Social Media for Schools
We recently undertook some social media training for schools for London Grid for Learning (@LGfL) along with the wonderful Katy Potts (@katypotts) and Matthew Beevor (@mbeevor) from Islington Council.
We focused on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram but also looked at how to utilise your Google Local Entry.
The session covered types of content best suited for each platform; ensuring your social media accounts are optimised and set up correctly; social media policy and GDPR; then finally some best practise and practical tips for managing your social media.
A school’s social media and digital footprint is now an essential part of their marketing and PR strategy. It is not only a great way to improve communications with parents but it is also used by prospective parents and indeed even Ofsted will search out a school online before a visit. It is therefore essential for schools to take ownership of their online reputation rather than leave it to chance.
Social media can show your school is active and engaging as part of your local community and indeed even globally. Many schools look for sponsorship from local businesses for their school fairs and fundraisers, and what better way than to reach out to them on twitter for example. All small businesses are using twitter as a cost effective form of marketing so they will be delighted if your school engages with them online.
Social media is a great way of building connections with outside organisations, use it to join an already established campaign or indeed create your own campaign and hashtag. Use it to highlight your school and your pupils’ achievements. In this way the advantages from social media far outweigh the negatives, as long as you set out a clear social media policy.
When creating a social media policy, decide who will have access, what type of content you will share and what tone you will use. Ensure your parents have consented to images of their children being used but also have a policy around what sort of images can be used, (perhaps you don’t allow close ups of pupils but rather cleverly set up images that convey the event without highlighting individuals). Your social media policy should also include how school trips are represented, locations should not be divulged so perhaps share the trips images the following day rather than immediately.
Your school’s Google Local Entry is more than likely going to be the first thing a user sees when searching online, even before your website, so it makes sense to make the most of it. Claim your entry and add good images and location details. Google have recently created the option of ‘posting’ to your entry, this is added content that will be tagged to your entry and is a brilliant way to market upcoming events and even available school places.
There is a great deal to think about when setting up your school’s social media but using it well could greatly improve your schools profile and sharing positive content will only help to maintain your school’s online reputation.