in their classrooms and districts. Many of these conversations happen outside the viewfinder of educational marketers.
- Social media is the second go-to source for educators, with the impact of Twitter making a huge gain in the last 12 months. Facebook is another favorite but clearly second to Twitter. Educators find other teachers and administrators like themselves and actively share information and encourage one another.
Educators choose to engage each other on consumer social media platforms. These established social media channels have more “share of mind” than do educator-specific platforms.
We also heard that educators continue to turn to and value familiar publications, both digital and print, where they like to read case studies and customer success stories of successful implementations.
So, what is the takeaway here?
Educators want to hear from their peers about what’s working. Their focus is clearly on how to solve problems. While you may not be able to listen in on the conversations they have in their PLNs, you can hear what’s on their minds if you follow their online social activity.
Educators value solutions that have been successfully implemented in other schools and districts. Be social online. Share customer stories. Include the challenges as well as the successes. But don’t sell. Be helpful or educators will tune your education marketing out.
Thanks to the focus groups of educators who met with us at ISTE in Atlanta. Groups of district and building level technology and instructional staff met to exchange opinions on a wide-ranging list of topics affecting schools and districts. This independent market research from C. Blohm & Associates and the Winter Group was presented last month to education marketers at the EdNET conference in Baltimore.