Using social media in schools can be daunting and if you have been tasked with the responsibility of managing it you may not know where to start and what you can or can’t do! In this generation, most schools now have Twitter and Facebook accounts, and some even have LinkedIn. With so many platforms out there it is hard to decide which one will be the most effective for your school.
Last year at a leadership conference our Marketing Manager, Danni had the pleasure of meeting Matthew Browne, Co-Principal at Temple Learning Academy. At the time Academic Appointments were working on improving our social media pages which is why Danni felt the need to approach Matthew – you could say she’s a bit of a fan! They discussed the use of social media in schools, and how he personally used it at Temple Learning Academy, which is why it was an obvious choice to approach him for some hints and tips for our readers.
Matthew kindly agreed and put together the following advice:
We recently surveyed parents and despite being told in every letter and newsletter only 5% knew we had a school website and fewer used it however 95% of those surveyed followed the school on either Facebook or Twitter.
We've used social media - mostly Facebook - to market a new school which didn't yet exist, get a buzz going and hopefully recruit pupils. Two years later it's has had many unforeseen advantages for us that I feel outweigh any potential issues.
I advise people to be brave and embrace it. Virtually all our pupil's parents and carers are younger than me and the staff I hire are too - they live their life on Facebook so we needed to use it to engage them.
Adding examples of their child's learning (having gained permission) sharing high-quality homework, achievers, news and updates parents felt better informed. It's had more impact than the newsletters, letters, invites, texts, reminder cards combined.
In a community that many frowns upon due to its reputation and deprivation, we have managed to engage them and make them a part of the school.
100% of parents feel communication is good.
They praise us on Facebook and even offer advice and support to one another over it.
We've also started using free apps to connect to our parents and parental engagement is wonderful. Parents meet children at the end of the day having already seen their learning and ready to talk about it.
I was very anti-Facebook prior to this but to-date, two years on, we have had no issues and are steadily growing followers. My advice is to take the plunge, grow your followers and put yourself out there. Social media isn't going away we might as well try to embrace it and have some level of control over what will be taking place anyway.
Huge thank you to Matthew for taking time out of his schedule to provide us with these beneficial hints and tips. We really do appreciate it!
Hopefully, this blog will have helped you feel more confident about taking the plunge with social media!