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Author Archives: Andrea Gribble

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Broadcast LIVE – 30 Ideas for Facebook Live in Your School

Broadcast LIVE – 30 Ideas for Facebook Live in Your School

There has never been an easier way to interact directly with your community and let them witness your school’s story as it unfolds. It’s called Facebook Live – and you should be using it for your school!

Broadcast LIVE – 30 Ideas for Facebook Live in Your SchoolThis week, we want to share 30 ideas to inspire you to go live. We’ve also created this snazzy, printable list so that you can share it with others at your school to involve them in going live!

The trick to Facebook Live is that there is no perfect length. You can go live for a few minutes – or an hour or even more – it all depends on what you’re sharing.

As far as timing goes, it’s best if you can let people know about the live broadcast ahead of time, but don’t be afraid to just go live spontaneously.

Facebook Live is all about being real, transparent, and authentic with your community. If you are still a little nervous, you can check out this additional checklist to make sure that you are prepared.

Easy, popular ideas include:

    Broadcast LIVE - 30 Ideas for Facebook Live in Your School

  1. Concert
  2. Sporting Event
  3. School Board Meeting
  4. Pep Rally
  5. Graduation
  6. Special Speaker

Sporting Events:

    Broadcast LIVE - 30 Ideas for Facebook Live in Your School

  1. Pep band or special music before the game
  2. National anthem, especially if students are performing
  3. Game breaks – special recognitions, dance or performance
  4. Student section having fun
  5. Player or coach interview after the game

During school day:

  1. Students in the hallway, especially if they’re excited about something or heading to a special event
  2. Front entrance, film kids coming in on the first day of school or all going out on the last day of school.
  3. Lunchroom “go live” especially if it’s a special food day
  4. Classroom experiment
  5. Art class: pan through the kids holding up their creations
  6. Gym class: film a fun or unique activity
  7. Music or drama class: film them practicing especially if it’s close to a concert or performance, to use as a promo for the event
  8. Academic classes: go live if there’s a fun game or activity or “race” etc.
  9. High school classes: pan through projects in home-ec, shop, or tech classes

Special events:

    Broadcast LIVE - 30 Ideas for Facebook Live in Your School

  1. Field trips: film them getting on/off the bus, during lunchtime, and during the actual trip
  2. If there’s a big athletic event at the high school, classes at elementary/middle schools can be filmed saying “Go Eagles” or “good luck”
  3. Staff recognition
  4. Referendum town hall meetings – Q & A Sessions
  5. Building tours of remodels or additions to your school

Broadcast LIVE - 30 Ideas for Facebook Live in Your SchoolNighttime:

  1. Remember after-school activities other than sports, such as drama, after-school programs, etc.
  2. A teacher/principal goes live reading a bedtime story

Announcements:

  1. Broadcast school donations
  2. New logo or website reveal
  3. Weekly or monthly update from Superintendent or Principal

Have another idea or something that has worked well at your school? Please share it with us below!

And to make sure you never miss an update from #SocialSchool4EDU, sign up for our free newsletter. We share the best tips, tricks and strategies to using social media for your school.

100 Inspiring Ideas


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Video Update on Facebook

Video Update on Facebook

Do you want help sharing the Facebook News Feed update with your staff?

We thought you did!

Below is the letter we sent out to our partner schools earlier this week. It includes an awesome video update that is meant to be shown at a staff meeting. Of course there are a few spots where I talk as if the team at #SocialSchool4EDU is working with your school, but you’ll be able to explain that to your staff!


A few weeks ago, we shared some details regarding the Facebook news feed update. We have learned a lot since sharing that initial news, and now wanted to provide a short video that you can share with your staff.

We strongly suggest that you show this video in a staff meeting (it is just under 7 minutes). If you simply e-mail the video out, you and I both know that it will not get watched. The video is meant to help with two things:

  1. Provide a pep talk about the importance of social media. It’s the time of year when content from our schools is low, so this will help spur great stories from your classrooms.
  2.  

  3. Detail the Facebook news feed changes and help explain what it means for the information that they share with us. Specifically:
  4.  

