Social media is a great communication tool for schools. In fact, your school’s social media should be a key component of your school marketing campaign. If you’re not on board with social media yet, it’s high-time you get there.
A strategic communications plan for your social media can improve relationships with parents, build trust, and encourage engagement. When it comes to school communication, parents want important information such as events and meetings, policy changes, and news that affects the education of their child. However, this is information better suited for e-mails, newsletters, and the school website.
Short and simple posts are essential on social media because of limited space and short attention spans. When it comes to educational program changes, curriculum updates, or other school news, spell out the details on your website, and use school social media to increase awareness of the information by driving traffic to your school website. Your school’s social media is best used for revealing the daily life inside your school.
You see, social media for schools is about connection. Your audience will like or follow your pages because they want to know what’s going on in a more meaningful way than a newsletter or website article can communicate—they want to feel connected. Your school social media can give them a window into what goes on during the long school hours.
Aside from connection, social media has become, more increasingly, about entertainment. In fact, it’s a habit for many to check their social feeds when they’re bored and absent-mindedly looking for something to entertain them. Social posts that get liked and shared are ones that make that connection or fill that entertainment need. So it’s a good idea to fill your school social media with interesting and entertaining information.
School marketing is a natural result of this kind of content. As you show the great things going on at your school, you show your school culture and brand. Here are six areas to showcase your school, programs, students, and staff on social media.
- Learning in action
Reading, writing, math, and arts. Show off the active learning that goes on behind your classroom walls. Videos and photos get more attention on social media, so don’t just tell about a project your fourth grade students are working on, show it! Share images of engaged students and involved teachers.
- Incredible staff
We love to see people being appreciated and recognized for their hard work. From the superintendent to the school janitor, pick someone to highlight every month or every week on your social pages. Let your followers get to know your school better by getting to know the people who work there.
- Stellar students
Spotlight your students. Your school’s social media should sing the praises of students who have achieved noteworthy accomplishments. Remember to look for unique opportunities as well—student talents, student projects, student athletics, etc.
- Altruistic endeavors
Show your students and staff unifying for a good, noteworthy cause. Whether it’s an event for earth day or anti-bullying week or a gesture supporting a staff member with a serious diagnosis, the causes and events your school supports tell more about your school culture than any “about us” article can.
- Heart-warming stories and simple gestures
More than ever, people want to see good news come across their social media feeds. If you catch students being kind or teachers going the extra mile, we encourage you to share it on your social media. Don’t be shy about showing acts of service or kindness, especially if that’s a part of the school culture you are trying to cultivate. One example of this kind of content is the “positivity challenge” several schools have participated in—see Glenbard South’s positivity challenge video on their Facebook page.
- School events and traditions
Sports events, choir concerts, fundraisers, talent shows, homecoming, etc. Share pictures and video of your events and school traditions in action. These events are a part of your school culture outside of the classroom, and your fans want to see what makes your school special.
Social media should be fun. Allow your social pages to be a window into your school, and show your followers the amazing programs, people, and events connected to your school. Don’t let it be overwhelming. For more ideas to keep up with social media trends, check out this article on the School Webmasters blog. In addition, the Marketing Your School Toolkit has many ideas for your school’s social media and will keep you on track with meaningful, strategic communications.
Katie Brooks, School Public Relations Manager