I don’t normally start my blogs with a call to action, but this one is important. Do me a favor and take a few minutes to scroll through your school’s pages on social media, right now.
What overall impression would the collection of posts on your pages give to an onlooker?
- Would followers see the supportive communities being built within your classrooms and schools, on the basketball court, and during robotics club?
- Would the parent, student, teacher, community member, or prospective family or staff member seeing your posts get the impression that people feel a sense of belonging?
- Do people feel connected to something bigger than themselves through your social media posts?
In other words…
Does your social media presence scream School Spirit?!
Here are some creative ways to incorporate more school spirit into your social media strategy!
School Spirit Day of the Week
Pick a day of the week and encourage your students and staff to wear their school-branded clothing or colors. Many schools end their week with School Spirit Day, but at the district I manage social media for, New Auburn School District, we decided to go with Tuesdays.
Why? Because our mascot is the Mighty Trojan, making “Trojan Tuesday” catchy and easy for families to remember.
Although certainly not required, you could take Spirit Day to the next level and recognize a few students or staff members each week who are caught showing their school pride. It could be something as simple as giving them a shout-out during your school-wide morning announcements – kids LOVE this because they think they’re “famous” – or taking a photo to share on social media.
Parents love the latter because they can beam with pride at the sight of their child and may even “share” the post on their personal page. This means more eyes are seeing your post, which leads to greater reach on social media for your district.
Here’s a post example from Morton School District.
Ashland High School, located in Wisconsin, does something unique to encourage its staff to show school pride. Every Friday morning, the district surprises two staff members with a special treat from a local bakery when they are spotted wearing their Oredocker purple and gold.
Not only is this a great way to showcase school pride, but it also builds unity and boosts morale. Who doesn’t love being the lucky recipient of a delicious sweet treat?!
Of course, the School District of Ashland also snaps a photo of the winning staff members and shares it on its Facebook page every week! Notice how the district also tags the business in this weekly post, to give it some extra love. It’s a win-win-win for everyone involved – the selected staff members, the district, and the bakery!
Sign up here!
Give Away Shirts to Students & Staff
Does every student at your school have a piece of school gear they can wear on Spirit Day? Fall Creek School District in Wisconsin makes this a priority!
Every new student who enters Fall Creek School District gets to feel like part of the school community right from the start. The district picks a day in September to welcome each of them officially to Cricket Country by gifting them a new shirt, and as they will tell you, this day is one of their absolute favorites!
Don’t forget about your teachers and staff! Whether they are new to your district or seasoned pros, consider giving them a shirt that sports your school colors, logo, and/or motto for the school year. Your back-to-school in-service days are a perfect time to hand these out!
Here are some examples; click on each photo below to be taken directly to the Facebook post.
Liberty School District in Missouri serves over 12,500 students and has nearly 2,000 staff members among its 11 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, an alternative secondary school, and an early childhood center. In the district’s staff kick-off video for the 2023-2024 school year, you can see staff members wearing their school-specific shirts! How fun!
If you can’t find the budget to give these shirts out to your students and staff, you could consider partnering with a local business to sponsor the initiative.
Signing Day for Newest Students
Your backdrop and tablecloth can be used for more than just athletic signings! Incorporate them into welcoming your newest kids to school. It’s the perfect photo opportunity – for you AND the parents!
East Jackson Community Schools put together a signing spot for kindergarten students and families. Check out the beaming faces along with the oversized pencil!
Go a step further by creating a press conference! Look at this adorable video from Fall Creek School District.
Flip through the pages of old school yearbooks, and you are bound to find photos of past students showing their school spirit. These photos make great images for your weekly #ThrowbackThursday posts!
There’s nothing like bringing back some nostalgia and showing your social media fans that your students and staff, both past and present, are proud to be part of your school’s legacy.
There’s no doubt about it… Homecoming Week is all about building and showcasing school pride! Take as many photos and videos as possible, especially when everyone is wearing your school colors.
Of course, you can share these photos during Homecoming Week, but don’t be afraid to reuse these images throughout the year on social media. Save your best photos in a special “school spirit” folder that you can utilize for posts that are more generic.
For example, if your annual report is coming out, using an eye-catching photo of students and staff will draw more attention to your story.
User-generated content is awesome, and what better way to get it than encouraging people to take photos with a fun backdrop? Just as some schools use a backdrop for back-to-school week, you can also put it up at other events, special programs, and athletic contests.
Whether you set up a stand for people to use their own phones or you’re on-hand to take photos, a selfie station can be a great way to get fun images that also include your school branding. Another option could be to paint a wall near a gym or performance center that would encourage people to take photos.
Instagram Reels provide a unique way to incorporate school spirit. Short-form, vertical videos can be used to grab a lot of attention for your school!
New Auburn took a series of super-short videos of the mascot dancing at a volleyball game to create this Reel. It took minutes to assemble and reached more than 2,000 people on Instagram!
Batesville School District in Arkansas regularly features its mascot, Pioneer Joe, in its Reels. Here he shows off some school pride with the cheerleading squad. He is involved in promoting a lot of programs for the district and social media followers can instantly relate to this school because it uses the mascot in content.
Don’t have a mascot? No problem! Portage Community School District in Wisconsin showed off some great school spirit when its football team welcomed elementary students to school. Look at the incredible comments the Facebook post received:
“I love this! This should be done game days, all sports, and at all the schools! What a great way to spread school pride! 🧡🖤”
“This needs to be a new tradition!”
User Generated Content Contests
School spirit is all year round! Check out how these schools use user-generated content, even when school is not in session, to add a burst of school spirit to their feeds:
To get user-generated content, you can set up a simple submission system for people to send you content. This could be an email address, a form, or even just allowing photos in Facebook posts.
You can also simply search your school hashtag for more user-generated content. If you’re concerned about taking those photos and using them on your own page as new posts, then just reach out to the original content creator. Sharing the original posts through stories is an easy way to keep attribution to the original creator while leveraging the school spirit on your Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Now Go Spread That School Spirit!
Help your students, families, and staff be proud of your school community by sharing photos and videos that feature school swag and colors. This will give your social media fans the same impression of the school spirit and school pride that they’d feel and see if they were to walk the halls of your school. It will go a long way in your social strategy!