    • Event reminders may not reach as many people, so make sure you share the information through other channels as well.
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    • Facebook Live is a great way to build engagement with your community.
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    • Keep sharing great stories! Close up photos are critical, and just a short description of what is happening.
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    • Choose the “See First” option on our school page, and teach parents and community members how to do it.

We have created just a short template that you could incorporate into a parent handout if you’d like.

Click here. You’ll need to copy and paste the information into a new document if you’d like to use it for your school.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are constantly reviewing the best strategies to share your story with the world. Our team of over 20 people are dedicated to the more than 50 school districts that we serve. We are encouraged by the engagement in our content. We are also excited to share even more engaging ways to connect to your community through social media in the future.

It is such a privilege to partner with your school!

– Andrea, Heidi and the team at #SocialSchool4EDU


If this is helpful, you will definitely want to stay plugged into my bi-weekly newsletter. I share the latest tips, tricks, and training on social media for schools. Sign up now and get your hands on 100 ideas for social media posts for your school right away.


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Facebook News Feed Changes - What Your School Needs to Know

Facebook News Feed Changes – What Your School Needs to Know

Unless you have been on a digital detox lately, you know that Facebook has made some major changes to the way their news feed works.

I went live on January 31, 2018 to share three things and take questions from schools across the country.

In this video, I covered three main topics:

  1. What has changed on Facebook
  2.  

  3. What we’ve learned so far for our schools
  4.  

  5. What you can do on your school Facebook page

 
It’s been viewed over 1,300 times and had over 80 comments – which for my little Facebook page is a LOT! That’s why I thought it was important for you to get access to the video, along with a quick recap.

Facebook News Feed Changes - What Your School Needs to Know

What Facebook has changed

When I boil down the changes that Mr. Zuckerberg and his team have made with the January 11, 2018 announcement, this is what I see as the most important for you. The news feed determines what Facebook users see when they open the app, since most users don’t specifically visit your school’s Facebook page each time they want to get updates.

  1. Facebook wants to nurture more people to people interaction.
  2.  

  3. Facebook will be showing less content from businesses, brands, and media.
  4.  

  5. Facebook will be showing less video.
  6.  

  7. Facebook will show posts where people have longer comments and interact with one another.
  8.  

What we’ve learned so far

We manage Facebook pages for more than 50 school districts. As such, we have already learned many things since these changes went into effect.

  1. Our school pages still matter – they are still being seen, but there is significantly less reach per post: half as many people compared to before the change.
  2.  

  3. Quality trumps quantity of posts. Share good stories and they will be seen. If you share “filler material” that doesn’t generate comments, your post will not be seen.
  4.  

  5. Links to websites or news articles are not being seen by many people at all.
  6.  

  7. Some posts are receiving a much longer lifespan. Posts that we’ve shared several days ago will continue to drive comments and interaction. We think this is because there is less junk in the news feed and people DO care about our school posts!
  8.  

  9. Weekends are not a great time to post. Unless it’s breaking news, we are not going to continue to push out content on Saturdays and Sundays.
  10.  

  11. Multiple photos can do better than just one photo.
  12.  

  13. Staff recognition rocks!

 
What you can do for your school

Here are just a few suggestions for your school Facebook page going forward:

  1. Keep sharing awesome content. The world needs your stories, and it is worth your time to keep sharing them via Facebook.
  2.  

  3. Encourage your staff and your community to make longer comments on your posts. It will help your stories be seen by more people. “Way to go” is a nice comment, but “Way to go #NewAuburn! I’m so proud of the students who are making a difference in our community. Keep it up!” drives more engagement and interaction.
  4.  
    Never Miss a Facebook Post from Your School

  5. Teach your staff and community to “see first” the updates from your school. This article was created for you to borrow, steal and share. Get these simple instructions out to your followers! It even includes a short video you can use.
  6.  
    Facebook Live Contributors for Your School

  7. Video reach will be down, but Facebook Live is a great way to improve your reach! Grab a handy checklist and instructions on how to assign Facebook Live contributors in this article.
  8.  

  9. Pay attention to your Facebook insights. What time is the best time for your school to post where people will comment? What types of posts are doing best? This is really important. We still believe that the best time to post is between 7-8 pm Sunday through Thursday night.
  10.  

