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Author Archives: Andrea Gribble

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How to Polish a Post

How to Polish a Post

How to Polish a PostDing! A notification pops up on your phone from Gmail. You take a look at the app and… yes! You received an email from a teacher with great new content for your social media pages. You click on the email and see the following message:

Subject: Science Experiment

Today, March 15th, 4th graders in my class did a science experiment involving baking soda, vinegar and food coloring. We had so much fun and can’t wait to talk more about chemical reactions tomorrow. Attached you will see pictures from the experiment.
Thank you,
Mrs. Brown

The photos are even clear and really showcase the students’ faces- awesome content right?! Hold on just a second. Before you copy and paste this email directly into a Facebook post, let’s make sure that it matches the voice you’ve created for your school, and is as engaging as possible. How to go about doing that? We’ve got you covered with five things to focus on to “scrub up” any potential post.

How to Polish a PostEdit out unnecessary dates
Unless the dates are really pertinent for the information you are sharing, like an upcoming event or something that just happened and you posted ASAP, there’s no need to share dates all the time. While it’s lovely that teachers include them in emails sometimes, they aren’t going to make your post pop; if anything, they might distract from its central message. So hit the delete button and get rid of “Today, March 15th.”

Use the right voice
In a previous blog about grammar, the importance of using the right grammatical voice and subject was stressed. Other than when you are directly quoting someone, you are posting in the name of the whole district, and not just Mrs. Brown or her class. Make sure to change “we” to “they” or “my class” to “Mrs. Brown’s 4th graders.”

How to Polish a Post

Add a hashtag (or more!)
One thing that is so important when polishing any post is to include your district’s “brand”: your hashtag, that is! Play around with where you place it in the post; it’s easy to stick it at the end of everything, but that isn’t so creative. Let’s say that this district’s hashtag is #FallRiverPirates. You can use this as an adjective to describe the experiment by using an apostrophe: “#FallRiverPirates’ science experiment” or swap “4th graders” for “4th grade #FallRiverPirates.” The options are endless, so think outside the box and use your school’s hashtag in lots of different ways. You can even pop in an extra one tailored to the post itself; in this case, #ChemicalReactionTime might be a good option!

Get creative with word choice
If you have never used Thesaurus.com for inspiration for your posts, it’s time to bookmark this page in your browser! If you are looking to go the extra mile in jazzing up a post, add creative adjectives and bold verbs to spice up the language. Here, “did” could become “executed” and “talk” could become “examine in further detail.”

Vary language- but be consistent!
The final step includes putting all of these pieces together into one cohesive post. Check out our blog on the Top Ten Ways to Start a Post to start out on the right foot, and then mix up sentence types and structures, and especially words for “students” “teachers” and “class” to take your post from an 8/10 to a 10/10!


So now that we have covered these five steps, it’s time for the big reveal… Here is the new, polished post!

How to Polish a Post

#FallRiverPirates science enthusiasts “bubbled up” with excitement after witnessing a chemical reaction firsthand! Mrs. Brown’s fourth grade researchers executed a riveting experiment with just a few common household items: vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring. They cannot wait for more #ChemicalReactionTime.

Voila! Aftering ticking all five boxes, you are set with an engaging post to tell your school’s story.

A 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.

If you love our tips and tricks, then you don’t want to miss our 2nd annual Social Media Summer Camp event! Grab online training from leading experts across North America. It happens in a two day event on June 26th & 27th. Learn more now.


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Social Media Use in 2018 - The Latest Data & How it Impacts Your School

Social Media Use in 2018 – The Latest Data & How it Impacts Your School

Are you having a tough time keeping up with social media for your school?

I think we all feel overwhelmed from time to time. It might be advantageous to take a moment to rethink your social strategy.

Should you launch a new platform?

Or even cut some channels out?

Well, the most effective way to make that decision is to base it on data.

And boy, are you in luck! There is new data that just came out which shows how Americans are using social media. Let’s look at a quick overview of the data and then discuss how it impacts your school.

Latest Research

In an article dated March 1, 2018, a Pew Research Center study broke out that outlines the latest trends in social media use.

Social Media Use in 2018 - The Latest Data & How it Impacts Your School

Roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults are using Facebook, and roughly three-quarters of those users access Facebook on a daily basis.YouTube is even higher, but you might realize that this social channel is a bit different than other platforms. Many users simply use it to consume video, not necessarily their own share videos on it.

