School social media accounts are viewed as a valuable resource by many but to others, they fall short of meeting expectations. Whichever group you fall into, it is important to recognise the value of social media for schools.
Social media allows your school to reach its community via the channels they use every day. The volume of users and their usage makes these platforms an unmissable method of communication. Through social media, your school can:
- Communicate positive school messages to a wide audience
- Broaden its reach
- Humanise the efforts of staff
- Develop a platform for sharing school success stories
It is important to remember that each social media channel is best suited to a different purpose. In this blog post, we outline the best use of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for schools. Take these details into consideration to maximise the effectiveness of your school’s social media strategy.
Twitter: Keep It Short and Tweet
According to data from the first quarter of 2021, Twitter has 199 Million daily users. That’s a large audience for your school to connect with, and a huge opportunity for engagement.
The first thing you will encounter when using your school Twitter account is the character limit. Your school’s tweets will be limited to 280 characters. This is because Twitter is designed for short, consumable updates. As such, your school tweets must be concise but interesting. Yet, that doesn’t mean your narrative has to stop at 280 characters.
To boost interaction, always add an image to your posts. You can also consider ending the tweet with a link to your school website or blog, if more information is available.
Using Twitter for schools should focus on:
- Sharing good news about your school
- Informing parents and the community
- Giving your school a voice to show its values
- Reaching an audience outside of your immediate community.
The general usage of Twitter to share information will help you fulfil the first two focuses. To take care of the remaining focuses, try using two of Twitter’s well-known features: the hashtag and the retweet.
You may be familiar with the hashtag from your own personal use of social media. It did, however, originate on Twitter. Your school tweets should use hashtags to make the post visible to users who don’t follow you. This widens your reach and helps you to increase your follower count. Remember to regulate hashtag usage. First, by choosing a topic relevant to your school, then by inspecting other posts using the hashtag for offensive or irrelevant content.
‘Retweeting’ is a feature that allows you to share a post from another account. This is a great form of engagement that also showcases your activity on the platform. You must be careful, though, as users will see a retweet as an endorsement of the post. Be vigilant and ensure that you only retweet posts that reflect your school’s values or position on a relevant subject.
Running a school Twitter account is a big responsibility. You need clear guidelines to avoid costly mistakes.
Facebook: The Home of Static and Live Information
As of the first quarter, 2021, Facebook boasted more than 2.85 billion users. That’s an audience of unimaginable size. The bottom line is if your school isn’t on Facebook, you should be setting up a school Facebook page right now.
During the setup of your school Facebook page, you should aim to complete your profile. This means adding information to every available section. Much like your school website, your Facebook page should include the vital details that people visiting your page will want to know. The page acts as a go-to source of information, so you should fill your profile at the earliest opportunity.
Unlike Twitter, your school Facebook page will not have a limit on the size of its posts. But, that shouldn’t be seen as an invite to post long, exhaustive updates. Why? Because no one will read them. Your school’s Facebook posts should be kept to a consumable length. As with tweets, if more information is available, include a link and drive users to your school website.
The best school Facebook accounts focus on user engagement. They do this by asking questions in posts, running polls, and setting up events. The events feature is of real benefit to schools. The next time you are hosting an event, create it on Facebook and invite parents and members of the local community. Using the events feature is sure to boost awareness and attendance.
In our experience, many schools have concerns about Facebook. They are worried that it requires too much management, such as keeping up with incoming messages. They are also troubled by the possibility of negative and profane comments appearing on their page and posts. Both of these issues can be easily negotiated.
Facebook allows you to set an auto-response for incoming messages. Consider a reply like: “Thank you for your message. Someone will be in touch with you soon.” This buys you time and reassures the user that they will receive a response. Upon receiving a message, Facebook will send you an email notification. All you need to do is check your emails and respond to avoid messages going unanswered.
To address the problem of unwanted comments, you can apply a filter to your account. This will prevent the following:
- Negative comments being added to your school’s posts or page
- Comments containing profanity being displayed on your school’s posts or page
- People tagging themselves on your posts or as someone who attends your school.
LinkedIn: Connect with Businesses and the Best Talent
When staff are setting up their school social media accounts, LinkedIn is rarely the first place they go. Despite this, it can be one of the most effective social media platforms for schools.
Your school’s usage of LinkedIn should centre on two things:
- Engaging with businesses.
- Recruiting the best staff.
LinkedIn is the social media channel of choice for professionals and businesses. It is where they connect with other professionals and promote their achievements and activities. If you want to work with businesses or secure their support, LinkedIn is the place to do it.
Your LinkedIn posts should be professionally written, understanding the platform’s business-like audience. They should promote your school, its values, and the good work you are doing. Once you have established your profile, start engaging with educators, thought-leaders, and businesses. If you are looking for companies to support your school, be clear and make sure to detail the benefits their involvement will have.
Teacher recruitment is complex for many reasons; one of which is the market’s competitiveness. Finding talented staff early is crucial to attracting them. LinkedIn gives schools the opportunity to communicate directly with candidates. The platform can be seen as an enormous marketplace, where some of the most promising staff are present. Therefore, you should always advertise vacancies through your school’s LinkedIn account.
Unlike users on job sites, not everyone on LinkedIn is actively looking for a new role. Many of the excellent staff your school needs will already have jobs or may only look at certain times of year, for example, the transfer window. By promoting your vacancies on LinkedIn, you can attract staff in other roles and entice them to join your school. Access to an audience of already-employed staff is invaluable for school recruiters. That is exactly what LinkedIn offers.
If you want expert assistance in securing business engagement or recruiting the best staff, we’d love to help you.
Make Sure Your Social Media Strategy Is Fit for Purpose
To get the best results from using social media, your school needs to have a presence on multiple channels. Your activity on each channel should match the best usage guidelines we’ve discussed. The best way to ensure these guidelines are followed is to create a school social media strategy.
The Eduprise team has worked with schools across the UK. We help them to build their social media presence and reap the rewards of using social media best practice.If you want our expert team to give your school a social media boost, contact Eduprise now.