How to use social to promote online courses?

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for the eLearning industry. How can you leverage them to promote and sell online courses?

How to use social to promote online courses?

Social media is a powerful marketing tool for the eLearning industry. How can you leverage them to promote and sell online courses?

Social media is a valuable channel for both acquiring new customers and interacting with existing ones. But that's not all. Social media marketing also works very well to reinforce other marketing channels, such as email and the company blog.

If we consider that the average user spends about 15% of their time on social platforms ( We Are Social, 2020),  it becomes clear that social networks are one of the most attractive marketing tools available.

Here, then, are some tips for promoting your online courses on social.

1. Choose the right social platforms for your audience

First, it is very important to consider which social platforms to focus your efforts on to promote your online courses. Not all platforms generate the same engagement or reach the same target audience. And it's not absolutely necessary to have a presence everywhere.

Each social network has a different audience, one that is constantly evolving. While Facebook used to have the absolute primacy over all age groups, now younger people have moved to other platforms such as Instagram and Tik Tok and the average age of users with a Facebook profile is around 35.
So do a careful analysis of your target audience and study the demographics of the various social networks to identify the most appropriate platforms to reach them. 

2. Optimize your company's social profiles

Make sure that your profile image and the cover page are professional and easily traceable to your brand.

In addition, we recommend optimizing your social media profiles to make your educational offerings highly visible. For example, you can update the "About" section of your page or, if your platform requires it, fill out the Products and Showcase sections. 

3. Share useful information for your target audience

An optimized social page is of little use if you don't have a varied and well-curated editorial calendar.

In recent years, the organic reach of posts on social networks, i.e. the number of people reached by a piece of content in a natural way (without the use of paid advertisements), is falling sharply.

Social network algorithms are set up to provide users with the best possible experience within the platform, showing them relevant content based on their actions and interests. Therefore, keep in mind that each platform will only show your content to those users that it deems truly interested in what you've posted.

We therefore advise you to create informative content (articles, infographics, podcasts, videos, etc.) that can arouse the interest of your target audience, so as to increase the organic reach of your page, and to limit purely promotional content. It is completely useless, if not downright penalizing, to continually share posts that are considered "spam" to invite your followers to buy your course or visit your site. 

And, if you can't handle creating this content, consider sharing other people's content that is relevant to your industry or the topic of your course. This way, you'll be more likely to expand your audience and attract new followers. 

Once you've identified the right content, post it with #tags and @mentions for maximum visibility

4. Join Social Groups

To reach an audience potentially interested in your courses, consider taking advantage of Groups that deal with topics related to your industry or course. Groups are generally created to help users connect on a specific topic of common interest, and are a great way to reach your target audience. However, keep in mind that you should never join a group solely to promote your course, as you risk being expelled from the group or looking unprofessional.
Instead, your goal should be to become an active participant, offering advice and becoming an "authoritative voice" on that topic in the eyes of other participants. Only then can you gain credibility and followers interested in your social media activity.

5. Attract audience interest before a course is even launched

Promoting an online course should begin before it is even published. With this in mind, start building excitement and anticipation about your course before its official launch. How? Give your social followers a preview of what they can expect from the course, create countdowns and use all the tools at your disposal to stimulate their interest. For example, tell them the behind-the-scenes story that led to the creation of the course, publish photos of the set or some drafts of the storyboard. And remember: at this stage, your goal should be to intrigue your audience and get them to interact with your content, not to sell them the course.

6. Activate paid social campaigns

To make up for declining organic post coverage, you can't help but invest in paid advertising campaigns. Starting a social media ad campaign allows you to reach new users and expand your audience. Moreover, when you create an ad, you can determine exactly who your ideal user is based on biographical data, interests, buying habits, etc. But that's not all. You can also set specific goals (website traffic, purchases, follower acquisition, lead acquisition, etc.) and make sure your campaign reaches the users who are most likely to take that type of action.

Showing your content to the right people is a key part of the marketing process and is crucial to avoiding wasted time and resources. So make sure you fully understand your audience and target your ads based on what you learn.

Contrary to what many people think, the cost of running a social media advertising campaign is very affordable: you can set a daily budget or a fixed amount for the entire duration of the ad and keep an eye on the results achieved to evaluate any corrections.

And, if you're wondering if social advertising is really effective, take a look at these statistics compiled by Hootsuite:

  • 59% of global consumers use social media as a source of shopping inspiration.
  • 97% of digital consumers have used social media in the past month.
  • 52% of online brand discoveries happen on social feeds.

7. Share student testimonials and reviews

Student testimonials provide social proof that is incredibly useful in selling and marketing your courses. In addition to including student testimonials on your online course's sales page, we recommend sharing them on social media as well to pique the curiosity of potential students and direct them to your website.

And remember: video testimonials are especially powerful, but written ones work well, too.

8. Harness the power of video marketing

Watching videos is one of the main activities people do on social media. Plus, since online classes are largely video-based, the material you develop for your courses can easily be repurposed for social media promotion.
Create short, engaging clips that give an overview of your course or preview its content in a way that will pique the interest of your audience.

9. Stimulate conversation with your followers

Give your followers a chance to have their say and share their thoughts. For example, periodically post new questions that encourage readers to leave comments. This, in addition to increasing the organic reach of your content, will help you understand your target audience and their needs more and more.

One caveat: make sure you moderate the conversation so that followers feel comfortable expressing their ideas and don't mind any comments or judgments from others.

Another way to stimulate the conversation with your followers is to organize a live broadcast on Facebook or Instagram and answer questions from users: you can use it to introduce the course or to address topics covered in your course that you know will interest your audience. 

10. Offer a free course demo

What better way to convince your followers to enroll in your course than to activate a free demo? If your eLearning platform provides for it, invite your followers on social to activate a demo of the course to see for themselves the quality. This will allow you to show the seriousness of your training proposal and let users test both the delivery platform and the teaching methods.

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