5 New Instagram Features You Can Use To Reach Montessori Families
Among the plethora of social media platforms available today, Instagram has emerged as a powerful tool for educational institutions. With its vast user base and diverse range of features, Instagram offers Montessori schools an ideal platform to connect with parents, showcase their unique approach to education, and ultimately grow enrollment.
Most Montessori schools have mastered Facebook... but now, parents are beginning to age out of this platform and Instagram is growing in popularity amongst younger parents. This means building a strong presence on Instagram could help your Montessori school reach more families. The challenge is that Instagram has many different features that are always changing and updating. It's a trend based app designed for mobile use. Unlike Facebook that was originally designed to be accessed on a desktop, Instagram was always designed to be accessed through a smartphone.
Let's cover some new features that Instagram offers that can help you build a stronger presence on the platform, engage with families, and increase your reach.
1. Instagram Stories & Highlights: Increasing Visibility & Engagement
You may have noticed that Instagram feeds are now overcrowded with advertisements and suggested posts. This is because Meta has increased advertising which has frustrated users and changed the way they interact with content on the app.
Instagram stories have become an increasingly popular way to consume social content, so it's crucial to be sharing stories and creating story highlights on your account. They offer Montessori schools a dynamic way to engage with their audience. These posts only stay up for 24 hours and then disappear, creating a sense of urgency that encourages interaction. Here's why they are essential:
Visibility: Posting Instagram stories can increase the amount of views a post receives. Many Instagram users watch stories over scrolling through their advertisement crowded feed. This makes it a great place to share posts, links, videos, and more.
Interactive Features & Engagement: Links, polls, questions, and quizzes within Stories provide a way for schools to interact with their audience, gather feedback, and better understand parent preferences. Instagram stories is the only way that an account can share a web link on Instagram other than on their bio. This means you can share links to different blog articles on your school website, or perhaps a tour sign up! Don't miss out on these opportunities to lead families to your website so they can learn more about your programs.
Authenticity: Instagram Stories allow schools to showcase real, unfiltered moments from their classrooms. This authenticity builds trust and credibility among parents.
Timely Updates: Montessori schools can use Stories to share important updates, such as enrollment deadlines, event reminders, or news about the school.
Visual Appeal: Stories leverage visuals, making them highly engaging. Schools can display children engaged in hands-on learning, field trips, and other activities that showcase their unique teaching methods.
It's easy to post Instagram stories on your account, here is a step-by-step guide:
2. Instagram Story Highlights: Organizing Montessori Memories & Creating Branding Opportunities
Instagram Story Highlights are a valuable feature for Montessori schools because they allow for the curation and organization of important content.
Instagram story highlights allow accounts to keep stories visible by categorizing them and placing them below the bio. They also create an opportunity for schools to brand their profiles and make them look professional. Here's how they contribute to growth:
Interactive Content: Schools can create Highlights featuring essential information such as curriculum details, testimonials, and faculty introductions. This content remains accessible, helping parents make informed decisions about enrollment. Here are a few idea for great Instagram story highlights:
- Programs (Primary, Toddler, Lower Elementary, etc)
- Parenting resources
- Open House
You can be creative and create all sorts of Instagram story highlights! Here's how easy it to create an Instagram story highlight:
Branding: Instagram story highlights create an opportunity for schools to customize their profile with great branding. It's easy to create simple highlight covers and update them on your account so that they appear with school colors and graphics. Here's how you can create some story covers in a few minutes on Canva:
3. Reels: Popular & Dynamic Content
Instagram Reels offer Montessori schools a unique opportunity to demonstrate creativity and attract a wider audience.
Reels is essentially Instagram's new category for video content. Nowadays, a smartphone camera is more than enough to create short form, high quality videos. This has sparked a boom in the demand for dynamic video content.
Video content is growing in popularity as apps like TikTok are on the rise. Reels allows Instagram users to easily create and explore video content based on their interests. Here's why reels are crucial for Montessori school accounts looking to engage with and reach more prospective families:
Educational Content: Reels can be used to create short, informative videos on Montessori principles and teaching methods, offering parents a glimpse into the school's educational philosophy. This content can effectively capture the attention of prospective families and lead them to explore your school website.
Trend Utilization: Schools can leverage trending challenges and music to create fun, engaging content that resonates with the platform's younger audience, potentially attracting new families.
Highlight Student Achievements: Reels can feature students' achievements, projects, and performances, showcasing the school's success stories. It can also be a great way to share alumni and parent testimonials.
Here's how you can easily create reels on Instagram:
4. Carousel Posts: In-Depth Montessori Insights
Carousel posts allow accounts to share more than one photo per post (up to 10 photos).
It's a great tool because it encourages more interaction with a post as users have to slide through the photos, and it prevents accounts from clogging up their follower's feeds with too many individual posts. Here's why they are indispensable:
Comprehensive Content: Montessori education is rooted in a rich pedagogy that can be explained and showcased through multiple images and captions within a single post. Imagine a post about the pink tower with a variety of photos of the material and the child in deep concentration... it truly tells a story.
Parent Resources: Montessori schools can create carousels with parenting tips and resources that align with their educational philosophy, positioning themselves as educational partners to parents.
Sharing Events: If your school is hosting a special events, you can share several pictures from that event in one post, making it a fun way for families to slide through and experience it!
Here's how you can create carousel posts to share on your Montessori Instagram account:
5. Instagram Business Profiles: Unlocking Analytics and Insights
Switching to an Instagram Business Profile is a crucial step for Montessori schools looking to grow enrollment.
Having a business account can help your school appear more credible, share important contact information such as a school website and phone number, and gain insights into important account analytics. Here's why your Montessori Instagram account should be a business profile:
Analytics and Insights: Business Profiles provide access to valuable data and insights on post performance, audience demographics, and engagement metrics. Schools can use this data to refine their digital marketing strategies.
Contact Information: Business Profiles allow schools to display essential contact information, making it easy for interested parents to reach out for inquiries or enrollments. You will also be able to include a link to your website directly in your bio so that visitors can be re-directed.
Advertisements: Business Profiles enable schools to run Instagram ads, reaching a broader audience and targeting specific demographics, which can be vital for enrollment growth.
Instagram Is All About Trends
Instagram is a platform that is very trend based. It's important to stay up to date with changes made on the app and to understand what sort of content is valued. It takes time to curate great content and keep families engaged.
The best way to understand the features of this platform is to download the application on a smartphone and take some time to explore it! The more you use it, the easier it becomes to use. Get your team involved in creating and posting content and keeping your school Instagram account updated and refreshed.
Need help when it comes to curating social media content and reaching more families on Instagram?
Nido Marketing is passionate about digital marketing in the Montessori space. We recognize the importance of building a social media presence and have helped many schools run social media ads and create engaging content.