Thursday, September 4, 2014

Social Media & Schools: The Platforms

When jumping into the social media scene it the choices and options can be overwhelming.  Starting in, I would recommend selecting one that you feel is going to make the greatest impact with families.  All provide options for passing information as well as the ability to connect and interact with your community.  Here are some quick points on the platforms that we use at Eagle Ridge.

  • Primary social media platform and where we started - getting everybody who is has admin rights to our pages on Hootsuite hasn't risen to the top of the priority list, so Facebook even for posting is the "go to" location to post.
  • Most visited and posted - We are currently sitting at 620+ likes which is a little more than 75% of our student population
  • Great combination of visual & communication purposes - The limit on post size is pretty high and you can easily include a visual with links so including extra details.  Other platforms provide the options to post to Facebook so integration is pretty easy.

  • Transparency platform - Instagram provides that "window" into the school.  Being a purely visual platform, we do our student work, work walk and celebration pictures this way.  I feel like this allows parents to see things happening as they happen.  We have a high population of working parents so they can connect to things happening in the school as they happen.
  • Easily connected to other social media platforms - pretty much anytime I'm posting to Instagram, I am sending it to Facebook and Twitter.  You can post directly to Facebook pages!  
  • Provides a more "polished" look to visual posts - this is probably my OCD kicking in.  I don't always take the greatest photos.  Instagram helps me clean up and put something out there that looks good.
  • Ideal interactive platform - it is built to be a conversation!
  • Primary learning and engagement platform - our campus is exclusively posted to our Twitter account.  More on that below.
  • Last to be developed - must have a foundation cadre to begin the conversation.  I have worked on identifying my active Twitter parents so get them in on beginning a conversation
  • #EREPROUD - we are actively trying to build some unity around our PBIS journey and our campus "One Word" which is PROUD!  It has begun with Twitter, but we are including it with all our posts!
  • Daily curated paper - don't read too much into this.  I'm not doing a ton of work.  The application allows me to tell it where to pull content from and it does all the work from there.
  • #ptchat hashtag is a primary source, but I also follow numerous literacy and numeracy based organization that put out great parent resources.
  • Parent engagement, parenting, math and literacy resources are the primary content of the daily post.  Still growing this.  Honestly, I haven't put a whole lot into advertising it outside of those that follow the Twitter account
  • Easily connected to Twitter - it has great integration capability...if you pay for it.  I'm on the stingy side so until I see a greater following (which I need to invest (time) in growing).  When paying for the service, you can post to all sorts of social media platforms as well as embed into your website! 
  • Our exclusive presence here is for Google Hangouts On Air.  We live stream meetings and events throughout the year.  Google Hangouts will then archive the live stream for later viewing!  Pretty cool stuff!
  • Closes the distance gap - there is little that warms the heart or more for this military brat than being able to connect our families separated by military service/deployment.  We have a number of parents serving and we can provide that opportunity for them to share in their students' important school experiences!
We have jumped in to a number of things and have found the tools to not make it overwhelming.  The heart of our efforts is keeping our parents and community connected to what is happening at school.  Again, I'd recommend that starting out, select one that you feel will make the greatest impact and go.  Make sure that norms are a part of your roll out and that they are well advertised and reviewed.  Don't be ashamed about posting/sharing those regularly to ensure that your community is aware of those expectations!  And be sure to ask questions along the way!  Click that "Contact Me" button and shoot questions my way!  I am always happy to help!

Happy posting!


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