Social media matters. It has become ubiquitous among users of all ages. So it matters not just for you personally, but for your school. It is important to have an active, engaging social media presence for your school. This helps to build the school’s brand or image, and also to disseminate accurate information about your school and what it represents and seeks to present to the world. You will want to build a brand for your school that inspires other educators around the world, and that excites parents and students to get involved and to join your school community. In turn this will encourage potential hires by drawing in the talent that makes up your teaching faculty.
There are many forms of social media out there, and while it is not critical that you use ALL of them at once, it’s important to think carefully about your school’s brand, what that means, and how you can best present it. Think about what message you want to communicate, and how best to share your school’s best qualities and goals with the world. Where are you now? Where are you headed? How do you plan to get there? If you need to, refer back to your school’s strategic planning goals and take a look at where you are, and where you plan to be. Then you can begin brainstorming about how your social media presence can best communicate that. With so many tools out there–Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and on and on–it’s important to be strategic about what tools will work best for the message you want to convey, and the talent you have to showcase that message.
Instagram is great for sharing school photos. Do you have a school photographer or team of photographers that can help capture a glimpse of the daily learning and engagement that happens at your school? Put them to use! Create an account, and start sharing. You can easily create a hashtag for a school event, and encourage students and parents to share their photos using the hashtag.
YouTube is excellent for promotional videos. What kind of materials already exist or could be created that would showcase your school’s talents and abilities? Start with school promotional materials, but then branch out by filming school events, and tapping into a media savvy student or staff member who can edit and polish that footage to show off what your students and staff are doing.
Are many of your staff already on Twitter? Encourage them to tweet about your school. Share photos, events, and other ideas with their PLN. Get the word out there about your school community and those who form part of it.
These are just some ideas to get started. What is your school currently doing that works well? What ideas do you have to grow your school’s social media presence?