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How the best school websites can use social media

 
July 30th, 2018
By Raven Lawson

In our current day and age, social media has become a vital form of communication.  Everyone from students to parents and even companies are utilizing social media platforms as a way to connect with one another.  For schools, social media is a good way to cultivate a friendly educational community and advertise to possible incoming families. But, not all social media platforms are best suited for school communication and the content that schools should be creating changes with each new school year.  Here is some advice on how the best school websites can use social media and how they should create content for each platform.

What social media platforms should schools use?

With the increasing amount of available social media platforms, it can be difficult to decide which ones are best for your intended audience.  In my opinion, the social media apps that schools should adopt are determined by the demographics of people that use them. For instance, Instagram is an app mostly used by teenagers and younger generations, which means that for schools, this app would be beneficial for communicating with students.  On the other hand, Facebook is rarely used by students my age, but it is the app where schools would be able to communicate with parents. I do not think that schools should create profiles on more than these two platforms because then it becomes more difficult to generate content for each one.

Social media platforms that schools should not use

A very popular social media platform for teenagers such as myself is Snapchat, but despite its popularity, schools should not use Snapchat to communicate with students or their community.  Snapchat is an app that requires constant use and the creation of new content daily. This can be very time consuming and difficult for schools to do because it would require someone to consistently post interesting content in order to be relevant to the students who comprise the majority of users.  Snapchat also would not be the most beneficial option for the best school websites to use because it does not provide schools with the best way to broaden their community off campus. In order for a school’s content to be viewed, they must be added, and unlike Instagram, Snapchat does not contain an explorer page where anyone can access the content posted by a particular profile.

Generating content for each social media platform

Instagram

Since Instagram is a primary social media platform for students, it is important that the content created by schools is geared towards this audience.  Schools should consider ways to attract the attention of students and keep them interacting with the school’s profile page. For example, students enjoy hearing about upcoming events such as school dances and sports games, so schools should post updates to motivate students to participate in these events.  Something that would keep me engaged with my school’s Instagram page would be shoutouts of individual students and organizations on campus. Many school clubs use social media as a way to communicate with their members, so if schools acknowledge the accomplishments of these clubs then they can encourage students to not only join clubs but to also interact with the school’s profile for information regarding student involvement on campus.  Schools can make good use of Instagram stories to share pictures of students and events without having to create an entire post. Instagram stories can act as an alternative to creating posts, but schools should keep in mind that these stories only last twenty-four hours, so it is better to use them for simpler content instead of important events.

Facebook

Facebook can be a good social media platform for the best school websites to use, especially when it comes to interacting with parents.  In my experience, parents are really interested in the accomplishments of students on campus. Schools should post content about the colleges that seniors have been accepted into, as well as other academic accomplishments that students have achieved.  Pictures can be very helpful when creating content for Facebook because they allow the school to personalize the achievements by showing the students who accomplished them. Photos also allow parents to see the other students who attend that school. Schools should generate content that not only showcases the achievements of their students but also helps the school promote itself because parents can see how well students are performing.    

Importance of utilizing social media platforms

Social media platforms are important for the best school websites to use because they allow schools to broaden their communities and create better relationships between students and parents.  By using different social media platforms, schools can personalize the content they generate depending on the people who use each app. It is important for schools to evolve and improve their methods of communication that way they can constantly attract new families as well as keep current families engaged with the content that the school is posting.  By understanding the demographics of each social media platform and which ones work better as school communication apps, schools can optimize their content and ensure that their profiles remain relevant.

About Raven

My name is Raven Lawson, and I am a seventeen-year-old high school senior at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies (LACES).  I am a writer and designer for my school’s Yearbook and I am one of the Presidents of our Black Student Union. Through my school’s college counselor I learned about a summer internship opportunity.  I applied in early February and had the fortune of being selected as one of eighty-seven interns. I then joined the team here at Edlio as a marketing intern. After high school, I plan to pursue a career in journalism or communications, and I am looking forward to utilizing the skills I learn at Edlio in the future.