  11. Continue to collaborate with your peers. We need to stick together. I share great tips and tricks in my bi-weekly newsletter. Sign up now. You can also stay connected through my Facebook page.

 
For further information, listen in to my video, where I elaborate more with examples on each of the items above. You can also ask any lingering questions in the comments section!

Be sure to read through the comments – there are great suggestions and resources for you to use.

If you have more that you’d like to share on what you’ve learned so far, comment below.


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Never Miss a Facebook Post from Your School

Never Miss a Facebook Post from Your School

Have you noticed a change in your Facebook news feed? I’m betting you have, as Facebook has made some significant changes. These alterations impact the stories, photos and videos that are showing up for Facebook users.

That being said, we know you want to stay connected to the awesome things that are happening at your school. So here are three simple steps you can take to make sure you never miss an update!

  1. Go to your school’s Facebook page. You can do this on your desktop or mobile device by typing in the name of the page in the search bar within Facebook.
  2.  
    Never Miss a Facebook Post from Your School
     

  3. Once you are at your school’s page, find the “Following” tab under the cover image and click on the small arrow next to it.

    On the desktop it looks like this:

    Never Miss a Facebook Post from Your School

    On your mobile device, it will look similar to this:

  4. Never Miss a Facebook Post from Your School
     

  5. Under the “IN YOUR NEWS FEED” section, select “See First.”
  6. Never Miss a Facebook Post from Your School

 
It’s that easy! Each time you login to Facebook, you will see the new posts from your school in your news feed – right on top.

For a simple video walk-through, check out this short 38 second tutorial!


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Important Social Media Update

Important Social Media Update

Today, I wanted to share a special message that I think might help your school. The team at #SocialSchool4EDU serves more than 50 schools across the country with our social media management service. This means that we help tell their stories through channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. You know that social media takes a lot of time (like evenings and weekends), and our team helps with that!

Our team is also in charge of keeping up with these ever-changing social channels.

In light of the recent Facebook news feed modifications, we needed to educate our schools. We emailed the following announcement to our partner schools last week, and plan to follow it up with a short video which they can share with staff. We will also be drafting up a short letter that they can share with parents to help explain the changes.

Please feel free to utilize the information below in communicating with your school. If you are interested in gaining access to the short staff video and parent letter template, please reach out to me at andrea@socialschool4edu.com. There would be a small access fee, but properly communicating these changes will have a positive impact on your social channels.


Email subject: ** Important Social Media Update from #SocialSchool4EDU **

#SocialSchool4EDU is so happy to be part of your school. We love celebrating your students and staff with thousands of people each week. We believe in the trust and transparency that it builds within your community.

As your social media partner, we wanted to reach out and make you aware of a major change that impacts how we manage your Facebook page. On January 11, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement in regards to the way the newsfeed will work. If you recall me talking about the Facebook algorithm, that is basically what we’re talking about here.

Facebook is making significant changes to its news feed algorithm in an effort to prioritize “meaningful” person-to-person interactions among friends and family over posts from Facebook pages. These updates will result in fewer public posts from pages and fewer videos in the news feed. For our school, we will see a decline in organic reach (or free reach). What this means is that fewer people will see each of your posts.

Facebook is favoring posts that spark conversation. A good analogy is that Facebook is going from announcing things on a stage to more of a coffee table discussion.

The great thing about our partnership is that we are already making changes to help our content be seen by as many community members as possible. Of course, our fans can always visit our Facebook page to see our content, but that is not how the majority of people are reached. We want to continue to show up in people’s newsfeeds. We believe that people enjoy the stories we are sharing, and we are confident that we will be able to continue to reach your community not only through Facebook, but Twitter and Instagram as well.

