By far, the number one concern I hear from schools that use social media is they can’t get enough content from their staff. They know great things are going on, but they have trouble getting information from their teachers.
Other schools struggle with getting balanced stories from all grade levels. It seems that the elementary grades may be good about sending regular photos, but the middle and high school content is nearly non-existent. It seems counter-intuitive, since this group of students is always on their phones.
Well, if you are reading this blog, you are probably the one responsible for posting things for your school. You cannot do it alone. It truly does take a village to tell your story (and here is the blog that talks about it).
So let’s talk about nine strategies to get more photos:
- Make it easy to submit – We recommend asking staff to e-mail photos and updates to a central e-mail address. Creating a general social media e-mail address (like firstname.lastname@example.org) will help clear up any misconceptions of “Who do I e-mail this to?” If e-mail is too tough, you could also offer up a cell phone number where they could text the photos to you. Another option would be if the teachers are using social media already in their classroom, to make sure they tag the school district in their posts. Get creative. The easier you make it, the more likely it will be that you get photos.
- Emphasize the importance – The new school year has either just kicked off, or will be kicking off soon. Passionately sharing the impact social media has for your school is a must! To help you out, I have created an awesome six-minute video to help highlight the reasons behind social media use in school. You are free to use this at your convocation or staff inservice meeting – click here for the YouTube video link.
- Talk it out – If some teachers don’t ever submit content, ask the question of why. If they are worried about privacy issues, take time to explain the list of students that can’t be photographed. If they feel that they don’t have time, show them how easy it is to snap a photo and attach it to an e-mail. If they are against social media altogether, then you may just want to let it go. You will not bat 1,000, nor do you need to in order to be successful.
- Reward staff – Creating a traveling trophy or special recognition for those who actively submit content is a great way to encourage staff. Competition is healthy, especially when it is in the name of celebrating our students. My friend Greg Turchetta at Collier School District created a hashtag trophy. Teachers adorn their classroom or office with pride!
- Get students and parents involved – Staff aren’t the only ones with great stories. Your students and parents have great accounts of the awesomeness going on in your school too! You can personally ask for involved students and parents to submit content to you via your e-mail address. You can also encourage the use of your school hashtag and use material that you find on your district channel. I would encourage you to ask permission first, but I’m sure they will be happy to see their photos shared.
- Report on metrics – You must share your social media wins with your staff. If you have a post that reaches 10,000 people, let them know about it! If you receive great comments, make sure to highlight them. Don’t assume your staff reads every post on social media. You need to put together a report card to share metrics back with them. If they see the impact you are having, they will likely participate more in the future. If you want help creating a report card for your school, this recorded webinar will help.
- Classroom photographers – Encourage staff to assign classroom photographers. These photos from the students’ view are so fun for your community to see! It can make it less stressful on the teacher to try and remember to take photos.
- Provide ideas – Even though I believe there are a million things that could be shared each day in every classroom, some teachers may struggle with ideas for what to share. That’s why I created a list of 100 inspiring ideas for social media posts. Download the list here.
- Training – Offering ongoing support for the social media efforts is key. In order to meet people where they are at, we need to offer continued training for our staff on using social media. If you aren’t equipped to conduct the training internally, #SocialSchool4EDU can help! We love conducting in-person or online training for your staff. E-mail me so we can talk about your specific needs.
I hope this list helps provide at least one or two that you can try at your school to grab more content. If you have another idea to share, comment below!