We live in a digital age where we use social media platforms to update our friends and family about our everyday activities. Nowadays, both large and small companies are resorting to social media to engage with their target audience and keep them up to date with their products and services.
This has opened up possibilities for even schools to have their own social handles and presence online so as to let the potential candidates know of the curriculum and other activities. With a school’s presence online, it gives parents and pupils a more transparent picture of the way it functions and how it will benefit the students who study there.
So, if you are looking for some advice on how to run the social media handle for your school, read the tips given below:
Before you set up your school’s social media handle it is necessary that you carry out a thorough research among parents and guardians of your students. Which social media platform are parents most active on and how regularly they use it? Search for your school on key social media platforms and carry out surveys accordingly. Asking for opinions in parent councils will help you to find out the best social media platform (SMP) for your school.
A large number of primary schools will notice that most parents are active on Facebook and Whatsapp where they try getting answers for queries they have. These can turn out be golden opportunities for your school. You might also need to monitor SMP as parents can be using these services to raise their concerns and complaints which can be enlightening for you to make adjustments if required.
After you have finalised on the SMP you want to use, you will be faced with many questions. How will you set up these accounts, who will look after it, when should you post updates, how to respond to comments and how to safeguard the interests of students and staff throughout the process?
How to set up social media accounts?
The first thing you should know is, the account creation process for every SMP is different, but not that difficult. Normally, you will be asked for an email address or a mobile number as your point of contact and then you can go ahead and set up a profile page by filling in the detail. Ensure that you don’t end up filling anything personal or confidential. Once you’ve done this, you can monitor the comments that people add.
Who will look after the social media account?
If you come up with interesting thoughts for your school’s social media account (SMA), note it down quickly. with the cheap printed pens lying around. It is best if you hire a skilled person to manage your SMA. Your social media manager should have enough knowledge to handle the process and monitor all the activities related to the page with finesse. They should have excellent communication skills so that they can keep the school community engaged.
When should you post updates?
Various SMP have various update patterns. If you are using Facebook, you should update your school page once a day or once in a week depending on the activities happening at the school and the amount of information you are willing to share. A Twitter account needs to be updated daily in order to keep up with the school community, otherwise, your tweet will get lost in the tons of tweets that people see every day.
We know how difficult it can be to look after students, so if you are falling short on updating your community, you can opt for social media management tools that will help you schedule the posts for your SMA.
How to respond to comments?
You will be receiving three types of comments on your SMA and these can be positive, negative or neutral. Mostly, these comments will be general queries that parents might have. Appreciate the positive comments and make sure you take a screenshot of these and use them for school’s promotional or marketing activities. The neutral comments which are generally questions raised by people should be answered accurately by gathering all the necessary details.
If you receive any negative comments, try to solve the issue as soon as possible. A negative comment can lead to doubts among other viewers. If someone found your post abusive, remove it from your page quickly. If it’s a genuine complaint, discuss the issue by sending across a private message or try to solve the issue by holding a face-to-face meeting. Avoid a comment war at all costs.
How to safeguard students and staff?
Now that you will be running an SMA, you will need to update it with photos and videos. But with this, you will also have the responsibility to protect your students’ and staff’s identities. Remind parents in parent councils that they should not ‘tag’ their child in the posts uploaded by your page as it is good for their child’s safety. Make sure that your staff is also aware of the policies revolving around contacting student and parents on social media. Before a post is shared, ensure that it has been reviewed by higher management and then share it over your SMA.
With these points in mind, we hope the above article helps you get an idea on how to set up and run your school’s SMA in an efficient manner.
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