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Why You Need ONE District-wide Facebook Page

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Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

Why You Need ONE District-wide Facebook Page

The debate is real!

When it comes to school communication and social media – should your district have one district-wide Facebook page, or should each school have its own page? Or should you try to manage a district account plus all of the individual schools?

I know I have opposition out there, but today I’m going to make a case for the district-wide Facebook page approach. Please note that I am only talking about Facebook here. Twitter and Instagram – go crazy with more pages (if you’re comfortable with that). This blog is just about Facebook.

Now I may be biased because I got my start in a small K-12 school with only 325 students. When you talk about district versus schools, well, there is only one school! One wing has elementary (K-6) and the other wing has 7-12.

Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

But since I started with that small school in Wisconsin, I’ve grown to work with schools up to 11,000 in enrollment. My advice is to always create that strong district presence with one Facebook page first, and here are 10 reasons why:

Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

    • One page builds a consistent district brand. One message, one hashtag, one story, one family. Ideally, all communication from your district should have a similar message, look, logo, colors, etc. This obviously extends to your Facebook page.

 

    • One page builds district pride! The momentum builds and once it’s started, it truly is a force to watch.

 

    • District Pride easily translates to community engagement and community pride. You can measure engagement on your Facebook page.

 

Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

 

    • One message on a central page eliminates confusion and provides consistent communication with families and the community. Just think of the nightmare a snow day could cause if notifying parents means posting to multiple pages……

 

    • The Facebook algorithm – it’s real! There is competition out there and your school pages are trying to grab the attention of your community. If you have multiple pages, they are competing against each other. If you only post once per day on each school page, then why not combine those onto one page and get 3-5 posts out per day? If you don’t understand the FB algorithm, check out my two blog series on the topic. Part 1: What is it and how does it work? Part 2: 11 Ways to Improve Your Reach

 

 

    • Many parents have children in multiple schools. They want to stay up to date on all events and happenings, not just those of one school. And worst yet – if one school does a “better” job of posting on Facebook than another (frequent updates, reminders, videos & more) it creates a negative feeling toward the other school.

     

     

    • These parents and families “age up”; they transition from elementary school to middle school and eventually high school. One stop shopping is imperative. A district-wide page ensures that families “stay in the know” throughout their years in your district. If I have a kindergarten child, why wouldn’t I want to see the amazing opportunities available in high school? Trust me (I’m a Mom of 6) – parents are thinking that far ahead.

     

     

    • Merging existing pages into one district-wide page is simple and requires nothing on the part of the fan. Your fans stay the same, just the look and name of the page changes. Want to know how to do it? Check out this blog.

     

     

    • One district page with a few people posting (or better yet, #SocialSchool4EDU) takes the pressure off of schools, secretaries, tech support people, and administrators. Put someone in charge and make it a priority! Use the tools and tricks Andrea shares weekly in her blog. Sign up for that here.

     

     

    Why you need ONE district-wide Facebook page

    • One interesting byproduct of a district wide Facebook page, and more importantly, telling your district’s story in a consistent and positive manner, is teacher (staff) buy in. Teaching is a busy profession and many times teachers rarely have a moment to see what their colleagues are doing, especially in other schools. District pride amongst staff pays off big time! It builds morale, it builds trust and turns the tide of a what can be a negative work atmosphere.

     

     

    A district-wide Facebook page is just good business! Let #SocialSchool4EDU help you tell your story, a story that begins with one page. You can reach out to me at andrea@socialschool4edu.com for more information!

     


About Author

Andrea Gribble

Andrea Gribble is passionate about celebrating students and connecting communities. She runs #SocialSchool4EDU, a company that partners with schools across the country to manage social media. Andrea and her team manage social media for more than 35 districts across the country and has trained over 500 schools. Andrea holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is a frequent speaker at educational conferences on the topic of social media.

8 Comments

Sabrina Kapp

October 3, 2017at 8:18 am

Couldn’t agree more! Our enrollment is 5600 students and I’m a one-woman shop. We have a district FB page and then one for each of the four elementaries (middle and high school opted out of FB). All have Twitter and a few have IG (district has all three). I post to district FB & TW pages constantly – and have a great following of community members, grandparents, retirees, town officials – plus school families. Building district pride has to start at a central point, and for us, the district FB page is just that.

    Andrea Gribble

    October 3, 2017at 10:46 am

    A blended approach – I love it! It really is about what works best for your school, and what you can manage.

Denise Currie

October 3, 2017at 8:45 am

Love reading your blog posts – I totally agree with one district Facebook page. Thanks for sharing!

    Andrea Gribble

    October 3, 2017at 10:45 am

    Thanks, Denise!

Steve Ostler

October 3, 2017at 10:42 am

I’m probably biased, but I’d say “One Facebook page strategy” is more important than one page for the district. Here’s why:
-Parents want as few places to go to find information, but they’ll go to multiple places to find it if it’s easier that way. One FB page for the whole district means that a parent looking for updates for their classroom or school may have to filter through dozens (or more) of non-related posts to find the one thing they want. While this is great for coincidental data sharing, it’s not great for parents.
-Branding is more than just images, it’s a way of telling your story. Remember, however, that each school has a sub-brand within your district. Communities are passionate about first schools, then districts. By removing a school’s ability to brand for their community, you reduce the effective community for that school. If done correctly, each schools individual brand should reflect and support the district brand.
-Awareness is difficult to support when there is only a single district FB page. By this, I mean that local administration is less aware of the social activity in their school when it’s aggregated into a single page. When questions are raised, it’s often more difficult to determine who is the right person to answer them. Social Media is about interactivity, and having a single page may, in many ways, reduce or hinder your ability to interact with the social media audience.

These are just my thoughts, but they’re backed up by lots of experience working with leading educators.

    Andrea Gribble

    October 3, 2017at 10:51 am

    Awesome insight, Steve! You make so many great points.

    In regards to digging for information about a particular classroom – I strongly encourage classrooms to have their own FB page (or Twitter account, or other platform). As with all communication, there are different methods to get exactly what you need out to your audience. I think social media can play a role, but it can’t be the entire answer for needed information.

    Your schools may be MUCH larger than the ones I’m used to working with! My direct experience is with schools from 300 – 11,000 students in K-12. But I agree, when done right, pages can work to support the district brand and be a win for everyone! It all depends on what your capacity for management.

Chris

October 5, 2017at 3:38 pm

Thoughts on how to handle school pages that are on Facebook whether you created them or not? Facebook will automatically create pages if enough people tag a location. Some of our buildings actually had multiple locations/pages with different spellings and misinformation. I decided to “claim” those sites for our 7 elementary schools and 2 middle schools in order to have control of them. I don’t actively post to them (it’s too overwhelming) but I’ve branded them with our official school logos and information. They are basically place holders and an official presence for the schools. We have one district page where I share stories from all schools and a separate high school page with just high school info.

    Andrea Gribble

    October 15, 2017at 6:51 pm

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Chris! I think this is a great strategy – to claim the pages so at least they look consistent with your branding.

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