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At Elephant Creative we are big supporters of outdoor learning and educational play within the school environment. In fact, we’ve learnt quite a lot about it, over the years of working with the education sector. One thing we have noticed is an increase in the number of schools and colleges looking to use social media to promote themselves and better communicate with parents, students, alumni and prospective parents/students. In no place is this more relevant than in the quest for funding… particularly funding for projects like new playgrounds… and this is something that suppliers can also learn about.

Finding funding for education projects can be difficult and often it’s a case of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right contacts. A good way to access the resources of the local community, and boost chances of a cause being seen, is through social media. We teamed up with the Association of Play Industries (API) to think about how educational establishments, charities and suppliers can use social media platforms to make education projects happen.

Why should the education sector embrace social media?

Social media is just another tool in the box for the education sector to use as a way of making conversation. The platforms allow establishments, charities and suppliers to spread their message, connect with the right people and gain support.

How can social media be used to support education projects?

We devised a list of five top tips for those, within the education sector, wanting to get started with social media:

  1. Your name is important – think about how people will search for you.  Keep it short, relevant to the project area and consistent across different platforms so people can find you easily.
  2. Make it clear who is speaking – no one wants to talk to a robot so introduce yourself properly.  Also use keywords that people might search for in the introductory information and don’t forget a photo or logo.
  3. Join things up – if you have more than one social media tool you should promote them all.  Encourage people to follow you on more than one tool.
  4. The destination is important – think about where they’re going.  If you have a website or blog, make sure it’s consistent (and recognisable) with what you’re saying online.  Consider approaching a local specialist who might be willing to support your project by building a website for you?
  5. Think about the next steps – if you want people to get in touch, register for a newsletter, donate or get involved, tell them this is your main aim.  Include a contact name for your project in other information.

Find the full how-to guide on the API website by clicking here.