It’s a long way to third place, but it’s important to note that channel.

Instagram.

More than one-third of adults are using Instagram. This is much higher than the 24% who are using Twitter.

The research breaks down their data even further to identify another age bracket.

The study looked specifically at 18 to 24 year olds; this is both the lowest age bracket that they have, and the one that would match the social media use of your students.

Social Media Use in 2018

The top four channels for this age demographic are YouTube, Facebook (yes – they still use Facebook), Snapchat, and Instagram.

What This Means For Your School

Facebook:

Facebook Logo

This new data continues to support my endorsement that Facebook is the number one channel for your school. If you are not using fully utilizing Facebook, then I would stop and focus all of your attention on getting that platform up to speed.

So what does “fully utilizing Facebook” look like for a school? Your page likes should match your enrollment, and continue to grow at a rate of 25% each year. You should be posting one to three times per day and your weekly organic reach should be about four times your page likes.

If you need help in getting the foundational steps right, you might want to check out this free webinar on Social Media 101.

YouTube:

Youtube Logo

YouTube is an obvious platform for your social media presence, but of course that will consist of only video content. YouTube has really changed over the last several years, introducing enhanced features. Did you know that you can easily livestream from your YouTube channel with a couple of clicks? Check it out!

Now, I know that some schools stay away from YouTube because the platform allows for little control over advertisements and other content that can show up after a video is watched. I get it – and you need to make the best decision for your school.

Instagram:

Instagram Logo

If reaching students and young parents is important to your school, then Instagram is a must have. The best news is that Instagram is highly visual and is so easy to start!

This short blog article shows you How to Start an Instagram Page. It even includes a link to a recorded webinar which will take you beyond the basics.

Instagram stories, student takeovers, Instagram Live – the opportunities are plentiful on this platform. But don’t get overwhelmed. Start posting a few times a week, always use your school hashtag, and you’ll learn more as you go.

Twitter:

Twitter Logo

I love Twitter. It is such a powerful professional development tool for me. But for schools using social media to connect to your community, it might not be the best use of your time.

This is simply based on the data above. If you have been using Twitter for a few years and have just a few hundred followers, it might be time to eliminate this channel from your school’s social media strategy.

Snapchat:

Snapchat Logo

If you’re using Snapchat well for your school, then I want to hear about it! There are only a handful of K-12 schools that I have heard of that seem to be using this efficiently for their district.

Why?

It’s where kids go to hang out AWAY from school and adults and supervision…

While I know it can be used to help your school, I just don’t know if the time investment to learn how to use it to its fullest capacity it is worth it. If you are interested in adding this channel, check out our free webinar on How to Use Snapchat for Schools.

But Wait: My School is Different

Your community’s use of social media may not match this latest research. If you have a strong following on Twitter, then of course you will continue focusing on that!

The best way to get an honest assessment of your community is to ask them. You could create a very simple survey (Google Form or Survey Monkey) that asks what social media platforms they use and how often they use them. Asking participants to select an age category is a must for this survey.

It’s important to get this survey out to your community in more ways than just sharing it on social media! Obviously, if you promote the survey on your district’s Facebook page, and those are the people who respond to the survey, the data will be strongly biased by those respondents. You may want to plan a survey during back-to-school time where every student and parent is asked which social channels they use.

What’s Next?

Will there be a new social media platform popping up that may impact your school?

It’s very likely.

I think the best way to stay informed on these trends is to keep in contact with other #SchoolPR professionals from across the country. Want to know a great place to do that?

Social Media Summer Camp – 2018!

We are connecting you with the top leaders in school social media over a two day virtual event in June. You can check out all of the details here and register.


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Top Ten Ways to Start a Post

Top Ten Ways to Start a Post

It happens to the best of us: we mean to start out our posts in an eye-catching way, but we get stuck in a rut.

The wording of every other post seems the same, and while people following your page might not notice as much as you do, they are still unconsciously aware. Using the same verbiage post after post doesn’t drive the active engagement you are looking to promote.

So we are here to help! Here are our top ten tips (with examples) for how to grab your fans’ attention and get you out of your #PostingRut!

