A new school principal. A new dean of students. A new school director. A new district superintendent.
No matter what your school or district looks like, it’s inevitable that during your time as a school social media manager, you’ll have the chance to help introduce her or him to your school and your greater community!
The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) reported in 2019 that the average tenure of a district superintendent is 5-6 years. Anecdotally, I’ve seen even faster turnover in the wake of the pandemic and all the upheaval it caused for schools. All of that stress and pressure falls squarely on the shoulders of school leaders – so turnover is not a surprise.
Still, no matter the circumstances of your leadership changeover, your job is to make it a positive experience from a communications standpoint! Social media is just one tool in your toolbox for making this happen, so let’s walk through some creative social media ideas in today’s blog.
By the way, I had an excellent podcast conversation with Rachel Thomas, Brand and Communications Manager for the Kansas Association of School Boards, on this same topic! Listen to our conversation here:
Step 1: Identify Your Social Media Channels
Most schools consider Facebook or Instagram their primary social media platform. Other places you can consider sharing news of your new leader can include Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, or even TikTok. Within each platform, you have various options for how to share content – including live video, pre-recorded video, short-form video, still images, carousels (multi-images), long/short captions, and more. Each type of content helps you effectively share information – keep reading for specific ideas!
But first, as you consider how to leverage your social media platforms to talk about your new school leader, keep in mind:
- The audience each channel attracts (demographics)
- Where your audience expects to hear from you
- Places there will be online discussion about your new leader
- Your capacity for effective management and monitoring
These considerations will help you limit or expand your communication strategy.
Step 2: Use Social Media Before the New Leader Starts
Before you even announce your leadership transition, pay attention to your content strategy. Are you consistently tying your social media posts to your school/district’s vision, mission, and values?
By reinforcing what you stand for and what’s important to your school and its greater community, you will set the stage for how you’ll present your new leader as she/he fits into that mission!
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Step 3: Get Your New Leader Active on Their Own Accounts
Using your standard social media policies, have your school leader create or revise their public-facing accounts to reflect their new role and responsibilities, as well as your school’s brand. You can feature these profiles prominently on your social media directory and include them in any posts that mention the leader.
But she/he needs to be on board with keeping these accounts active! Provide a crash course in social media and how it’s handled at your school. Discuss whether they will update their own accounts or if they need your assistance. If they are not interested in keeping a personal presence on social media and would rather work through the official school/district channels – that’s perfectly fine.
Step 4: Splash Your New Leader All Over Social Media!
Now comes the fun part! Work with your new leader to get their face on your social media channels (and potentially their own channels) as much as possible. Below is a long list of ideas that you can select from, depending on your capacity and the culture of your school:
- An official announcement video – live or pre-recorded, see examples:
- TISD Welcomes New Superintendent, Dr. Georgeanne Warnock
- Mount Vernon School District’s New Superintendent, Dr. Ismael Vivanco, Introduces Himself
- CNUSD Superintendent Introduction: Dr. Sam Buenrostro
- Meet Dr. Patrick K. Murphy – Superintendent of Berkeley County Schools
- Superintendent Transition Video from Community ISD
- Statements from the new leader that reinforce your school’s mission, vision, and values
- Q&A live streams, which can be co-broadcast on YouTube/Facebook in addition to your chosen livestream platform
- Photos of the new leader taking school tours
- Photos of the new leader eating in local hotspots
- Video of the leader’s entry plan/ “First 100 Days” plan (more than just a written statement on the website – make it dynamic!)
- “Getting to Know You” video series – mix of fun and serious videos
- Students could submit questions, such as:
- What’s your favorite food?
- What was your favorite subject in school?
- Tell us a little about your family.
- What is a hobby that you enjoy?
- What made you want to become an educator?
- What are you most excited about in your new role?
- What’s your favorite book?
- Who is your favorite music group?
- What’s the hardest thing about being a Superintendent/Principal?
- Students could submit questions, such as:
- Photos of the new leader visiting with community groups, volunteer organizations, PTAs, Rotary Clubs, the Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- Video/photo of new leader meeting staff and conducting internal meet and greets
- Big photo/video presence on the first day of school
- Ride a bus
- Visit schools/ classrooms
- Selfies with kids/ staff
- Short video montages of video clips and photos (great for Reels/ TikTok)
- Photos of the new leader making classroom visits/ reading stories to younger students/ having a meal with older students
- Photos of the new leader cheering on sports teams and attending concerts/ other extracurriculars
- Photos of “Snacks with the Superintendent” – hosted at each building for parents/guardians
- Video after the first 100 days – what has been accomplished so far, what’s coming next
Step 5: Stay Active
A school leader is a public-facing figure – and they should make consistent appearances on your school pages. Don’t let that initial buzz wear off!
Keep your leaders present on social media – their own channels as well as your school or district-wide channels – on a monthly basis. Many of the above-listed ideas can easily be repurposed into recurring features, such as live Q&As every quarter, monthly visits to classroom or lunchrooms, and more. Work within your leader’s personality and the culture of your school.
Looking for further reading on this topic? Finalsite put together an excellent article that covers ways to introduce new school leadership in their first 100 days. Read it right here: