Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park in London (Photo: Wikicommons)

Speaker’s Corner at Hyde Park in London (Photo: Wikicommons)

Everybody should be talking about your school. I want your supporters, faculty, and students to talk about your school. I want them to talk about how they love what you do. If they are happy, they will tell their friends, their neighbors, and they will share about you online.

This is the best marketing that you can have. Let me help you leverage this creative marketing strategy.

Enjoy these tips on how to get everybody talking about your school.

Good Stuff Please

You may have heard the old adage, “No publicity is bad publicity.” I am not sure that I agree with that sentiment. This is especially problematic with the online nature of our marketing world. Bad comments can have a long-lasting negative impact on the reputation of your school. There have even been vigorous Yelp lawsuits with the goal of removing harshly negative reviews.

We want people to say good things about you. How can we accomplish this?

Have Something Extraordinary for People to Say

Be extraordinary. When you provide people an extraordinary experience, they will want to share it with their friends. This might be a picture on Instagram, a tweet, or a story on Facebook. The better the story, the more engagement shares and likes you will get. It needs to be awesome. What does that mean?

Think like a student instead of an administrator.

Think of your last wow moment you had as a student. What happened? Reverse engineer that moment and make sure that you are providing it to your students. Please do not default to something basic: nobody cares that lines are ten minutes shorter.

Everybody loves a story, so share a powerful story of how you changed a student’s life.

More good news brings more good news. Your stakeholders always want more. So, please do not be a one-hit-wonder with one great testimonial or on-line review.

Create a system and a strategy to constantly and consistently encourage people to share good feedback about you online. Ask them to share and comment. Encourage them to post about you. The more their friends see messages about you, the more they are reminded of you. They may donate to your foundation or enroll in a program right away, but every single time they see your name or your logo, that is another reminder of your value to them. You are staying at the top of their mind.

I learned this from real experience. Sometimes people contacted me a year or more after learning about me. They may have first seen a great social media share from a friend about me, but that did not entice them to do business with me immediately. It did, however, encourage them to connect with me and learn about me and the value that I can provide them. The key is tapping into the power of Word-of-Mouth-Marketing and adding social media as an accelerant.

Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) Is Key

You want people to talk about you. This is incredibly powerful. Frustratingly, we cannot always forecast or predict how and when our students will talk about us to their friends. So, let us not worry about it and simply always provide exceptional value.

See your students not only as students, but future stakeholders. They may talk about a bad school experience ten years from now; and if they do it online, that can spread like a virus. You want them to share the wow experience.

WOMM Is Trust-Based

Trust is the secret sauce in this recipe: trust of our friends. We respect them and their opinions.

Years ago, we might have called a friend and asked them for a referral to a specific tradesperson. Now, we are doing this online. We are tapping into referral sites, but more and more we are asking for public recommendations on Facebook. Be in the middle of that conversation.  Students talk to their friends, and when they do this online, their recommendations have exponential power.

Provide somebody a great story to share. This glowing testimony will be a powerful tool to keep you top of mind, build trust and rapport with a fan base, and over time, create more business.

You want people to constantly and consistently talk about your school, so give them something extra special to talk about.  To accomplish this, please do not think like an administrator. The fact that you formed a task force to create a committee to write a grant to establish a policy is a topic of conversation that only an administrator would love.

Instead, explain how you created a program to turn homeless students into working adults.

Give people a powerful story to share.


  • Mark Mikelat

    Mark Mikelat is a former college administrator, a trustee to a college leadership fund, and a college instructor in leadership, decision making, and online marketing strategy. Mark is a business consultant, author, speaker, and trainer. He is the founder of www.BuildingAspirations.com a motivational and inspirational training company focused on business growth. He speaks at college leadership and career events and business conferences and he would like for you to like his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/BuildingAspirations. Students love his career development program entitled How to Get a Job Over Lattes. Contact him to speak at your campus.

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