In this digital age, schools can really benefit from social media usage! Schools across the United States are exploring the possibilities of incorporating social media into the school setting. Positive usage of social media can encourage a collaborative environment among students and create a sense of community and familiarity between school staff, parents, and their students. Utilizing social media in these ways can be effective in cultivating a positive brand presence and act as an effective communication tool. Here are some tips for ways your school can get involved by using social media:
- Create a mission statement - What is the goal of your social media integration? For example, “Creating a stronger sense of community among parents, students, and staff.” Incorporate this mission into your interactions.
- Get teachers involved - Teachers can get involved with social media by using it as a positive, fun way to highlight students’ work and projects! Students feel a sense of achievement by seeing their work shared with others, and parents will feel more involved in what is happening in the classroom.
- Instagram can be a visual social media tool where the primary form of social media communication will be in the form of photos and videos. Instagram is a great tool to build community because it’s a fun, easy-to-use app for all ages.
- Twitter is more text-centric, where posts are 140 characters are less. These are short and concise but can be easily shared and interacted with by parents and staff members by ‘retweeting’ and ‘favoriting’ Tweets.
- Snapchat is a great tool to reach students! Create “Snapchat Stories,” which are typically under one minute long. These are strings of photos and video that are compiled together to create a quick “story” of events happening at school. Snapchat offers tons of fun filters and creative options to customize the content.
- Facebook is a great way to connect with parents. Facebook allows for longer content to be posted, compared to Twitter’s 140 character limit, and is a great way to let parents know about upcoming events. Parents can ‘like’ the school’s Facebook page and be notified when events are created on Facebook. These events can be responded to by parents by marking it as “Going” or “Interested.” This is a great tool to keep parents in the loop!
- Pinterest is useful for idea sharing—from activities to educational resources. Did your school do something that others might be able to tailor to their needs? Create a pin to show it off! You can also link those pins to your district's website.
- TikTok is a creative method to share short, fun video content. Whether just for fun or to share general information, you can make sure your video gets views by using popular sounds. For some extra fun, have willing participants join in the fun by filming trending challenges or dances.
- YouTube is great to share long-form video. Here, you can share whole projects, such as highlights of sporting events, competitions, dance choreography, and features about your district's community.
- Choose your platforms - Which social media platforms are right for your school?
- Feature staff members on social media pages - Create a feeling of familiarity for students and parents by highlighting various staff members (such as the nurse, school counselors, and the attendance office) and the work they do for your school. This fosters the feeling of community that schools strive to bring to their students and parents.
- Share school happenings - Share photos and videos of fun events at school. This can increase engagement, awareness, and attendance at school events such as dances, spirit days, and fundraisers.
- Lead by example - School social media usage can be a model for students to learn responsible, positive social media practices. Students will see their parents, teachers, and school staff utilizing social media in fun, but responsible, ways!
These are just a few ways for schools to integrate social media usage. As more schools explore the possibilities of social media, communication and engagement between schools, parents, and students are transforming. How does your school use social media? We’d love to hear about it!