Here are a few practices we are putting in place immediately:

  • We are urging your fans to select the “see first” option on Facebook. This means that when we post a new update on your school Facebook page, they will automatically see it first when they log back into Facebook. We did this with a picture post, and we will be evaluating the effectiveness of a video as well.
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  • No longer posting lunch menus for any schools – these posts spark little engagement, and Facebook has indicated that this will impact the reach negatively for the entire page.
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  • No longer posting Sunday night calendar links. Again, these posts drive little engagement.
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  • We are doing a deep dive into analyzing post types, times, styles, frequencies – basically everything that goes into the content for your page. We have the advantage of seeing the results from over 50 schools we serve, so we will be bringing that expertise to your page. We encourage you to be patient if you see activity that doesn’t match what you have been accustomed to seeing. For example, with some pages we are seeing significantly more reach with just one great post a day rather than three mediocre posts.
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  • We are getting very picky on photo quality. We will provide feedback if we feel like the photos will not drive good engagement on Facebook.
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  • We may be posting more often on Twitter and Instagram. Posts that used to always go on Facebook may be used on the other channels instead. This is an effort to not negatively impact your page’s views.
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  • You will be receiving a three minute video in the coming weeks that we would like you to share during a staff meeting. We would like you to show it when you are all together (because we know if you send it out in an email, staff members are less likely to watch it).

We are going to be here to help you through it all, but there will be some efforts to energize and change just a little bit. Here are a few things we need from you and your staff.

  • Great content from your school. The stories that pull at the heart and showcase amazing students and staff always do well.
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  • More comments on the posts we share. The length of the comments now also counts. If you can try for at least two sentences, that would be great.
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  • Respond to other people’s comments within a post. Dialogue between people helps. Many times this can happen with controversial things. We don’t want to encourage controversy at all – but healthy conversations would be great.
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  • We would love more Facebook Live videos. Simple video messages that might spark some discussion would be great. We’ll be coming out with a thorough list to help generate ideas.
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  • Less simple reminders for upcoming events. Some reminders do well and are shared, like a reminder for early release or late start, but others do not. Please continue to distribute those reminders via other channels. We may also simply post these items on Instagram.
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  • Reach out to your PTO, PTA or other involved parents to let them know about the changes. Make sure they realize that their comments matter!

In closing – you are in great hands. #SocialSchool4EDU has been running social media for schools every day for the past four years. We’ve learned a lot, and we are committed to making the adjustments we need to in order to maintain our mission.


Celebrate Students & Connect Communities

We will be coming out with a variety of tools to help inspire your staff to share the stories that need to be told. The world needs the positive news, now more than ever, coming from your school.

Don’t hesitate to reach out with questions – we are always here to serve!

Your partners in success,
Andrea Gribble, Heidi Feller & the entire team at #SocialSchool4EDU


If this is helpful, you will definitely want to stay plugged into my bi-weekly newsletter. I share the latest tips, tricks, and training on social media for schools. Sign up now and get your hands on 100 ideas for social media posts for your school right away.


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Student Spotlights - Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

Student Spotlights – Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

Social media is all about stories.

And while your school is filled with hundreds or even thousands of students and staff who are collectively doing awesome things everyday, sometimes we have to go back to the story of ONE.

And that ONE story is the story of the student.

Taking the time to highlight one specific student is a powerful way to connect with your community. It may be a story of kindness, compassion, accomplishment, or simply a celebration of the student. I’ll break down a little guide to help you get organized. I’m going to explain how we developed the “Students Who Shine” weekly feature in New Auburn.

Student Spotlights - Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

  1. Pick a style that fits with your school best. You could have a student of the week, student spotlight or senior standout. In New Auburn we decided to go with “Students Who Shine.” It would reflect students of all ages.
  2.  

  3. Determine how students will be selected. It may be generated by teacher nominations, peer nominations, or just the work of a committee that “knows” the different accomplishments going on. For this example, we asked each staff member to nominate one student who standouts out from their peers. It could be for the extra effort that they put forward (because school doesn’t come easy for all students), or for being a great friend, or for overcoming adversity.
  4.  

  5. Once the nominations are received, you need a high quality photo. Cell phone photos are fine as long as they are in high resolution. I wait until I have 4-5 nominations and then go out and take all of the photos at once. New Auburn is a 4K-12 school that is all in one building, so I can grab 4-5 photos in a matter of 10 minutes!
  6.  

  7. Create your graphic with the photo you took. I use a free website called Canva. Again, I batch this process and create 4-5 features at a time. The goal with this graphic is to tell the story in the image itself. It is fine to write a description and include the photo of the student – but branding it in this way is better!
  8.  

