Have you ever made a mistake with your school’s social media pages?
I sure hope I’m not the only one saying yes. Our team has made thousands of social media posts for more than 80 school districts, so we could write a book about some of the funny and not-so-funny errors we’ve made.
(By the way – I hold the record for the worst one. If we ever talk over the phone, you can ask me about it.)
Mistakes are going to happen; I get it. That being said, there are some basic foundational pieces that should be in place.
After working with schools for the past five years and reviewing hundreds of social media pages, there are common errors that I see over and over again.
To summarize, these are the 7 common mistakes that I’m still seeing. Are you guilty of any of them?
- No district hashtag
If you are on social media, your school district needs a hashtag. Come on, it’s almost 2019! You need one district hashtag that unifies your district. For those of you with really big districts of more than 10,000 students and multiple high schools – I understand that you will likely have high school-specific hashtags as well.
Another issue might be that you have a hashtag, but it isn’t unique to your school. I’m sorry, but #CardinalPride is not going to work. Here are a few hashtag articles to help you out!
- Branding is inconsistent
When you go from your website to your Facebook page, to your Twitter account, to your Instagram account – you should be able to easily recognize that you are still looking at the same school district. I have seen many schools with 5 different logos – each being used on a different social channel.
Take a look at your virtual presence and make plans to standardize. If it’s time for a logo redesign, check out our affordable service. And it isn’t just about logos. Your color schemes, fonts, messaging – it should all tie together! Here are some helpful articles:
- Not enough content
If you’re not telling your story, someone else is, and it is probably not the story you want to be told. You are in competition for students like never before. There are thousands of dollars at stake, so make posting on social media a priority. Post at LEAST twice per day on Facebook when school is in session.
Why post at least twice per day? There is an algorithm happening on social media, so not every person who has liked your page will see your posts. Here are two helpful blogs about the Facebook algorithm.
- Facebook Algorithm 101 for Schools: What is it and How Does it Work?
- Facebook Algorithm 101 for Schools: 11 Ways to Improve Your Reach
I know that you have amazing things happening in your schools. So share those stories! Build a system where teachers contribute content.
If each school has its own Facebook page, you might have another issue. Your pages are competing for attention. If those pages exist, but they aren’t posting at least two times per day, you need to take action. Training your team on how to schedule social media posts is key! Popular posting times include 6 AM, lunchtime, the end of the school day, and 8 PM at night.
- Cover Image Errors
No cover image, an image of the school, an image that doesn’t fit, or an outdated image: all crimes against your social media efforts! Get it right – it isn’t that hard. Twitter is often a page where I see no cover image being used at all. Check your pages, and if you want help getting awesome cover images like the one below, check out our graphics package!
- No Instagram Channel
Your school needs an Instagram page. No discussion. Your students and young parents are on that channel, and you need to be there, too!
If you still haven’t started a page, check out these helpful blogs. There is a recorded webinar on this topic that can be accessed by members only. If you are interested in joining us, learn more here.
- Tell stories in an engaging way (with proper grammar and spelling)
Social media is all about the stories. The first step of storytelling is getting the basics right. If you are spelling words incorrectly, posting entire paragraphs in all caps, or making grammar mistakes, you need some work!
Once you have that down, you need to tell compelling stories in bite-sized nuggets that cause your followers to want to engage. This is where creativity comes in. You need to add a celebratory spin to your captions. If you’re looking for ideas, this blog is an excellent resource:
- Auto-posting from Facebook to Twitter – or vice versa
If you are going to be on a social media channel, you need to really be there. Auto-posting from Facebook onto Twitter doesn’t work. The photos don’t appear. Many times the link to get back to Facebook doesn’t who up. Some schools are linking Twitter posts from a variety of channels back to their Facebook page, but this also doesn’t work. Facebook will not show these posts to as many people (remember the algorithm I mentioned before).
If your district has chosen to use a channel to celebrate your students and connect with your community, you can’t fake it.
So how did you do? I hope you were guilt-free concerning these mistakes!
But a better question to ask you right now is: how do you feel?
Does the thought of managing social media still overwhelm you?
Do you start the day with great intentions of making social media a priority, but that plan quickly falls apart?
Do you have great ideas but have trouble pulling the details together to execute them?
The team at #SocialSchool4EDU is here to help. We have an affordable coaching program to support and guide you as you manage social media channels for your district. Not only do we help steer you clear of the mistakes above, but we also inspire you with ideas that are working well for other schools.
Included in the coaching program are support meetings that happen online. You’ll receive a quarterly report card on your efforts. This report can be shared with administration, your school board, and your entire school staff. Buy-in is much easier when the impact of reaching thousands of people is realized!
As I write this blog, the cost for our quarterly coaching program is only $250 per quarter (or $1,000 for the annual contract). The monthly coaching program is just $250 per month (or $1,500 for the 6-month contract). Prices are going up after January 1, 2019, so act now!
If you’re ready to sign up, then just email me at email@example.com. We will start bringing the expertise we have from working with more than 100 school districts to you!
If you need to learn more – here are the steps:
- Book 15 minutes of time by hitting this link.
- Have an online meeting to discuss your social media strategy.
- Choose a coaching option that is will help your district reach its goals!
Our team can’t wait to help your school!