The Best Social Media Practices for School Websites
In 2018, over 3.196 billion people around the world were on social media according to a 2018 Global Digital suite of reports from We Are Social and Hootsuite. Over 68% of adults in America get at least some news from social media as well (Pew).
With so many adults relying on social media as a news source, it’s important for schools to share news and accolades on social media as well. As a school or district, you’re probably less focused on updating your relatives about your most recent family vacation. With hundreds of different ways to utilize social media emerging each and every day, here are some of the best practices the Edlio experts suggest you use.
#1 Use Multiple Social Media Platforms
Social media has become more than just Facebook. Nowadays, there’s practically a different type of social media for everything. As a school, it’s important that you make use of media that has both professional and creative features.
Our experts suggest utilizing Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn. All of these platforms allow you to post both written content as well as pictures and images. As a school, Twitter and Facebook accounts are great places to post news and announcements. On the other hand, schools often use an Instagram account to share more visual elements such as students doing a craft in the classroom or new basketball hoops in the gym. LinkedIn is also an easy way to stay connected with alumni and the community in a more professional manner. Whether the school is looking to post a job opening for a new science teacher or share updates about a 20-year high school reunion, LinkedIn can help your school be the expert in your education community.
Although being active on multiple social platforms is important, don’t forget to keep your branding consistent on all platforms. This helps visitors such as parents or students better identify with the school and feel a sense of comfort in knowing they’re accessing information from official school accounts.
#2 Don’t Abandon Ship!
We all know that eerie feeling of driving past an abandoned amusement park. Abandoning a social media account can give visitors that same eerie feeling. It’s important that your school keep an active presence on all of their social media accounts.
As a rule of thumb, we suggest that you post on each account at least once a week, if not daily. The last thing you want is for a prospective parent to stumble onto your school’s Facebook account just to see that new content hasn’t been posted in months. This can lead to missed opportunities for enrollment boosting. If your school chooses to activate an account on a social platform, make sure you have a staff member available who can keep the content up-to-date.
#3 Make a Schedule
It’s not only important to post to your accounts, but it’s also important that you post somewhat consistently so your followers know what to expect. An easy way to help your social media manager do this is with a schedule or social calendar.
If your school has a high-class athletic department, you might want to post an athlete spotlight to all of your social accounts every Friday. Or if athletics aren’t what your school is known for, you can always post a brief “Events this Week” summary to Twitter every Monday. Whatever your school chooses to post, a schedule can help you stay organized while also helping you create a unique culture for your school’s social presence.
Our team at Edlio loves this free social calendar template from Hubspot!
#4 Promote Your Social Handles
As a school, the majority of your social followers will probably be current students and families in your education community. However, those people need to be able to locate your accounts first! The easiest way to reach this audience is by attaching your social handles - or links to your social accounts - to your school’s website.
Whether you’re putting the little Facebook and Twitter icon in the top right corner or your school’s homepage or you have links at the bottom, make sure they can be easily found. Your school’s website receives a lot of traffic so the more places you can put your social accounts, the more likely your education community will be to see and follow them!
As an added bonus, a CMS like Edlio’s allows you to actually manage your social accounts from the backend of the school’s website. You can even embed many of your accounts within your school’s website so visitors can see your social feeds right from the homepage. This is great for those visitors that don’t have a social account but still may want to see what your school posts on social.
#5 Know Your School’s Policies
As a final tip, make sure you’re aware of your school’s policies when it comes to posting content online. Some school’s have in-depth photography policies in place that may prohibit you from posting pictures of students to the school’s social accounts unless that student or guardian has given written consent.
Additionally, once you do have consent and permission to share photos of students, be sure you get all of their information correct. Being featured on your school’s social account can be exciting to a student who’s grown up in this digital era, but that excitement can quickly be dampened by inaccurate information like a misspelled name.
Whether you’re a part of a small school or a large district, social media is a great way to share news and connect with your education community. So go out there and flex your school’s social media muscles - we know your efforts will be #great!