  1. Ask a question

    An easy way to switch up the tone of a post is by starting out with a rhetorical question. Try to keep things general and light-hearted; maybe you aren’t even looking for a specific answer to the question. Nevertheless, it makes someone reading it feel like part of your community:

    • Who’s ready to see some #LCatPride slam dunks tomorrow night?
    •  

    • Aren’t you excited to see how our #FallRiverPirates’ Math 24 competition went?
    •  

    Top Ten Ways to Start a Post

  2. Spark engagement

    In the same vein as tip #1, you can ask a creative question or make a statement that really makes your audience want to comment. Congratulation posts work well for this, but you can also experiment with asking specific, pointed questions about your fans’ favorite memories and so on. Once you know your audience well, you will know what kind of statements and questions get them to engage right from the start of a post.

    • What was your favorite imaginative activity as a child? Mrs. Zietlow’s creative #LCatPride class is busy setting up a doctor’s office and trying their hand in the medical field!
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    • Help us in congratulating these amazing #FallRiverPirates on their hard work and determination!

     

  3. Use a colon

    One underrated way to connect two ideas is the colon. You can start out with a witty phrase, and then stick a colon in to introduce the main topic of your post:

    • We have something to illuminate your Saturday: #NewAuburn blanket fort, pajama, and flashlight fun!
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    • What an amazing #LCatPride achievement: Lake Mills School District Exceeds Expectations!
    •  

    • Cracking the #LCatPride code: students in Mr. Herman and Mr. Carroll’s Pre-Calculus classes apply their knowledge of matrices and use cryptography to crack the code of an evil criminal mastermind.

     

  4. Find a fitting play on words or pun

    Who doesn’t love a great play on words, especially for funny or light-hearted posts? Don’t try too hard for this one, but if you mull over the topic for a second and a good pun pops into your head, go for it!

    • “Our #FallRiverPirates are flipping amazing! They were treated to a pancake breakfast by our awesome volunteers this past Friday.”!
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    • “#ReedsburgPride artists are focused on the “bigger picture,” especially when they collaborate to create a mural in the halls of Webb Middle School.”

    Top Ten Ways to Start a Post

  5. District hashtag or another experimental hashtag

    Putting your district’s hashtag at the very start of a post is not only great for auto-posting to Twitter, but it can also be an effective way to pop out in people’s feeds. Use it as an adjective, noun, or other part of speech! Bonus points if you can make it alliterate with the word(s) that follow it. You can also make up a fun new hashtag just for the post and lead in with it, too.

    • #LCatPride learners are up to something secret…
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    • #FallRiverPirates in Mrs. Doolittle’s class have been working on a special project!

     

  6. Address a certain target group

    If you want to direct a certain post at a group of people, such as elementary school parents or alumni, why not call them out at the beginning of a post? That way, they know right off the bat that the message is directed at them.

    • Hey, #LCatPride alumni! We need YOUR input on a special event we have coming up….
    •  

    • Calling all #FallRiverPirates middle school parents: it’s time to sign your child up for…

     

  7. Inspirational quote

    Sometimes famous orators just put things in better worlds! Why not use their eloquence to your school’s advantage? Pick a fitting quote, give credit where credit is due, and prepare for it to get great engagement.

    • “Good, better, best. Never let it rest.’Till your good is better and your better is best” -St. Jerome Our hardworking students in Algebra II truly embody this quote.

    Top Ten Ways to Start a Post

  8. Ellipsis (…)

    Looking for a way to build suspense or lead up to big news? Ellipsis (dot, dot, dot) are your new best friend. They can jazz up a post and pair well with an exclamation point:

    • The winners of this month’s Good Character Award are… John Smith and Mary Warren!
    •  

    • The location for the brand-new elementary school is… Hudson St!

     

  9. Alliteration
    It’s so pleasing to the key (and our inner voices, reading aloud) to see words in a row starting with the same letter. This will force you to think of creative, uncommon words and add a little polish to any basic post.
    • #LCatPride Skating Saturday: Mrs. Zietlow spent time with a student and her friend who won her LMES PTO auction.
    •  

    • Monday March madness ensued in Mr. Brown’s gym class!

