International Education: Social Distancing…but not Social Media Distancing

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You may by now be settled into working from home, surrounded by your friends or by your family, forming ‘regular’ schedules for your kids and trying to stay positive and make the very best from a difficult time.

For anyone else who has started family exercise, we feel your pain!

International Education Industry – A Resilient Industry

As school owners or members of any senior management team you will have had to make many tough choices with regards to your students, your associated business partners such as host families or language travel agencies, not to mention your loyal and hard-working staff.

It has been truly inspiring to see how quickly schools have moved online to satisfy the thirst for learning of existing students at this time.

International Education industry responses

It has been equally moving to see the way the vital industry associations like English UK and Eaquals have presented valuable webinar events and the likes of Lead5050 have arranged ‘Lockdown Love-ins’ to help members of the international education community catch up, exchange some positivity and to foster the offering of professional and personal support within the international education family.

We applaud all of these and the many others who continue to pull together.

We are all acclimatising to social isolation now (hopefully certain people in the UK will have taken heed of the latest lockdown in the UK for the benefit of our National Health Service), but it is important to make sure we are not social media distancing.

Social Media help during Covid-19

Social media is playing a huge part in our movement through these tough times, and that is true for our agency partners and the existing and future student populations across the world.

It has been so refreshing to see WhatsApp groups set up to help local elderly or vulnerable people.

People are training elderly relatives to use Skype or Zoom. Twitter, Instagram and Facebook have become homes for receiving updates, and for positive messages and humour to be exchanged to help us all as we self-isolate.

Social media often gets bad press, but it has provided a haven for positivity and for the passing of ideas which has been heart-warming.

Remain Connected using Social Media & Content

Social media is a brilliant way to remain connected to existing students and alumni, and your interaction during these difficult times will further humanise your brand and show the world what a resilient and supportive community the international education industry is.

Maintain your Communities

With the tough business decisions being taken all the time, by all means, you will be considering scaling down temporarily, but it is not wise to completely stop marketing your business online.

You should continue to develop connections with your student community on a daily/weekly basis if possible.

Content can ensure connections remain as students turn to online channels for entertainment, learning and just to know they are part of something bigger that is tackling Covid-19 together.

If you have a person completing your social media, then support them to ensure your commentary and positive marketing continues.

Alternatively use freelancers or consultants who can be a very cost-effective temporary solution. £300 a month might provide some cash flow assistance in the short term for your business, but longer-term, you will need potential students to see your brand and your online courses plus content showing the regular classroom-based tuition for which you are such experts.

Better times will return, but ensure that you foster relationships with your alumni and current students so that they share this with their friends and relatives over the coming weeks and months.

Social Media Will Help

What keeps people glued to their smartphones and spending time on social media?

When we get exhausted by GIFs and memes, posts about friend’s food choices, people continue to use social media as it provides a stable platform of connectivity between people who otherwise wouldn’t be in contact from all corners of the globe.

People’s busy lives are hugely disrupted right now but we continue to rely on social media for our businesses and now for our personal journey through the Corona Virus pandemic.

It is comforting in these times of isolation to feel part of a bigger community, feel valued, respected and loved.

Manage Communications and Maintain Customer Loyalty

Keep creating engaging content. Keep appealing to your alumni and current students with interesting content over the coming weeks.

When others might be reducing their content output, you can work on your Google ranking and be in a much better place when the world does (and it will) return to normal.

You can use social media to show the amazing work you are doing to teach online, how you are supporting your current students who may not be able to travel home, how you are maintaining battered staff morale and remaining positive.

We will all get through this together

Everyone at LV is continuing to promote our clients online. We see the importance of SEO even through the tough situation we all find ourselves in.

If we can help in any way with the content or social media management don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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