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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
- 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.
- No longer posting Sunday night calendar links. Again, these posts drive little engagement.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.