Schools are really starting to embrace social media and it is really exciting to watch them expand their networks. It has led to other schools to follow suit and quickly sign up to Facebook but before you do this there are a few things you need to consider.
Plan and Strategise
It is very tempting to just jump into Facebook and start engaging with your audience but unfortunately we all need a plan of action. So before you jump in ask yourself a few important questions:
- What are your goals and objectives?
- Who are you trying to reach?
- Who is your target audience?
- Where are they and how do you get them to ‘like’ you?
- How much time can realistically be invested?
- How will you handle negative comments?
Use these questions to help form a plan and remember that they are not the only ones you should ask. There are many more so sit down and brainstorm.
Facebook is a direct channel of communication between you and an individual. You need to be available for communication just like you are available to handle telephone calls.
Be sure to check your wall often and respond to all posts. You want to show how engaged you are with your pupils, parents, alumni, community etc.
Most of your parents and pupils spend most of their time within Facebook. They consume and share content with their friends within this platform. By interacting with your audience you create an environment of engagement that feels comfortable by both parties. This ultimately creates advocacy because your parent’s friends will see that their friend (the parent) is engaging with your school.
Analyse and Action
Just like planning and strategising, you need to analyse and action on your findings. You need to find out what people are saying about your school – are they positive or negative? If they are positive then how can you utilise this? If they are negative then how can you address the problem?
Treat Facebook as a fantastic free research tool that your school can use. Imagine the cost of hiring a company to find out what the public thinks about your school – pupils, parents, alumni, community etc. The costs would be extortionate. Facebook is free and has those capabilities.
How is your school using Facebook? Let us know in the comments below.