Over the last few years, I’ve heard the comment, “Schools don’t need to be on Facebook; their students aren’t there.” Although Facebook may not be teenagers’ go-to platform for communication, I’m a big believer that “If you post it, they will come.” The district I served in the last five years had around 1600 students PK-12, and this was the Facebook interaction for the last month of the school year. Most of the likes, comments, and shares came from parents, grandparents, and community members; however, many students were also engaged in the content because 1) they were highlighted in the content, and 2) they were creating the content. On a separate Facebook forum in our community, where naysayers like to speak out against everything, including the school, current and former students were often the ones to speak out positively for the school, supplying fact over supposition. Students turn into alums, so building this connection early is vital.
Every school must understand their audience and the best social networks in which to invest their time and content to reach their desired audiences. Data from the 2021-22 Social Media in Education Report shows that schools need to be on more than one social network to effectively reach their different demographics. For the past three years, school districts have shown consistent use of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; however, data shows that schools have also been slowly branching out to other social networks to connect in different ways and with different objectives. YouTube is allowing schools to offer longer and more organized video content. The use of LinkedIn continues to rise as districts work to build a stronger influence in reputation for professional connection and recruitment of staff in all areas.
Some schools are also slowly dipping their toes into SnapChat and TikTok by engaging students with resources and curriculum through the younger generations’ preferred social networks.
Creating genuine social content–no matter the platform–and consistently posting on that platform, will entice your parents and their students to become a part of the conversation. If you are creating and publishing quality content about your students, they will come, and their parents will come, too.
They will come to see that post.
They will like that post.
They will share that post.
They will follow your page.
They will tell their friends.
If you post it, they will come.