    Student Spotlights - Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

  9. Schedule out the student features on Facebook. You can schedule up to 6 months in advance right in the Facebook platform – and you can select the exact time of day you want the posts to publish. For New Auburn’s feature, I picked Tuesday nights at 7pm. Evening times are when the most number of your fans are online, so it is a great time to post.
  10.  

    Student Spotlights - Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

  11. Once the publish on Facebook, I make sure to post them on Twitter and Instagram as well. I simply use the Facebook Page app on my phone, click on the image and save it to my camera roll, and then go into Instagram and Twitter to post the image. I usually copy the text from the Facebook post and use it on the other channels (but Twitter has to be shorter, of course). Don’t worry too much about duplicating content. Most people have a favorite platform that they use. And because of algorithms, every fan of yours won’t see every post anyway.
  12. Student Spotlights - Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

 
Here are a few other examples of student spotlights that you might want to try!

Student Spotlights - Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

Student Spotlights - Creating this Weekly Feature is EASY!

These features do so much for your district! They highlight great students, of course, but they do more than that. They help reflect the amazing staff you have in your school. The features build engagement, because many times people take the time to react or comment to the photo. Family members are also likely to share the feature, leading to an even bigger audience for your school.

Do you do a student feature at your school? I’d love to see it! Share a link below and let us know how well they perform for your page.


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Basic Grammar and Style for Social Media

Hannah Feller – School Account ManagerA guest post from Hannah Feller, our youngest account manager! She is currently completing the BA program in English Literature and Linguistics at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She is thrilled to be able to apply the theory she works with at university to social media for schools.

Have you ever been reading an awesome post on social media only to come across a grammatical blunder, typo or strangely capitalized word? It completely undermines the content, doesn’t it? That’s just one reason why it is crucial to pay attention to grammar and mechanics while celebrating your school. This post is here to refresh your memory about common conventions and help you put out the most professional posts possible.

Capitalization

This one is something that can be quite difficult, especially when it comes to school related words and topics. But that means it’s all the more important to get it right! When do you capitalize “district” or “high school”? This requires you to determine whether you are talking about a proper noun or a common noun. For example, if you are posting about “Fall River School District,” this is referring to a proper noun, since it is an individual, unique district. But if your audience already knows that you are referring to a specific school district and you omit the words “Fall River,” you are going to want to skip the capital letters, since you are referring to a common noun. Here are two sample sentences chock full of examples:

Today at Reedsburg Area High School, AP Calculus students had the chance to regard the entire School District of Reedsburg in a live stream of their most recent unit.

vs.

Today at the high school, math students had the chance to regard the entire district in a live stream of their most recent unit.


Basic Grammar and Style for Social Media

Other things to watch out for:

  • Lake Mills Elementary School vs. elementary school
  • Algebra vs. math
  • Reedsburg School District vs. school district
  • Fall River Middle School students
  • kindergarteners, 1st graders, high school teachers

Point of View and Verb Tense

Let’s say you get an email from a Mrs. Hill, a hypothetical kindergarten teacher, which reads as follows:

My kindergartners and I went on a nature walk today! We made drawings in the woods by the elementary school and then in art class, we made paintings based on those sketches. Here are some pictures of their work!

While it may be tempting to copy and paste this into a Facebook post, think for a second about the point of view being presented. You are supposed to be posting in the name of the school district, not Mrs. Hill and her kindergartners. That means you need to rewrite all post ideas you get in the third person. Here is the previous email from the point of view of the school district:

“It’s always nice to get a breath of fresh air! Mrs. Hill’s kindergartners went on a nature walk today, sketching their surroundings along the way. Then, in art class, they transformed their drawings into bright, bold paintings. We are so proud of their artistic skills!”


Basic Grammar and Style for Social Media

See how it is appropriate to use the word “we,” which signals first person point of view, in the last sentence but not in the others?

Associated with point of view, make sure to decide whether you are going to write in the past or present tense and stick with that for the entire post. If something has already happened, which is likely the case, just make it easy for yourself and use the past tense throughout.

