In the 21st century, social media has become an integral part of communication. News, trends, ideas, and culture are shared through technology. As a school, it is not just essential to participate in social media, but to actively keep up with the ever-evolving apps. This is important for communicating information to students and parents as well as staying relevant to each new generation. Each year your school welcomes a new crown of younger students. It is your job as a district or educator to adjust and meet the interests, demands, and language of this fresh demographic.
Here are some of The School Comms Lab’s top tips to help your school master each form of social media!
What to know for all social media platforms
These are those need-to-know rules that apply to every form.
- Post the essential and the entertaining
- Use photos and videos
- Link to website and email in bio
- Do NOT follow students or parents
- Assign page monitors as well as the poster who understands the platform
- Turn off message notifications
- Post holiday-relevant content (like the templates we provide in our membership community!)
- Remember your specific audience on the respective platform
Talk Twitter to me
Overall, Twitter is the platform that school communicators tend to utilize more than any others. This is because it is quick and high-reach. People like to get their information in a straightforward manner which this app understands with its word limit on posts. Though still used by many young people, statistics show that most Twitter users are between 35 and 65 years old.
- Keep things short
- Never forget a hashtag
- Share and link to your other school social media posts
- Participate in school-appropriate Twitter trends
Canterbury Private School in New Milford, CT, does a great job with their content and hashtags in this LGBTQ pride post!
Figuring out Facebook
For most of you, Facebook shouldn’t be anything new as it has been around the block. With that said, your audience on this platform will most likely not be the younger generation. This does not mean you should say bye to the old-faithful Facebook.
- Post no more or less than one to two times per week
- Avoid super long worded captions
- Post during the morning or evening
- Share and link school articles and blog posts
- Shout out and spotlight students and teachers
- Create parent and staff groups for specific interaction and information
The Minnetonka School district in Minnesota does a great job with Facebook posts by featuring staff, students, and special announcements.
The Ins and Outs of Instagram
Instagram is a bit different than the other social media apps because it is all about the visual media. With that said, your content on this platform must always be a photo, video, or graphic.
- Pictures should be high-resolution and high-quality
- Avoid filters and editing
- Spotlight events, students, student groups, and staff
- Use your school colors in graphics or custom templates
- Keep captions short, fun, and emoji-filled
- Fun tip: if your school has a pet or real animal mascot, create an account for it!
- Longer videos can go on IGTV and less important content can go on Instagram stories
- Links can only be accessed in bio
- Consider a student contributor to help with Instagram stories
The University of Connecticut has a special account for their mascot, Jonathan the Husky!
Feel Like Taking School to Tik Tok?
If you really feel like stepping up your social media game this school year, then make a Tik Tok.
- Hire or train a student trainee or someone already versed in social media and marketing
- Do your research on trending content by looking at the FYP (for you page)
- Look at what other schools and educators are posting for ideas
- Keep the content fun and entertaining rather than serious
5th grade teacher Ms. Sutherd has garnered over two million followers and comments from NFL teams and celebrities like Jack Black on Tik Tok for her fun, laugh-out-loud videos about teaching!
Ultimately, school social media should not be a cause of stress! Remember that at the end.
Which social media platform have you found the greatest success on? Do you have tips to share? Leave a comment below and we may follow up with you for a future story.
- About the Author
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Brand Journalist Gabby Esposito is a student at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in journalism and philosophy. As a Brand Journalist with School Comms Lab and Holdsworth Communications, she works to tell the stories of brands and businesses, including schools.
Her articles are an organic form of PR, branding, and marketing. She is passionate about sharing the stories of others—big or small—and learning about lives and ideas that are different from her own. She has written for publications including Her Campus and UConn.
Gabby is from Connecticut and enjoys spending time with her family, dog, and two cats. Aside from writing, she enjoys cooking, traveling, watching Tik Toks, and listening to podcasts.