You will read hundreds of thousands articles on the internet about how to be a social media rockstar. You will also find hundreds of thousands of different answers.
Sadly there is no magic answer to suddenly give you the popularity of Justin Bieber or David Beckham.
But would you want your school to be THAT popular? Unlikely. You want your parents to advocate your brand story and to shout about you (in a good way!). You have a small community that you want to engage with. And a wider one to become a voice in.
However, there are ways to improve audience engagement on social media and to improve the content your school is publishing.
You may have a hundred followers, you may have one hundred thousand. When you visualise everyone looking at your tweets it can be a little overwhelming.
Remember these 5 key points for your schools social media strategy:
- Social media is for sharing your school stories. Showcase to the world the amazing things happening at your school on a daily basis.
- Parents are looking at your school. Think about what parents want to see.
- Stay focused. It's easy to strive from what your school is all about on social media. Striving from your core social media strategy can contribute to people unfollowing your accounts.
- It's your brand. Remember your social media reflects your schools image. Be professional but fun. It's about finding the right balance.
- Embrace social. Social media is amazing for sharing authentic REAL stories. Just embrace all elements of social media and don't be afraid of trying new things.
Standing Out From the Crowd
Social media is a very popular market to be part of. Have you ever scrolled down your Twitter feed and found yourself yawning? There are actually some really easy steps to make your social media posts stand out from the crowd.
- Photos average a 35% boost in Retweets
- Videos get a 28% boost
- Quotes get a 19% boost in Retweets
- Including a number receives a 17% bump in Retweets
- Hashtags receive a 16% boost
Here is a recent tweet of ours let's look at it in more detail...
- GIF Files: The GIF file on Twitter is a really simple way to help you stand out from the crowd. It incorporates the movement of video and is technically a photo. Just search GIF's online or even create your own relevant to your school
- The Hashtag: Join in a global conversation. Look at what's trending. If there is a hashtag which you can make relevant to your organisation then use it! It's a great way to boost engagement. E.g #SchoolMemories #TBT, #MondayMotivation are all great examples of hashtags schools can utilise.
- Article Link: With a 140 character limit (for the time being at least) linking to an article is a great way to say more. Make sure the rest of your tweet tells people what the link will be about though. Unrelated links can appear as spam to your followers.
These are really simple Twitter tips to easily boost your engagement and help you stand out from the crowd. Don't over think things but just make sure your tweets are standing out from the crowd using these simple features.
The Extra Mile
Everyone shares pictures and videos - right? It's true that adding pictures and video to your tweets isn't going to make you a real trendsetter. It is very common but still important to use media.
There are some very new features on Twitter which can make your school really stand out from the other schools and make you a real rockstar of social media.
On the 12th of January 2016 Twitter finally created functionality to incorporate Periscope live stream videos into your twitter feed.
- like we predicted in our 2016 social media predictions blog - not bragging.. ahem 😉
Periscope is one of the most underrated social media channels and certainly one of the most underused. Periscope has over 10 million users and over 40 years of video are streamed daily.
With Periscope being incorporated into Twitter it is only a matter of time until Periscope takes off and becomes a real social media force. It's going to be used for a LOT more than just watching a big puddle in Newcastle... #DrummondPuddleWatch
So if you really want to be a trend setter on social start using Periscope and add a whole new dimension to your tweets.
What better way to engage your followers and in particular parents. Being able to watch your child live at school through Twitter is pretty amazing. Live streaming is only going to get more and more popular so start using it now!
Timing plays a big part in social media and who engages with your content. As a school your optimum times will be different as multiple audiences will be more active at various times of the day.
Schools, more than anyone, understand the typical schedule of a parent. Parents are very busy people, of course, so it's important to understand what times they will be using social media.
Although these times won't be 100% accurate to schools audiences specifically, this is a good guide to follow for what times you should be tweeting.
But timing it not only about the time which you tweet. Remember the school calendar... it's important to be tweeting around events in your school and your school calendar. If you know an event is going to happen at a particular time, then schedule tweets around it!
-Remember you can schedule and plan your tweets to go out at specific times and dates. See our "Easy Scheduling" blog for more information on scheduling tweets.
Your school will know the best times to tweet based on your inside knowledge of your parents and their schedules. Just always think about what you are tweeting and who it is for. Timing is everything.
Everyday in schools there are thousands of new stories being told. It can be overwhelming. Here are some top tips to maximise your storytelling potential.
Departmental Twitter Accounts
If your school has only one main Twitter account for example it can be difficult to manage.
We are encouraging schools to use departmental Twitter accounts.
What this essentially means if that each subject will have it's own departmental twitter account managed by their departmental staff. Then the schools main account can easily retweet.
Storytelling began on cave walls and has travelled through time passing through rock art, hieroglyphics, painted artefacts, and has now entered the modern era with social media.
Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Vines have stories captured and shared every day. Storytelling hasn’t changed - but the channels we tell them via have evolved.
Read our full "The Power of Storytelling" blog for more information on platforms to share your stories.
Remember social media is not as it seems. It's not a popularity contest. The important thing is that you are sharing stories and sharing them in the most engaging way possible for your social media audiences.
Please comment below and let us know how you have used our Twitter tactics!
For more Social Media advice/training/audits please contact our social team: firstname.lastname@example.org