Exclamatory Sentences

One thing that really stands out in a post in the overuse of exclamation marks. Of course, we want to be positive and upbeat about our schools, but we don’t want to make it seem like we are yelling at our followers or being overly enthusiastic. Here’s a good rule of thumb: try to pick out the most intriguing sentence in your post and just use an exclamation point for that. Then, if you feel you have a secondary exciting sentence, try to make sure it isn’t right next to the other one with the exclamation point. In other words, avoid back to back sentences with exclamation points. If you find yourself still wanting to use a lot of exclamation points, try adding adjectives and verbiage that will up the positivity of your post.

Too much:
Our middle school students recently completed their community service project! They used their free time after school to go and clean up public spaces! Awesome work, #FallRiverPirates!

Just enough:

Our middle school #FallRiverPirates recently completed their community service project! They donated their free time after school to clean up public spaces as a team. Take a peek at their hard work and give this post a thumbs up to show thanks.

Notice how much more professional the second post looks and sounds, just by deleting exclamation points and adding colorful language.

Commas

This next category is best explained through the use of examples, kindly supplied by another fabulous account manager, Tanille. Just watch out for comma placement and use it as a guide for your posts.

  • Dates: Edgar Elementary will be hosting a bake sale Monday, March 13th, at 9:00 am, in the cafeteria.
  • Places: Our FBLA students will be heading to Madison, Wisconsin, for the state competition!
  • Relative Clauses: Congrats to Alec, #EdgarExcellece senior, for raising $500 for Jump Rope for Heart!
  • Lists and the (optional) Oxford comma: The kindergartners made hats, masks, and puppets.
  • Joining two independent clauses (ones that could be sentences in their own right): #AntigoPride 4th graders hit the trails in phy-ed, and everyone enjoyed the great weather!
  • No comma if the second part is a dependent clause: #AntigoPride 4th graders hit the trails in phy-ed and enjoyed the great weather!

Sentence Structure and Active Constructions

Above all, make sure to use concise, clear sentences in the active voice. Be direct and say what you mean! We only have a few seconds to catch the attention of someone scrolling through a bunch of posts, and the best way to do this is to avoid wordy constructions. For example, read through the following sentence:

Reedsburg Area High School seniors recently spent time doing a project involving community members and staff members alike.

Far too many words, right? Try to shorten up awkward phrasing:

RAHS seniors tackled a project with the help of staff and community members.


Basic Grammar and Style for Social Media

Hopefully these tips help you in crafting more professional, engaging posts and using a coherent writing style!


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What to Post When You’re Short on Content

What to Post When You’re Short on Content

So you run your school’s social media accounts. This is great when you have stories and photos to share, but what about when nothing is coming in?

Winter break happens to be upon us, but we can’t completely disappear from social media. Our algorithms might suffer! The goal should be at least one post a day.

Amanda, one of our School Account Managers from #SocialSchool4EDU, came up with this helpful list:

  • Post a “Best of” series and re-post the best posts from the year – the posts that reached the most people or received the greatest comments.
  • Pull content from other FB/Twitter feeds associated with your schools.
  • Look up “on this day” in history
  • Look for holidays…like national pizza day, etc…(Bonus add a TBT photo with it).
  • Promote Instagram
  • What to Post When You’re Short on Content

  • Promote Twitter
  • Promote Youtube
  • Use TBT photos and ask a question
  • #MotivationalMonday
  • What to Post When You’re Short on Content

  • #ThoughtfulTuesday
  • #TriviaTuesday – Ask question about district
  • #WellnessWednesday – Share favorite physical activity
  • #WisdomWednesday – Share your best advice
  • #TBT #ThrowbackThursday
  • #ThankfulThursday – What teacher are you most thankful for
  • #FlashbackFriday
  • Random Alumni Roll Call
  • What to Post When You’re Short on Content

  • Pull content from district website
  • Share link to school store if they have one
  • Share the district mission statement…a reminder of what we are all about…

Do you have more ideas? Share them with a comment below.

And of course, you should be reminding your staff to submit content. I have found the best way to get them to participate is share some of the metrics behind the social media reach. If they realize that the short video from the Chemistry class reached over 2,000 people, they might take the time to submit the cool activity they are doing in their classroom.

And if your staff just struggles with ideas of what to submit, this list of 100 ideas will surely help!


