It’s a well-known phenomenon these days: schools on social media. Schools are massively using Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram to post the latest news and photos. But how can a school profile itself properly on these platforms? And what better place or not to place?
Social media is a good way for schools to quickly get in touch with students, but also with everyone around them. This does involve the necessary risks: a wrong status update can cost the school dearly. It is therefore important to make good agreements within the organization of a school about, for example, the management of the accounts and who may deliver content.
How the social media at my school is tracked, I have seen both in front of the screens (as a student) and behind the scenes (as an employee). From these two points of view, in this article, I give tips on how a school can be more and better active on social media.
Share the latest news on Facebook and Twitter
Facebook and Twitter offer schools the opportunity to quickly convey the latest news to the students. After all, they check these media rather than visiting the school’s website.
What can you share as a school? Throughout the school year, post messages about adjusted class times, school outings, reminders of handing in resit forms, and so on. For example, towards the end of the school year, the return schedule of the books can be shared. Make sure that the updates are correct in one go, a correction on Twitter, for example, is almost impossible to perform nowadays.
More than just text
Photos and videos often do better on social media than just text. A school can of course place visual material in and of the building, but it is much more interesting and fun to give an impression of recent activities. Think of sports days, graduation ceremonies, and assignments.
It is important that when posting photos or videos, the privacy of people who can be viewed or in them is taken into account. Schools are (usually) not commercial institutions, but it is good to check whether a person can be recognizably portrayed. If the photo or video is placed on a website or in leaflets, it is certainly important to ask the student and his or her parents for permission. In this article on ‘Charlotte’s Law,’ it is described that children often still form a grey area in portrait law. For example, it is wise to ask parents for permission to publish images of their child when registering their child at the school.
It is possible that students or parents criticize a school via social media. My advice: do not respond via the medium, but ask the student or parent to contact the person in question within the organization. Entering into a discussion via Twitter, for example, rarely has a positive effect and comes across as unprofessional to the public.
Social media offers schools a great way to profile themselves. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts that are well maintained (because how does an account come across where nothing has been posted for six months?) and on which – approximately – the same content is posted, ensure that a school gets more interaction with students and their environment and thus acquires more brand awareness.