The debate is real!
When it comes to school communication and social media – should your district have one district-wide Facebook page, or should each school have its own page? Or should you try to manage a district account plus all of the individual schools?
I know I have opposition out there, but today I’m going to make a case for the district-wide Facebook page approach. Please note that I am only talking about Facebook here. Twitter and Instagram – go crazy with more pages (if you’re comfortable with that). This blog is just about Facebook.
Now I may be biased because I got my start in a small K-12 school with only 325 students. When you talk about district versus schools, well, there is only one school! One wing has elementary (K-6) and the other wing has 7-12.
But since I started with that small school in Wisconsin, I’ve grown to work with schools up to 11,000 in enrollment. My advice is to always create that strong district presence with one Facebook page first, and here are 10 reasons why:
- One page builds a consistent district brand. One message, one hashtag, one story, one family. Ideally, all communication from your district should have a similar message, look, logo, colors, etc. This obviously extends to your Facebook page.
- One page builds district pride! The momentum builds and once it’s started, it truly is a force to watch.
- District Pride easily translates to community engagement and community pride. You can measure engagement on your Facebook page.
- One message on a central page eliminates confusion and provides consistent communication with families and the community. Just think of the nightmare a snow day could cause if notifying parents means posting to multiple pages……
- The Facebook algorithm – it’s real! There is competition out there and your school pages are trying to grab the attention of your community. If you have multiple pages, they are competing against each other. If you only post once per day on each school page, then why not combine those onto one page and get 3-5 posts out per day? If you don’t understand the FB algorithm, check out my two blog series on the topic. Part 1: What is it and how does it work? Part 2: 11 Ways to Improve Your Reach
- Many parents have children in multiple schools. They want to stay up to date on all events and happenings, not just those of one school. And worst yet – if one school does a “better” job of posting on Facebook than another (frequent updates, reminders, videos & more) it creates a negative feeling toward the other school.
- These parents and families “age up”; they transition from elementary school to middle school and eventually high school. One-stop shopping is imperative. A district-wide page ensures that families “stay in the know” throughout their years in your district. If I have a kindergarten child, why wouldn’t I want to see the amazing opportunities available in high school? Trust me (I’m a Mom of 6) – parents are thinking that far ahead.
- Merging existing pages into one district-wide page is simple and requires nothing on the part of the fan. Your fans stay the same, just the look and name of the page changes. Want to know how to do it? Check out this blog.
- One district page with a few people posting (or better yet, #SocialSchool4EDU) takes the pressure off of schools, secretaries, tech support people, and administrators. Put someone in charge and make it a priority! Use the tools and tricks Andrea shares weekly in her blog. Sign up for that here.
- One interesting byproduct of a district-wide Facebook page, and more importantly, telling your district’s story in a consistent and positive manner, is teacher (staff) buy-in. Teaching is a busy profession and many times teachers rarely have a moment to see what their colleagues are doing, especially in other schools. District pride amongst staff pays off big time! It builds morale, builds trust, and turns the tide of what can be a negative work atmosphere.
A district-wide Facebook page is just good business! Let #SocialSchool4EDU help you tell your story, a story that begins with one page. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information!