Storytelling through social media


We have a belief here at Interactive Schools that the internet allows your school to tell its personal story to the world. Social media plays a big role in your school’s storytelling process but schools are still not practising this effectively.

By harnessing social media to tell your school’s story, you help differentiate yourself and stand out from the noise. And let’s be honest, there is a lot of noise on social media. Don’t add to it.

We’re going to discuss how to use social media to tell these stories, and also how curate your stories. Telling them is easy, but curating them and creating awareness will need work.


Let’s start with how to start telling your story. There are two types of stories that your school will be sharing:

  • What’s happening?
  • What’s happened?

What’s happening? (Real-time)

The ‘what’s happening?’ stories are all stories that are happening now. They are stories that are told in real-time.

School’s will need to use specific channels to tell stories in real-time:

  • Twitter
  • Vine
  • Instagram

The channels are built for real-time storytelling. The life of content in these channels diminish quickly as they are built on a timeline approach.

What’s happened? (Archive)

The ‘what’s happened?’ stories tell your audience what has happened at the school. This is more of an archive of the opportunities and memories that people have at the school.

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Flickr
  • Tumblr
  • News (website)

These channels will act as an archive of the greats things that have happened in at the school. This can span from as short as an archive of the week, or many years.

Social media is not going away and we need to be thinking that these channels can hold memories for 50 or more years.

The archive approach will engage with multiple audiences:

  • Prospects
  • Parents
  • Pupils
  • Alumnae

For prospects, it is a great insight into what life at the school is really like. It will show all the opportunities on offer should they go to the school.

Current parents will be able to keep up-to-date with what their child is involved in. With current pupils able to view what they, and their friends, have been enjoying.

Alumnae will be using the archive to relive memories. It will be used to engage and interact with past pupils of the school, and to encourage sharing and advocation.

Curating Stories

Sharing these stories are only valuable if people can consume and enjoy them. Curating your stories effectively is just as important as sharing stories. Effective curation will increase your reach and engagement.

Some channels can be used for both telling and curating stories:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • MailChimp (email)
  • Website

Your website is key to curating stories as it has the highest reach. Most people will land on your website if they are looking for an introduction to your school. Your website should entice people to explore your stories.

Twitter and Facebook are your social media platforms used to curate and share these stories in the form of links and photos/videos.

MailChimp (or your chosen email platform) is used to send out targeted emails to people. Segment your audience to only send relevant content to them. Although social media is leading to diminishing use of email, it is still an effective means to communicate directly to people.

How does your school use these channels? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!