Social Media For Schools – An Overlooked Opportunity

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Many schools overlook social media as one of the tools at their disposal, seeing it as faddy, inappropriate, risky or complicated.

The truth is that social media can help schools achieve much of what they want to do when it comes to communicating with stakeholders of all kinds. Social media can replace or enhance the more traditional forms of communication that schools rely on, and in some cases can even surpass them.

A website is not enough

Having a website is vital, but it’s not going to do much good to have a website if nobody who would need to see it knows where it is or when they need to look at it. To update a website and wait patiently for visitors to flock to it unprompted and absorb the information is an exercise in futility.

The point of social media for organisations and businesses is in going where their audiences already are, to interact with those audiences and deliver information.

Schools should work out who they want to reach, find out where those people are currently spending their time online, create a presence in that space, and learn any conventions and rules that apply there.

This might sound like a lot of hard work, but with the right guidance, this is a quick and simple process with measurable results.

Instant outreach, total control

Broadcasting news of success or appeals for help via traditional media such as radio or newspapers means waiting for broadcast or publication, and having a gatekeeper between the school and the intended audience in the form of an editorial team.

This becomes particularly tricky when news needs to be delivered instantly, for example in case of school closure. Waiting for a radio station to relay the message that the school is closed puts the school on the radio station’s schedule, instead of their own.

Sending a tweet or writing a Facebook post, on the other hand, can be done in seconds, with the school being in total control of the content.

To learn how to make the most of this resource, however, schools need to ensure that their intended audience is following them on social media in the first place, otherwise they are tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming into the void.

Schools also need to know the tips and tricks that will ensure their messages are seen and shared as much as possible, for maximum outreach when necessary. There are fast and straightforward strategies to achieve this, which bring valuable and long-lasting benefits.

I am the founder of a freelance social media consultancy company (FoundUB4) in the UK that offers companies a bespoke social media management service that delivers the results needed to succeed.

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