Your school’s social media can create results you wouldn’t believe. Done well, it can inspire and delight your audience, offering them a chance to see beyond the school gates and create a great sense of community among parents, staff and local businesses and organisations. Even better, you will be connecting with your audience on the devices they use on a daily basis making you current, appropriate and part of the conversations that are already happening.
Yet in a recent poll, Digital Media Edge discovered that only 19% of the schools asked considered social media an important part of their digital strategy. We believe this is down to a simple lack of understanding, with time-poor staff misjudging just how important these platforms are in representing a school’s image.
So where to start? Each platform differs significantly and requires a different style of posting to get the most from it…
Twitter – the networking tool for quick, reactive content
Twitter is the beating heart of the internet and will likely be where you post most of your daily content and school updates. This could be everything from photos taken in lessons to reminders about events that are coming up and links to new blog posts; quick titbits of information that are easily digestible. You can promote different classes, after-school events and clubs and show off exactly what it is that makes your school great.
Re-tweeting relevant content is going to help boost this as well, for example if your school has any associations with a particular charity, follow them on Twitter and share some of their tweets! Then when you do any charity events for them you can tag them to get them involved in what you’re doing. Trends are also a great thing to join in with, see what hashtags are trending each day and think how you can relate them to your school.
You can post a lot more on Twitter because it is such a fast moving platform, we say up to ten posts a day including retweets. Try not to spam on here though because no-one likes to see the same content being posted all the time.
Facebook – your community hub to encourage conversations
We recommend that every school starts by building a strong Facebook page. The key here is to create a sense of community by getting parents involved and encouraging them to comment and share your posts with friends and family. Many parents use Facebook so this is a great place to showcase to them what their kids are up to during a school day.
Posting on Facebook is more about the quality than the quantity. Don’t overdo it but aim for around three posts a day; Facebook will in fact limit how many people see your posts if you spam too much so stick to the most relevant and engaging content.
Don’t be afraid to ask people to comment or share either, it’s a great way to open up the conversation!
YouTube – never underestimate the power of video
The explosion in video consumption across the internet has been driven by YouTube. The additional benefit to schools is that a lot of pupils follow “YouTubers” and some even aspire to be an influencer with millions of followers, so having a school YouTube channel is a great way to keep the pupils engaged.
If you are the type of school that enjoys creating video then having a channel can help enhance your reach and will be very popular among prospective parents too who want to get an instant impression of your school.
You will of course want to share your video content across the other social media platforms as well, but YouTube is a great way to keep everything in one place.
You’ll likely only be posting on here once or twice a month depending on what is happening within your school so it is the perfect platform to capture special events like Sports Day or the school play.
Instagram – visual story telling at its best
Instagram has grown over the past three years into the most dominant platform for the 18 – 30 yr old demographic. So if you are a primary school it is hard to ignore its importance. Aim to only post high quality images if possible and make sure you use as many of its features as possible, utilising hashtags to get in front of the right audience and experimenting with Instagram Stories.
This is another platform that you probably won’t want to post too frequently on. Again, this entirely depends on your school and how much time you want to dedicate to this social platform. Posting about once a week is probably a good starting point, then if you feel like you are gaining more interaction, you can increase how often you post.
Have fun experimenting
Bear in mind, this is simply a guideline and what works for one school isn’t necessarily going to work for others. There will always be a degree of trail and error, but so long as you keep an eye on what is performing well you can have fun experimenting and see what gives you the best results.
If you’d like some more insights into producing effective social media content for your school, download our ‘What Is The Plan’ PDF here.
Over the past few years Digital Media Edge have modelled best practice of how the best schools use digital media on their websites, use social media and produce engaging content to tell their story remarkably. We will share only what works with you and help your school develop an effective strategy. Every day we will work to make your school stand out from the crowd. Not only that, but we stay with you working as partners so you’re never alone and never uncertain. If you are interested in learning a little more, we’re offering totally free consultation meetings which are completely without obligation, but which will give you a glimpse into a bright new future. Contact us today at email@example.com.