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Are Your Facebook Posts Reaching Fewer People? This Tip Will Help!

Are Your Facebook Posts Reaching Fewer People? This Tip Will Help!

It is getting tougher by the day to show up on people’s Facebook news feed.

This means that fewer eyes are seeing all the great things happening at your school.

NOOOOOOOO!

If you are confused by this idea – then I’m going to suggest you read this blog: Facebook Algorithm 101 for Schools: What is it and how does it work?

So with this reality, what can we do to increase our reach? How can we improve our algorithm ranking so that more people see the important things we share about our school?

Are Your Facebook Posts Reaching Fewer People? This Tip Will Help!I am an active podcast listener, and one of my favorite shows is Social Media Marketing with Michael Stelzner. I’ll turn it on in the car (the podcast app will play these shows for free), and learn all about social media. The content is geared toward businesses, but it can always be applied to schools, too.

I learn so much that I can apply to my school partners. And then, of course, my goal is to pass what I learn on to you.

In one episode with Dennis Vu, he was breaking down the algorithm calculation in terms that we can understand. For the full episode, you can listen here.

Are Your Facebook Posts Reaching Fewer People? This Tip Will Help!

Here is the cliff notes version. To reach more people, you have to score more points. When it comes to the algorithm, it breaks down like this:

  • 1 point – A like (or love or any reaction)
  • 7 points – A comment
  • 14 points – A share

So a share is 14 times more helpful than a like.

The more interaction on a post, the more people are going to see it. If post #1 has 100 likes, but zero comments or shares, their score would be:

  • 1 point X 100 Likes = 100

Compare this to post #2 that received 50 likes, 5 comments, and 20 shares, their score would be:

  • (1 point X 50 likes) + (7 points X 5 comments) + (14 points X 20 shares) = 350

OK – I know you don’t like doing math, but it’s easy to see, right? Post #2 is going to be seen by a lot more people because its total score is 350 versus the first post which scored only 100.

Even though the total number of interactions (100 likes) is more than the total number of interactions on post #2 (75 total of likes, comments and shares) – post #2 reached more people.

All interaction is not created equal!

So how can you use this to help your school’s Facebook page?

Let people know this scoring system! If your staff realizes that hitting the share button (which takes exactly the same amount of time as hitting the like button) will result in a better reach for your school, they’ll do it!

In the same way, you can share this knowledge with your PTO or PTA group, or other involved community members. They want to help the school – and interacting on social media is free and takes literally no time! They will be happy to help.

Last week, I took time to share a short Facebook Live post on this topic. Check it out here.

Are Your Facebook Posts Reaching Fewer People? This Tip Will Help!

So what do you think? Will this be helpful for your school? If it is, make sure you sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter so you never miss another tip!


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Rating Your Posts on Social Media

Rating Your Posts on Social Media

It’s basketball season. My husband, Bill, and I are volunteer basketball coaches for our kids. I help with 4th and 5th grade girls’ basketball and Bill, my husband, is a head 7th grade boy’s coach. Patience and a positive attitude go a long way!

We end up talking about coaching strategy quite a bit over these winter months (basketball season runs from early November until mid-March). When it’s cold in Minnesota and Wisconsin, what better place to be than in a gym?

Anyway, Bill was a talented player and is an effective leader for these young kids – and I find myself learning quite a bit from him. He recently shared a philosophy that I then applied to managing social media for schools.

First – the basketball strategy. We encourage players to shoot the ball. Obviously, the only way to win is to score more points than the other team. And the only way to score points is to shoot.

But not every shot is created equal. There are good shots, and there are bad shots.

Bill has a rating scale of 1-4 for shots. This has no direct correlation to whether the shot goes in or not. It’s just rating the shot selection itself.

  • 4 – Great shot – you should take this every time you have this open.
  • 3 – Pretty good shot – It wasn’t perfect as above, but it was a great attempt.
  • 2 – Not a good shot – it may have been out of your range, you may have been too closely guarded – but it just wasn’t good.
  • 1 – The shot was so bad that you’re going to be sitting on the bench. Imagine launching it from 3 feet behind the 3-point circle in the middle of the 1st quarter and someone was wide open under the bucket for an easy layup.