     

  10. Introduce features consistently (using the same phrase)

    It’s important to realize that creativity and originality are great in posts, but using key phrases and words to signal certain types of posts is important, too! Phrases like “STAFF FEATURE FRIDAY” or “HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE OF THE MONTH” right at the beginning of your post draw your fans to something familiar. This is crucial to creating a brand for your school, so it’s okay use the same short phrase every time for recurring features.

    • STAFF FEATURE FRIDAY is back this week with another #LCatPride educator…
    •  

    • It’s time for the best day of the week: STAFF FEATURE FRIDAY!

Top Ten Ways to Start a Post

Hopefully this gives you a little push to vary the way you start posts! The first step is being conscious of the way you word things; once you start paying close attention, you will become a pro at creative opening phrases.

A 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.

If you love our tips and tricks, then you don’t want to miss our 2nd annual Social Media Summer Camp event! Grab online training from leading experts across North America. It happens in a two day event on June 26th & 27th. Early bird registration ends soon. Learn more now.


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Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding

Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding

Keeping things positive on your own social media sites for your school is one thing. But what about what everyone is saying on other channels?

Private parent Facebook groups, community rant pages, neighborhood platforms like Nextdoor: the list could go on and on.

People have opinions and they are not afraid to share them, but now YOUR school is at the center of those complaints.

So what are you supposed to do about it?

  1. Listen, but don’t necessarily respond

    It is fine to listen to what is being said on open and closed platforms, since it’s important to stay informed on what is being said. However, you are not responsible for responding to each and every comment about your school on other pages. Let’s face it; you’d definitely run out of time in your day.

    Besides, you are rarely going to change someone’s opinion by commenting on social media or an article online.

    You don’t want to assume that everyone in your district feels the same way as the vocal few. Heather DuBois Bourenane, Executive Director of the Wisconsin Public Education Network, explained this well in a recent webinar (which you can access here).

    Try to think of your community like the audience in the Muppets. They are diverse, and likely an entertaining, lively group. That is the reality which you have to learn to deal with in a constructive manner.


    Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding

    But when it comes to the negativity, sometimes the only voices you seem hear are the people criticizing your school.


    Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding

    If you start communicating as if you are only responding to those critics in the balcony, you are going to veer down the wrong path. The others in your community will wonder what you’re even talking about! At times, facts may need to be highlighted in your normal communication channels, but you certainly don’t need to react to every comment out there. Here is a helpful guide to share with your school staff on responding online.

  2. Continue celebrating your school

    When you are under attack, the best thing you can do is to keep telling positive stories of your school through social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. You share them on your website. You print them in your local paper. You tell them in your newsletters.


    Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding

    Double down on the optimistic stories that you are putting out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you aren’t posting at least two times a day about the great things going on in your district, you are missing out.

    One Minnesota superintendent said it best: “You have to build a culture where it is not socially acceptable to attack our school.” It certainly takes time, but it can be done. You can build a place where positivity is the norm, and where everyone works to keep it that way.


    Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding

  3. Encourage your community to get involved

    There is power in numbers, and the more people who are sharing your positive stories, the better!

    Getting your community involved in telling your story starts with a district hashtag. This allows everyone to be a storyteller for the district, simply by using this hashtag in a post. Strong hashtags include these rockstar examples: #GoCrickets, #WeAreONE10 and #Promise2Purpose.

    You want to broadcast that hashtag in every post you share – on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and any other channel you use, as it’s a vital part of your brand.

    Sharing your hashtag offline is just as important to promote continuity! These window stickers are an easy way to do that. They are sure to grab the attention of every person who enters your building. Want to find out how easy it is to order them? Check out this blog.


    Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding

    Asking for help in telling your story can be scary. It requires placing trust in other people to share the good things that are happening in your district. But in my four years of studying social media in schools, I have witnessed a multitude of benefits and rewards when leaders trust their community to help them tell their story!

Need more help?
If you feel like you need additional help in responding to a specific situation in your district or school, reach out to us here at #SocialSchool4EDU. We are always here to help. Email me at andrea@socialschool4edu.com.

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


Schools Under Attack: Three Tips for Responding


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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.
    •  

    • Facebook Live is a great way to build engagement with your community.
    •  

    • Keep sharing great stories! Close up photos are critical, and just a short description of what is happening.
    •  

    • 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.
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  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.
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  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!
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  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!
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    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.
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    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.