Social Media can be a powerful communication tool for your school. But, how can you master social media for schools? AGParts Education supports thousands of schools across the nation utilizing a 1:1 Chromebook initiative. In collaboration with our in-house marketing team, we’re here to help you navigate the [sometimes choppy] waters of social media.
Here are eight tips to mastering social media for schools:
It’s important to know where you stand, so completing a social media audit is key. We recommend completing this first. Write down what pages you have, their size, and types of content. If there’s none, that’s okay.
If you already have pages up and running, what has worked? Does one platform seem to perform better than the other? Take notes to refer back to as you progress.
Define Your Goals
What are you hoping to accomplish through social media? Your social media pages should be a resource for your audience, delivering helpful and compelling content.
Make a list of clearly defined goals and deadlines. Goals should be measurable so you can track their progress. For example, building awareness is a great goal but does not include a quantitative component. Growing your page by 100 followers/likes in three months, which builds awareness, is a measurable goal.
Social media for schools typically requires a two-pronged plan. The first prong of that plan is content that you post regularly, which includes school updates, events, etc. The other part of the plan is a little scarier—all the unplanned stuff. How do you respond in times of crisis? How do you respond to a nasty comment? 2020 has been a great barometer for how schools have responded and continue to respond to variety of unexpected events like the coronavirus pandemic and racial tensions.
Plan as much as you can in advance. Albeit, the first part is much easier to plan by creating a content calendar outlining when and what you plan to post. But don’t hesitate to have posts on standby to dial up in times of crisis, from inclement weather to public health concerns. It will reduce stress during an already stressful situation.
There are many social media platforms out there, but they are not one size fits all. They serve different purposes, appeal to different generations, and different content performs better on certain platforms.
Be selective—choose one to three platforms where your audience lives. What social media platforms are parents, students, and faculty using? Go there. Not sure where your audience is? Ask them. This can be as easy as setting up an online poll for students, parents, teachers, and staff to complete.
Using more than one social media platform is ideal, to give greater options for your audience, but remember more is not always better. If your resources are best served using one platform, stick with one platform. It’s always better to have one well-established platform than three disparate and inconsistent platforms.
If you already have pages up and running, don’t be afraid to cut the nonperformers
Set Realistic Expectations
The key to mastering social media for schools is setting realistic expectations. It will not solve all your communication issues, but it can definitely help deliver important messages to your audience quickly.
Social media is a great tool, but it’s a tool that does require time and effort. It takes time to manage pages, post content, and moderate comments. Who will own and manage the accounts? Whether it’s someone on your team, a parent volunteer, or an agency, be sure that you are setting your program up for success by assigning the task to someone that has the time. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up for failure.
If you do have multiple people working on your social pages, be sure to assign an owner who can track and manage goals, deliverables, and deadlines.
With any marketing strategy, content is king. You want to provide relevant content to your audience, which includes parents, students, teachers, and staff. They each have their own pain points and needs. Rotate different types of content to include school updates, event recaps, free resources, and alumni spotlights, as well as teacher and student spotlights.
Make room to share other resources on your pages from thought leaders in education and related industries. Not only are these posts easy in a pinch, but they will increase your own visibility and exposure to other audiences.
Track What Works
What posts resonated with your audience? Look at engagement metrics to see what works. Remember those measurable goals? How did you do? It’s okay if you didn’t hit them. Reassess your goals and pivot. Tracking your progress will help you understand what works so you can consistently deliver helpful content to your audience.
When it comes to social media for schools, be creative! Don’t be afraid to call on teachers, and students even, to fill content gaps. Perhaps, students can flex their marketing muscles by curating social media posts as part of a business class. Or, maybe a Twitter account is set up solely as a virtual sounding board for a specific class. There are so many ways to get creative and we love this article about ways to use social media for education.
AGParts Education offers comprehensive solutions for 1:1 Chromebook initiatives, including OEM and reclaimed parts, buyback, motherboard exchange and repair, and refurbished whole units, as well as a full line of COVID-19 safety supplies. Find out how we can help your district. Contact us today!