In a game, you want to take 3’s and 4’s. If you do that, your team has a greater chance to win.

Now as a coach, you’d think you would rate the players shots. But Bill doesn’t do that. He asks that each player rate their own shots.

He doesn’t ask them to rate every single shot out loud, but he may yell out after a great shot: “Tommy, what kind of shot was that?” Tommy will hopefully respond with, “That was a 4!”

And if a horrible shot is taken, Bill will ask again, and then Tommy will likely hang his head and say, “A 1 coach…”

The trick is, that with every shot, the player is thinking in terms of an easy rating scale. I want to take 3’s and 4’s. And I know if I take 1’s – I’m not going to be playing.
The other point is that just because you take 3’s & 4’s, it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily go in the basket. And sometimes those shots that will earn you a spot on the bench will score a bucket.

I’m sure you get the comparison to social media posts already, but I’ll elaborate with some examples.

A breakdown of the social media post rating scale would be:

4 – Awesome post! You have a great photo (or video), an engaging written post, and maybe even have some appropriate hashtags used. You might even have tagged another page to garner some additional attention. Here are some great examples that truly need no explanation.

3 – Pretty good post. When I think of a 3, I think you either have a slightly less than perfect photo but make up for it with a great story, or vice versa. You have a great photo but not the best caption to go with it. If you post a question and get a few comments, then I think that post can be rated a 3!

This story is the best – and it might be closer to a 4 rating than a 3, but the photos could possibly be just a bit better…

Rating Your Posts on Social Media

Every Thursday morning, it is so easy to share a #TBT photo. This one posed a question and we received many comments! If you want to add this feature on your school page, check out these helpful articles: The Power of a #ThrowbackThursday Photo and #TBT Guide – What to Look for in Yearbooks.

Rating Your Posts on Social Media

Teacher features also make great posts. You may not always have the best photos (it depends on what the teachers submit), but the stories usually reach a lot of people in your community.

Rating Your Posts on Social Media

2 – Not a great post. No hashtags, no excitement, pixelated photos…. Here are a couple of examples of mine:

This one is not even a complete sentence! I don’t use the school hashtag, nor an Earth Day hashtag. The photo isn’t awful – but the caption certainly is.

Rating Your Posts on Social Media

The next post is a Facebook Live invite to the craft fair. I get extra points because of the live video, but I don’t include the date of the event in the post. When inviting people to events, you want to add the date in the description. Remember, people may see the post in their newsfeed days after the actual time you posted the information. You can see in the comments how someone asked on Sunday if they craft fair was today. It wasn’t – it was Saturday only.

Rating Your Posts on Social Media

1 – Truly awful post. Misspellings, inappropriate photos, I really can’t even share direct examples of these types of posts. Why? Because they were deleted or changed so we wouldn’t be sitting on the bench!

Just for your pleasure, here are all examples that I have personally been responsible for. Luckily I don’t do this often (hey, after nearly 4 years, you are bound to have some mistakes):

  • Sharing a photo for #TBT that had inappropriate physical anatomy drawn onto it with pencil (I don’t know how I didn’t see it before it went up). It was down in a matter of an hour after someone called the principal. Yikes!
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  • A 4K classroom photo with a child in the background sitting in their chair with their underwear completely showing (darn low rise pants for kids). I removed the photo after the parent of the child jokingly mentioned it. It wasn’t obvious, but you need to watch for those photo bombers or other background images.
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  • Captioning a photo with the wrong teacher’s name on it. That’s what happens when you receive photos with no descriptions and you try making them up yourself.

Will a 4 post always reach the most people on social media? No. Just like a 4 shot in basketball may not always go in. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try!

And if we are consistently posting 1’s – then we might not be around too long with our school. Our students and staff deserve better. You may need to schedule more time to do it right, grab more training on social media (my free webinars are a great resource), or involve more school staff to help in the efforts. Oh – and you can hire #SocialSchool4EDU too…

As social media managers for our schools, let’s shoot for 3’s & 4’s! With each post you share, think to yourself what you would rate it. If you are like me, you’ll start putting just a little more effort into developing a winning social media strategy!

Have posts that you have shared that are 4’s? Share them below with a link! We’d love to see some examples.