Let’s not begin with stuffy statistics about the rampant rise of social media. We barely need to allude to that anymore. If people haven’t realised that social media is not going away by now, then there is nothing we can do to convince them. For the rest of us, we just worry about getting the best from the various platforms available. Luckily for everyone, getting your training provider noticed on social media is doable.
Part of the problem, is working out which of the social media platforms are going to be best for your business. And then, we can worry about how to use them.
As our own Mark Ellis would say; “we live in a pay-to-play arena these days when it comes to social media.” Each social media platform has a platform for you to build ads, or boost existing posts. It’s not that they aren’t value for money when they work. It’s that they can be expensive and frustrating to operate for a long period of time. Like most PPC platforms, they can prove to be a bit of a financial black hole. Conversely, organic growth can be slow and frustrating and needs regular attention.
But that doesn’t mean organic is impossible.
Getting your training provider noticed on Facebook
Facebook is always a good place to start. It is the big one. The colossus. Facebook is the planet-sized platform that is populated by almost every demographic conceivable. Any conversation on any topic could be happening on Facebook. It is hard to find any reason that a business wouldn’t have a page on Facebook.
The main problem with Facebook is that it’s a vast landscape for you to try and traverse. Having a page is good, but it rarely is enough. Facebook, however, has made life easier on this point in a few ways.
How FB makes life easy
- Facebook Groups: Facebook has allowed users to create groups for you to peruse. If you have a quick search on Facebook, you will often find a dozen groups that you can interact with. For instance, you might be interested in the JOBS, EMPLOYMENT, APPRENTICESHIPS group where you can advertise your training vacancies.
- Facebook Allows Hashtags: Obviously, it stands to reason if you can search, then so can others. By creating hashtags around certain terms in your copy, you can be found by someone actively searching for content similar to yours.
- You can comment: A big portion of your social listening time should be dedicated to looking for relevant conversations that you can join. The more conversations you join, the more you will be noticed.
The main thing to remember, since it is a vastly populated social citadel, is that there is also a lot of competition. Therefore, your content must be of the highest order.
Your pictures must be of the highest quality.
Moreover, your copy should be engaging.
And of course, seriously consider video.
Facebook is probably the most important social media platform to consider for your training provider. This is where both potential students and any employer who might want your inhouse training services are found.
Of all social media platforms there are available, Instagram is the one that businesses are most sceptical of. It can seem as though it is an exercise in self-gratification. Your feeds may be awash with people looking cute with a tree. There are videos of dogs playing drums and piano. And of course, pictures of a random field where someone visited. Also, a lot of attractive young girls barely covered up by the beach.
You can understand why many people would think it is a very self-serving platform. And it is. For the most part. But there are a couple of things that you should know.
- Instagram has 1 billion active users
- Moreover, the UK is the 8th biggest user of Instagram with 23 million users.
- 60% of these user log in daily (it’s the second most engaged platform after Facebook)
- And, 75% of all users are aged between 18-24
As a training provider, if you offer apprenticeships, then your audience is likely to be here. It is populated predominantly by GenZ and Millennials. This, is a good thing in terms of audience, but it does come with a bit of an addendum.
Both of these generations are the most tech-savvy audience imaginable. Believe me, they will see through any bad practices.
5 Ways to get your training provider noticed on Instagram
Instagram is predominantly a mobile app. Obviously this means that your content is available at all times, and most of the time is viewed on the go. Your target audience will be flicking lazily through their feed whilst on buses, in waiting rooms, and generally whenever they have a few spare moments.
During that fleeting moment you have mere seconds to get their attention and have them looking at your teasingly delicious content. As a training provider, there are five things that you can do to make sure you get noticed.
1. Use engaging captions
It can be confusing for people to look at pictures without context. In fact, if someone doesn’t immediately understand the picture they are looking at, or why it is relevant to them, your post is going to fall very flat. That is why you should always supply the context.
Write a short and snappy introduction or headline for your piece. By introduction, I don’t mean a long-winded scene setter that gets to the point somewhere around paragraph three. Jump straight to the point. Instagrammers are not known for their patience.
2. Use hashtags with a bit of intelligence
To accelerate engagement, hashtags are a smart way to get your training provider noticed. However, Instagram limits the amount of hashtags you can use to 30.
You could use popular hashtags like #instadaily, but the problem is these hashtags are very competitive. So of course, millions of people are all using these. However, #training or #apprenticeships won’t have the same traction and will put you in front of the relevant audience.
Perhaps it’s worth remembering, hashtags are the only way to search on Instagram. With this in mind, it is important that every post you send out is hashtag heavy, and all of them relevant.
3. Don’t forget the CTA
It is easy to think that Instagram is just a view and leave platform. Yes, you are going to be competing in feeds with selfies and other commodities, but that shouldn’t stop you trying to get them to contact you.
