When we think about what an influencer is, this definition is helpful: ‘Someone who has a social media presence and has the power to affect the decisions of others because of their authority, knowledge, position, or relationship with them.’
With this description in mind, it’s not surprising that the teacher influencer phenomenon is on the rise. Teachers are natural influencers due to their education status and constant drive for improvement, both personally and from their students.
Influencers connect with their audiences by creating content that people want to relate to. By nature, teachers are adept at creating connections across a variety of platforms to communicate with their students. Because teachers are so used to the necessity of engaging materials to ensure their students are actively listening, switching to delivering online engaging content is a breeze.
A website offering an online teaching marketplace is not too different from teacher influencer activities which use its knowledge to pass on to different audiences.
What Are the Benefits of Being a Teacher Influencer?
There are certainly benefits to becoming a teacher influencer. Some teacher influencers partake in paid partnerships with brands to offer relevant products on their social media feeds.
Successful teacher influencers also use their status to connect with online brands to ask for classroom resources. Monetizing social feeds can help teachers to provide new and innovative materials for students and aid learning.
Direct financial rewards aside, teacher influencers have the opportunities to explore other streams of income, including book deals and resource collaborations. Other benefits include being perceived as industry thought leaders in their side hustle, and, if they want to, investigate educational sideline consultancies.
As well as uncovering niche partnerships, teacher influencers can discover similar online communities, share advice, and make connections with other teachers online. Teachers are constantly learning, so this resource is invaluable for keeping up to date with the latest in the education sector.
Tips for Becoming a Teacher Influencer
Are you a teacher who wants to become a social media star? Here’s how to get started:
As with marketing a retail brand, delivering a consistent brand experience is key. To succeed in the teacher influencer space, it’s essential to post consistently on social channels to maximize awareness. When teacher influencers post interesting and relevant content regularly, followers engage with them, which all serves to drive awareness. Regular content also builds a sense of anticipation from your audience, which in turn, increases both your personal brand’s engagement and reach.
A word of warning, however, only post content that is authentic to your personal brand and is directly relatable to your audience. Otherwise, you could be at risk from click bombing. Social media followers are quick to realize when content is inauthentic, and your main role as a teacher means that remaining credible online is key.
Planning your social media education posts is crucial to avoid burning out from your regular teaching job and your side hustle. Many teachers find that three posts per week on platforms like Instagram is plenty. In those three weekly posts, consider the categories you want to focus on. This could be your classroom displays, or tips on how to get students ready for the school day ahead, presented with enticing animation.
Conduct research to establish the best times of day to post for maximum engagement, then schedule social posts to get ahead of the game. Trial different call to actions for your social posts to see which generate the most excitement and engagement from your followers.
AMA (ask me anything) is a useful tool for garnering engagement amongst your social media followers and will give you an indication of the type of content your audience wants to see.
Regardless of your favorite teacher social media platform, you’ll be able to manage and monitor your engagement levels. For example, Instagram offers analytics covering engagement rates that detail your number of followers, likes, shares, and comments. All social media platforms include analytics sections that detail your target audience’s preferences and behaviors. You can even find out demographic data such as gender, age, location, and occupation.
Analyzing your results will help you to determine who your audience are and the best times of day to reach them with your content. Always interact with your followers’ feedback to generate ideas for future content and ensure you’re delivering what your audience wants.
Good practice for hashtags on social media is to use between 17-25, but this varies according to the platform. Instagram alone currently displays over 7.5 million posts for #teacherlife.
Competitive hashtags like this are obviously trickier for lower volume accounts to rank for, so it’s a case of experimenting to see the best hashtags for your audience. Research your niche’s popular hashtags and keep monitoring them to ensure they’re working hard for you and reaching the right audience.
Videos are great content for teacher influencers and engage audiences like no other media method. Words of advice surrounding online video content, according to these top five video marketing mistakes, is to ensure that your videos aren’t too long. It’s best to capture your audience’s attention within the first 30 seconds.This tactic tends to engage your followers successfully and encourage watching the video to its conclusion. You can also spice up your content by adding animation and effects.
Teachers understand that they need to make learning fun to engage students. Gamification is easily achieved on digital platforms by creating quiz and problem-solving content. Gamification improves students’ motivation, and taps into the dopamine hit reward system that we all experience when we’ve achieved something. Some teachers embrace virtual reality gamification strategies to raise student engagement.
Moving your teaching activities online with your classroom in the spotlight necessitates fit for purpose software. Some tools teacher influencers use to digitally display their classrooms include:
- Video conferencing tools.
- Quiz and questions platform.
- Presentation platform.
- Ring lights and a robust webcam.
- Headphones with a built-in microphone.
The right software for the job will assist you in your efforts to make learning engaging with synchronous tools.
Teacher influencers have the entire internet at their disposal to convey valuable content. Experiment with different platforms to find your audience and niche. Maybe you’re an aspiring TikTok rapper, or use Instagram to make math problems easier – find the best platform for your personal brand and get it out there with the help of a good referral program!
Many teacher influencers run special online promotions and giveaways to generate awareness for their personal brand. Giveaways are a great method of reaching out to the teaching community and forming relationships in your industry. Once you have some meaningful teacher collaborations, you can co-host giveaways for more follower reach.
Putting yourself online is a risky move for a teacher, and it’s important to set personal boundaries, as well as be mindful not to share student and classroom information on social feeds. In addition, teachers moonlighting as influencers could fall into the trap of an uneven work-life balance shift.
Supporting the ideal teacher work-life balance is key, so be sure to switch off at the end of the day from school activities, as well as social media. Be prepared for your students to find your social media accounts online, but keep them separate in your real-life classroom.
How Can Businesses Benefit From Teacher Influencers?
Influencer marketing is prevalent for businesses that employ digital marketing strategies to drive customers to their websites. Typically used as a marketing tactic to engage directly with followers, influencers exist in every industry.
Teacher influencers can be used in a different way to traditional influencers. Teaching professionals are more interested in posting online content to educate and inspire their audiences and provide valuable resources.
Businesses working with teacher influencers must understand that teachers are inherently trustworthy characters, and that will generally only endorse products and services that they believe in.
Companies can learn a lot from the content that teacher influences provide. Rather than focusing on a hard-sell marketing tactic, businesses could consider the educational and informative approach to marketing.
What Does It Take to Be a Teacher Influencer?
To become a successful teacher influencer, you’ll need to compartmentalize your real-life teaching efforts from your online teaching goals, and your personal life.
To be serious in the teacher influencer game, set up separate social media accounts, as you’ll have vastly different followers from your personal social media feeds. On the whole, the teaching community is friendly, so start making connections and follow other teacher influencer accounts. Comment on stories, posts, and ask questions to boost interaction rates and forge relationships.
The growing number of teacher influencers demonstrates that consumers love learning from educational professionals. To make yourself stand out from the edu-influencer crowd, think carefully about the niche you want to reside in.
Do your skills include amazing classroom displays? Or maybe you’re adept at recording yourself explaining classroom hacks. Hone your skills, and then get them out there to the world!
Go to Publisher: Emerging Education Technologies
Author: Sam O’Brien