Do you ever get a random picture sent in from a colleague, and wonder, “What am I supposed to say about this? How am I going to flip this into a memorable piece of social media content?”
Every piece of social media content is an opportunity to share a powerful story about your school district. In this week’s blog, we’re discussing social media voice. Just a few simple tips can turn even mundane captions into memorable posts!
This guide was adapted from a live Skills Session led by school communicator extraordinaire, Kristin Boyd Edwards, in my Social Media Membership Program. Kristin is a talented writer, strategist, and content creator. Thank you, Kristin!
Be Memorable + Create with Intention
Every social media post has the chance to tell a story. Are you creating with intention?
When you create a caption with intention, you’re putting thought and strategy behind it. Kristin believes in two goals for content creation:
One goal could be to “stop the scroll.” In other words, you want to catch people’s attention as they mindlessly scroll through their social media feed with a story that is “sticky,” or memorable. You want your school or district to stand out – but more than just one single post. You want your voice to be something that’s cultivated and memorable, solidifying your brand in the minds of your audience far and wide.
Another goal could be to generate engagement. You want people to like, comment, view, and share your social media posts and videos. Engaging content is more fun… and memorable!
Six Simple Writing Tips
Kristin has these six easy-to-remember writing tips that will immediately help you be more memorable in your social media caption writing!
- Avoid first-person “I”
You are representing an organization, not yourself. Use “we” in your posts, instead.
- Find your voice
TMZ posts “sound” different from Good Morning America posts. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, but each news outlet understands its audience and has cultivated an authentic voice that engages readers.
- Link back to your school website when possible
Provide overview, must-see information, or “carrot” information on social media and add a link to full info, details, or story on your school website. Short, punchy captions often perform better. Add longer stories and more details when it’s really necessary.
- Use emojis to break up content
If you need to post lengthy information, including emojis is a great way to break up the content.
- Say your name – again and again
Incorporate your school name/mascot or tag the school’s Facebook page within your posts (sticky!)
- Include the school hashtag
Use the school hashtag in all non-crisis posts, and consider using additional descriptive hashtags such as #STEM #science #math #girlswhocode.
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How to Make Your Social Media Posts Really “Pop”
Ready to take your posts from bland to bam?
Think about what YOU really like seeing on social media, and are most likely to like, comment on, or share. Here are some examples:
- Find the emotion – and tug at the reader’s heartstrings
- Ramp up emotion and tell readers why they should care
- Give a behind-the-scene glimpse
- Show your vibe and what’s special about you
- Teach readers and share useful information
- Connect the dots – if this, then that
- Get the reader involved with questions and call-to-actions
- Entertain – make people laugh!
- Provide nostalgia or jog my memory
Here’s a quick way to inject some energy into your caption: Try to TEACH the reader, ENTERTAIN the reader, or INSPIRE the reader. And if you really want your posts to pop, try to engage one of these specific tactics that Kristin shared in her webinar:
- Highlight people
People love people – and a good story. Focus on your people – they are the heart of your school. Show your students, staff, and families – get close-ups of those smiling faces! (They also love pets and older folks!)
- Don’t over-write!
Sometimes a great picture is worth 1,000 words, Short and sweet can have a greater impact, or maybe just using an emoji(s) or school hashtag.
- Tap into emotion and everyday moments
Nostalgia, accomplishment, triumph, overcoming, celebration, feel-good, high-fives, awws!
- Show an action
Classroom project, experiment, learning in action, kindness on display, fun dress up day
- Be engaging
Include a call to action – early in your caption!
Celebrations and recognitions
Use brief, descriptive posts
- Using clear and concise language is one of the most crucial skills you can develop as a school communicator. Working in education, it’s easy to get caught up in jargon and over-communicate your message. People are just going to tune you out, or they’re going to see an acronym they don’t recognize and feel out of the loop. Social media writing needs to be upbeat, succinct, and engaging!
Kristin also shared example posts that utilize some of these strategies. Check them out!
Valentina, a PreK student at Amanda Stout Elementary, thought we might need an #airhug today as we begin the new school year so she drew one for all of us! Send her an #airhug back by posting a in the comments! #RSDproud
Ask a Question:
The best teacher I ever had was ________
“H” is for “hello!”
Happy Friday from our 10th and Green Elementary kindergarten kiddos, who joined together to form the letter “H.” They would love to know… what is your favorite letter of the alphabet? Tell them below. #RSDproud
The kids love their energy and look forward to seeing them. “It’s how we make connections,” one of the lunch ladies said. #RSDproud
Adorable! Teacher Kayla Fasig-Garcia shared a picture of the RHS Class of 2028 and their career goals. “This is why we do what we do,” she says. “These kids are the future. Every year, I tell them their dreams may change, but with some hard work, they can achieve anything.” #RSDproud
Are you ready to go out and create some snappy social media captions? Send me your best examples – I can’t wait to get inspired by you!