Are you ready to up-level your storytelling efforts on your school’s social media accounts? I think we all are striving to stand out and earn those likes, loves, and shares on our posts – not to mention positive comments! Social media is an increasingly crowded environment, so it’s crucial to stand out by creating excellent, consistent content.
Every great social media post starts with a great idea, so today I want to break down some simple exercises to help you generate post ideas that are intentional and serve a greater purpose.
Please note: As always, posts that highlight everyday learning should be the bulk of your social media content. This foundational strategy has been the key to success for the nearly 100 schools my team handles, as part of my full management service, as well as the core advice we share in our membership program. Keep it simple… seriously!
This blog is just designed to help you develop some strategic ways to elevate your storytelling.
Strategy #1: Illustrate Your Vision / Mission Statement
Are you a “portrait of a graduate” district? Does your school have a written vision or mission statement? Can you identify your district’s core values? This looks different for every school, but the bottom line is that you most likely have a clearly defined set of characteristics or mission-oriented language that describes the purpose of your school.
Start by breaking down that mission statement, list of character traits, or core values. Highlight keywords and phrases. Then, make a list of post ideas that could fit under each of those words and phrases.
For example, if your school values “Community Connection,” think of projects, partnerships, or extracurriculars that involve your students/staff getting out into the community. When you write captions for those posts, include phrases like “these students are demonstrating what it means to create meaningful connections with our greater #SCHOOLHASHTAG community!”
Note: You aren’t just posting graphics that say “here’s our core value XYZ” – you’re telling stories! You want to illustrate your school mission/vision through your content.
Next, reach out for support! Communicate to your staff that you would like to showcase student stories, special activities, and classroom lessons that are associated with each of these core values.
Strategy #2: Ask School Leaders: What Does Our Community Deserve to Know?
You KNOW that there are great things happening every day, inside and outside of your classrooms, but does your community know about it? It can be helpful to get a high-level, strategic view as to what your school’s leaders value. They might be able to identify gaps in general knowledge or awareness that you can help fill, using social media.
Each month, work with your leadership team to look ahead and identify at least 5 things that the community deserves to see for themselves via social media. Then, take these key objectives and make a plan to capture each one in the right way. This includes Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, student/staff takeovers, and more.
Quick tip: I like capturing events live with Instagram and Facebook Stories. After the event, I pull key pieces into posts that I share on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Strategy #3: Identify What Makes Your School Stand Out
As I discussed in my blog regarding school enrollment, people are turning to social media to help decide where they will enroll their kids in school. A vibrant, consistent presence goes a long way – but you can get even more strategic with this by zeroing in on unique programs or opportunities that really make your school stand out.
Does your middle school have a therapy dog? Do you have a unique schedule at your high school? Do you have a neat elementary library program? Do students have the opportunity to earn college credits? Do you offer online or blended learning opportunities? Do you have some really top-notch staff that deserve recognition? Are there some cool, little-known clubs or extracurriculars available to students?
What seems normal to you could be special to those who aren’t on staff and see it every day! List out these unique “selling points” and make a plan to celebrate each of them on social media.
This doesn’t just help with enrollment and retention, of course. By highlighting what makes your school special, you’re building long-term pride in your community and among your alumni base.
Strategy #4: Start with a Calendar
This one might seem too simple but it’s an excellent way to plan content. Pull out the district calendar, plus any calendars that individual schools/buildings/classrooms use, and highlight what you want to celebrate on social media.
Look for the big events, like Homecoming and concerts, as well as the smaller moments, like the 100th Day of School for kindergartners. Put those into your content calendar and make a plan for how you’re going to curate content for each. This could mean designating a picture-taker or asking for video footage.
I hope you enjoyed these four strategies for generating social media content! Did I miss an idea generator or strategy that you love? Let me know with a comment below!
If you’re looking for even more inspiration, check out this blog for 14 specific social media post ideas that your community will love: