Welcome to 2022! You’ve probably purchased that exercise bike or thrown out those Oreos – but what about starting the new year with some resolutions for social media?
Instead of focusing on just adding new items to your plate, my list includes some things that you should stop doing this year. I mean it! You already have an overflowing list of tasks and responsibilities. The resolutions to “stop” can be just as powerful as the resolutions to “start.”
If you’d rather listen to me chat about this subject, check out the Niche podcast. I had an awesome conversation with Angela Brown on the topic. You can listen now: Enrollment Insights Podcast #43 – Andrea Gribble and 2022 Social Media Resolutions for Schools.
- START doing – Instagram Reels
I started adding Instagram Reels to my school page for New Auburn last fall and saw a 10X increase in my reach on Instagram. With that kind of dramatic impact, you really need to add Reels to your strategy this year.
There are many ways to use this short-form video option within Instagram. You can create a slideshow with photos, combine photos and videos, or simply upload videos from your school. You’ll be able to bring them to life with stickers, text, and music.
It might sound intimidating, but I promise you – if I can figure it out, so can you! I have a super helpful blog that gives links to several schools that are creating Instagram Reels for your inspiration. Check it out here.
Grab Inspiration for Social Media All Year Long!
- STOP doing – Information-only posts
Your social media page is not a bulletin board. Social media is the place to celebrate your school!
Make 2022 the year to stop using Facebook and other channels for information that is needed by families that attend your school. COVID updates, changes in schedules, and modified procedures should be communicated through email, phone calls, or newsletters. You will never reach all of your families through a social media post (thanks to the algorithms and the fact that not everyone is on social media) but you CAN ensure that those other modes of communication will get to them.
Your staff may need some convincing on this, because I know the default response for anything that needs to be communicated might be “Put it on Facebook!” This article will help provide 5 reasons why you should NOT post everything on social media.
Need more tools in your toolbox? Use this guide to decide which communication methods are best for any given message:
- START doing – Telling real stories about students and staff
Stories are memorable. Stories create connections. Stories matter.
That’s why the best way to stand out on social media is to tell STORIES through your posts!
And the best way to give your community stories they will remember is by highlighting students and staff. So challenge yourself this year to find those stories that deserve to be told.
If this sounds challenging – it really doesn’t have to be. You already have staff that are going above and beyond to fill in for substitute teacher shortages. You have students who are achieving in big ways in and out of the classroom. If you’re struggling for inspiration, check out this resource that walks you through how to find student stories your community will love, plus tons of examples!
- STOP doing – managing too many social media channels
You only have so many hours in your day. And social media is just one of the many responsibilities you have. So ask yourself these questions:
- Where is my audience spending time?
- Which platform already has the most followers?
Facebook is usually the most effective channel for schools. It’s a spot where you can reach parents and community members. I see Instagram as the place to connect with students and young parents. These two channels are the ones I typically recommend for all districts.
Twitter may or may not be big in your area. I have been managing a Twitter account for New Auburn School District since 2014 and I have less than 200 followers. If I needed to remove something from my plate, it would be Twitter. Of course, if your school has a vibrant Twitter presence, show up!
LinkedIn, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube… the list could go on and on. These might be nice to have, but do you really have time to do them well? That is the question I’m challenging you on.
It might just be time to shut some of these other pages down, or simply state that the page is not currently being updated. Direct them to a social channel that you are actively managing. And then, feel great about your decision!
- START doing – batching your features ahead of time
Proactive social media management means getting content ready ahead of time. Campaigns and features can be created weeks in advance. These types of features include:
- #TBT (Throwback Thursday)
- Student features
- Alumni shout-outs
- Staff shout-outs
- Question of the week
Shut your door, turn off your notifications, and get to work! I recommend setting a timer for 30 minutes and then getting organized. Take a bunch of photos of old yearbooks and put them into a folder. Then on another 30-minute timeslot, you can schedule out the posts with the photos that you’ve already taken.
You will feel AH-Mazing when you start each week with one post prescheduled for each weekday! This brings us to the next resolution suggestion…
- STOP doing – posting on weekends and thinking everything has to be posted immediately
I’ve been managing social media for schools since 2014. I’ve learned a lot in that timeframe – most importantly, that you cannot be online 24/7. If you feel like you need to post everything immediately and that you need to post on both Saturday and Sunday, I want to give you permission to give yourself and your fans a break!
We see remarkably lower engagement on our social media channels on the weekends. Why? I’m not entirely sure – but I’m assuming it’s because our fans are outliving their lives! They are focused on family life and doing activities away from school and work, and they aren’t as active on their phones.
So if you’re still posting on the weekends, I want to challenge you to stop. Now if you have a big event or playoff game happening, you may make an exception. But if you’re simply celebrating classroom items, schedule those for Monday through Friday.
- START doing – more video
If Will Farell wants more cowbell, then Andrea Gribble wants to see more video on your school pages! Social media is favoring video. Options like Facebook Live and Instagram & Facebook Reels are perfect examples of social media platforms pushing video in front of more fans.
I have heard from some of you that video doesn’t seem to be reaching as many people on your pages. I understand where you’re coming from; I have seen some dismal numbers, as well. But examine what you’ve tried and try to pivot slightly this year. I think a great goal is to share at least one video per week. If that stresses you out, don’t forget to continue to resolution number 8!
- STOP doing – perfectly edited video
Let me remove some of the stress from my suggestion above. Your video does NOT have to be a professionally edited video with music, B-roll, and graphics. Authentic video from a classroom or event is just fine!
Now, there is a time and a place for more polished videos, such as enrollment marketing or a referendum/bond campaign videos. You can do these videos in-house or hire outside help. My favorite recommendation is Captivate Media + Consulting, who can even take video footage you’ve already captured and edit it together in a professional way.
But the bottom line is the video doesn’t have to be perfect. This blog highlights 4 tips for videos that can help you in 2022.
Now that you have my 8 resolutions for 2022, which one are you going to focus on first? I’d love to hear from you. Let’s take action together to make this year the best one yet for your school!