Social media can help your school communicate better. In this post, I am sharing tips and suggestions to give you some answers on the what, how, and why of social media in your school or division. What follows is a path and plan to consider as you create new ways to communicate and tell your story.
Basic Guidelines for Social Media:
Limit who has log-in access to any social media account
- I suggest limiting who has log-in access to any social media account. Two or three staff who have access to a school Twitter or Instagram account is my recommendation. If one is out, another can still send information out.
- Don’t give more than one responsibility to the same person. Consider dividing up who manages each account.
- Focus on one initiative at a time- I suggest starting with Twitter
Establish guidelines for posting frequency such as:
- At least 3 tweets each day
- At least 2 Facebook posts per day
- At least 3 Instagram Images per day
- At least 1 video per month
Establish an understanding of exactly what you promote and communicate on social media- Control your message.
- Balance of activities- Academic, Extra-Curricular etc…
- Make sure you promote all aspects of your school and division
- Communicate support and pride for other schools within your division
“You tell our story or someone else will” Eric Sheninger
Great advice as the best people to tell the story are those creating and living the story!
Communicating your school and division brand:
- Everything you send out through social media should communicate what your school and division value.
- Posts and images should convey excitement, energy, and enthusiasm about your school, staff, students, and division.
- Communication should always generate exciting buzz about your school, staff, students, and division.
- Staff can promote social media through email signature, hashtags, retweets, and likes.
- Register hashtags for your school and division. These make it easier for the community to find and follow your content as well as providing topics.
- Promote our Vision and mission of your school and Division
- A school Twitter account is different than a personal/professional Twitter account- its purpose is to push information out.
- Every tweet in your feed (not just those you post) represents your school.
- Limit who has access, the school principal should be the main person running Twitter.
- Do not follow many people and only after tracking what they post for a stretch of time.
- Re-tweet from other schools in your division.
- Mention other schools in your Tweets from your division. This can be done when you post or if you re-tweet from another school or your division
- Mention your superintendent if he or she is on Twitter to further promote and communicate exciting goings-on in your school.
- Designate a staff member to populate content.
- Establish a staff member who monitors Facebook daily
- Posts should have images and videos accompanying text whenever possible.
- Facebook is an excellent platform to share images and video of all the exciting learning happening in your school.
- A standard of at least two posts per day will assist in keeping parents and the community engaged.
- Moderate comments made by others.
- Use hashtags and create your own hashtags to label images and help to help them show in searches.
- Motivational quotes are great to post and a great way to introduce Instagram.
- Pictures of events and learning activities from your school are also ideal for Instagram
- Wear clothing that makes you feel good about yourself
- Watch your body language — everyone else will
- Smile with your eyes
- Use your hands
- Use your natural voice
- Pacing matters
- Many students like being on video and my experience is parents like to hear from the principal through this medium too. But, it takes some practice to create a good product.
I encourage you and your team to use social media to build your unique school brand and to better communicate with families and your community. Take the time to integrate at least one new strategy that enhances your public relations by meeting your stakeholders where they are. My suggestion is to start with Twitter and expand using my list. Social media is an additional way for you to create an appreciation for your school, students, and staff. People all over the world enjoy and appreciate the power of story. Social media is another way for you to tell your story. Never underestimate the power of your stories.
Connect with me on Twitter @ERobbPrincipal
The Principal’s Leadership Sourcebook By me! (Evan Robb)