Remember that it is SOCIAL media. Just asking questions can prompt some engagement from your readers. Ask: “Are you unsure what to do now school has finished?” Or, “Is your employer offering you the training you need?” You might be surprised by the response.
4. Quality, quality and quality
With the amount of people on Instagram, you can imagine how competitive it all is. Predominantly, Instagram is about images. If you’re sending out poor quality images, then unfortunately you will be swiped away quicker than a gremlin on Tinder.
The trick is to take more than one photo. Give yourself some choice.
And, remember the filters.
Of course, you can edit your image to get the best from it using the Instagram app. If you are trying to attract young apprentices to your training provider, then you will need the best quality image.
5. You can comment too
As part of your social listening, you shouldn’t forget Instagram. If someone has liked your picture of that cat on a trampoline, it doesn’t hurt to have a look at what they are posting. After all, your post arrived in their feed. That means they researched something that is relevant to both of you. It is time to find out what that is.
Jump to a picture of theirs and leave a comment. Moreover, reply to any comments that are left on your post. And, if someone tags you, remember to thank them. These are the best ways to start important conversations.
Getting training providers noticed on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a unique social media platform. Whereas other platforms are populated by people connecting for “social” reasons, LinkedIn is predominantly a professional platform. So if you are looking for apprentices and younger students, this might not be the platform for you. However, if your training provider offers inhouse training services to companies, then LinkedIn should be your go-to social media platform.
All of the hashtags that are recognisable on LinkedIn use professional language. Moreover, there are ten important hashtags for you training provider to take note of, including #TrainingCourses, #TrainingProvider and #traininganddevelopment.
As with all other social media platforms, using hashtags will make you easier to find for anyone who is searching.
The best thing to do with LinkedIn is to keep your tone professional and encouraging. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, people don’t go onto LinkedIn to moan and gripe. They are on there to show the best of themselves. Ordinarily, people post motivational, supportive or celebratory content on LinkedIn.
As a training provider, you could use this atmosphere to promote personal growth through one of your courses.
Making the most of YouTube
To some this may come as a surprise, but YouTube could be the nuclear warhead in your marketing arsenal. It doesn’t strike everyone as the obvious social media platform. But millions of people use YouTube every day. Personally, I am sitting here writing the first draft of this article listening to music as I slam the words home.
Brantley Gilbert – Bad Boy in case you were wondering.
But, YouTube is more than just a social media platform.
Firstly, it is owned by Google.
Secondly, it is ranked as the second biggest search engine (after Google.
Thirdly, it is a great place to host any videos that you want to share on any other social media platform.
If you choose YouTube as a social media platform, then there are few things that you should do to make the most of YouTube
1. Think SEO
Let me reiterate one important point mentioned above. YouTube is owned by Google. You know it of course, the Zeus of all search engines. Surely you have heard of it; the one engine that managed to sneak into our language as a verb. Remember this when creating your tags.
It is also important to note that your tags should be relevant. If your content is awash with inappropriate SEO then Google will punish you for it. It also doesn’t hurt to have a look at what your competitors are using as tags.
2. Use captivating thumbnails
Your thumbnails are the first thing a user sees when your video passes through the feed. If YouTube has randomly chosen a still of you looking like you are trying to pass a brick through your urethra, then potentially you should reconsider a better thumbnail.
Spend some time creating an attractive and compelling thumbnail to get your content noticed.
3. Be creative with your CTA
Grin’s article 9 ways to get your YouTube Channel Noticed offers some great advice for anyone looking to optimise their YouTube channel. However, one of the most important things they have mentioned is how to avoid clichés with your CTA.
Grin writes; “There’s nothing wrong with telling people to subscribe, but to a seasoned viewer this all sounds like white noise after a time. White noise isn’t how you get your YouTube channel noticed.”
On that point, we are in agreement with Grin.
In essence, turning this over shouldn’t be too hard. All you need to do is find a unique way to ask for subscriptions, or comments. If you are asking your viewers to contact you about your apprenticeships, or to engage with the post then the onus is on you to be engaging.
For a great example, check out Frog Leap Studios content. Watch until the end (you can mute if you wish), but then see the various idiotic ways in which Leo Moracchioli asks for subscribers.
You never know, it might just give your training provider some ideas.
Final thoughts on social media for training providers
Managing your social media isn’t simply a five-minute-a-month task. Social media management is not about posting as much content as you can; and it isn’t about waiting for the fish to swim into your net. It all takes time. Often, it takes a good social media management tool. But above all it takes social listening.
Although there are tools that can help you find the conversations you need, only a decent social media manager can know how to join the conversations. Honestly, there is NO software that will do it for you despite what some might have you think.
There are many conversations going on all at once. You can make a name for your training provider by joining one or two of them. Perhaps, you just need the confidence to do it.
If you need a good reference for social media, we have a downloadable guide. This will help you understand social media a lot better. You can download it here.
As always if there is anything you wish to add, or any feedback to give then please leave a comment below. We believe, it is always good to keep the conversation going.