Your school has a great story to tell.
In every classroom, hallway, playground, and lunchroom, there are newsworthy moments that your community would love to see.
A high school student delivering a speech about the impact of the Civil War. A third grader helping a kindergartener pick up the books he dropped. The squeals of delight as they swing at recess. The stories and smiles that are shared while eating fish sticks and carrots. The game-winning shot made as time expires.
The tough part is, one person cannot possibly capture all of these great moments that occur each day.
This is why a school that is using social media to celebrate its students on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram relies on the entire community to help get the stories to share. Whether those stories are told on individual pages tied together with the school’s hashtag, or the photos are e-mailed to the social media person, our best story is told when everyone participates!
Who makes up your village?
- Social Media Team – This core person or small group of people are always on the lookout for newsworthy things to post. If they hear about something, they will make sure to snap the pictures themselves or create strict orders for the staff involved to send those pictures. This is great. We need these champions in every school. This team could be headed up by the communications or PR director for the school, or it could simply be a volunteer staff member or the superintendent themself. If your resources are a bit thin in this area, you can even hire #SocialSchool4EDU to help you out. We work with 16 districts across Wisconsin and Minnesota – and are looking to double that number in 2016!
- Staff – These amazing teachers and support staff are in the trenches every day. While it is an overwhelmingly demanding job (which of course is an understatement), these people get a front row seat to the amazing things happening with our students. Asking them to snap a few photos and post to their own social media pages or e-mail them into your core team is not asking too much. We have to tell our story and it is told best with that bird’s eye view.
- Students – Our schools exist for the benefit of our kids. Make sure they have some power in telling their own stories. Again, encouraging the use of the school hashtag will definitely help in mining the everyday happenings in the lives of our students. But you can go even further by allowing them to submit pictures and post ideas. If you are worried about content, screen it first. If you are ready to empower them, assign social media interns that help manage your accounts. It is possible! Schools like Hillsboro, Wisconsin are doing a dynamite job with cool features and fun posts. To top it off, they are learning a valuable skill that can be taken with them in their future careers.
- Parents – Dedicated parents really do make the world go round. They are at every game, every concert, even many of the practices. Put their time in the bleachers to great use by asking them to share their photos. Again, they can use the school hashtag to easily post photos to their own social media accounts (this works best on Twitter and Instagram). Don’t be afraid to ask them to submit photos through an e-mail account or share them via Google Drive as well! Of course, you’ll have to be careful what you ask for, because you may be overwhelmed with stuff. But wouldn’t that be a good problem to have?
- The World – Some of the best stories that I see about schools don’t come from anyone inside the community itself. They are told by opposing teams, relatives from afar, or foreign exchange students who called your little townhome for a year. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the entire digital community for great things to share on your school accounts. I’ve stressed it here; your customized school hashtag is so important. You should be looking for that hashtag on a routine basis to pick up stories that you can turn around and share on your school’s page.
It is an overwhelming responsibility to manage a school district’s social media accounts. You cannot do it alone. If you are a staff member, student or parent, I hope this article helped inspire you to do your part to tell the school’s story. Feel empowered to submit the photos, use your hashtag, and never give up an opportunity to say something great about your school!
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