Leaders in education have individually benefitted from using social media for their school.
Educators can derive a myriad of benefits for themselves and their schools by successfully leveraging the power of social media.
For schools, it is a powerful communication tool between the school and the community, it saves time and money as it eliminates the need for paper and printing processes.
Chris Presland, President of NSW Secondary Principal’s Council, stated that “Schools can use things like Facebook and Twitter to get messages out to their community about their school and that can be a really positive thing.”
Through social media, an online community can be built to facilitate engagement amongst either the whole online community or a specific, targeted community.
Engagement is the most important factor to social media success and online community building. It is simply the way in which your online community reacts to the content that you post.
Engagement is measured differently on each social media platform. The most practical and popular platform for schools and communities, Facebook, measures engagement in 3 ways:
- Likes – when a user reacts to a post by ‘liking’ it
- Reacts – when a user reacts to a post by ‘reacting’ to it with an emotion (haha, love, wow, cry and angry)
- Comments – when a user reacts to a post by ‘commenting’ on it
- Shares – when a user reacts to a post by ‘sharing’ it publicly to their friends.
Schools that succeed on social media stand out from the crowd. They have built a thriving online community full of excited followers and there is consistent engagement throughout their content. The posts could vary, ranging from celebrating achievements to school events; the enormous reach and potential engagement that schools achieve on social media is unprecedented. This efficient and measurable communication method just wasn’t possible with traditional media.
The benefits of engagement and proper communication on social media is not only limited to schools. Educators are also rewarded for engaging with other likeminded peers and communicating and marketing themselves on social media.
A study on the usage of social media by principals found that they individually benefitted from it in the forms of: their own professional development, their image in the eyes of their community and professional perks (i.e. Invitations to attend or speak at conferences, writing for major publications etc.)
A principal from the study shared how social media has impacted his own professional development. “I literally can post an issue or an idea, and on Twitter, and immediately 15 or 20 people respond and say, “Have you tried this?”, that kind of connection, again, wasn’t possible before social media came along.” He said.
However, achieving higher levels of engagement on social media is a time consuming and expensive process. Most educators have their hands tied for time and are unable to utilise social media to its full potential. As a result, many principals and senior educators are missing large opportunities to grow their school community online and develop themselves professionally.
There are a few solutions that you can explore to ensure that you have enough time for all your work and be able to have a growing online presence.
Approaches that some schools have taken are to hire a marketing team or a marketing coordinator, which is for some, an expensive approach to digital communications.
Principal Creative Communications (Principal) is a digital communications agency that has extensive experience working with Australian schools, to build their brand and bring their communications and marketing into the digital age. Principal’s mission is to bring educators closer to their communities so that they can flourish.
Principal’s RAPPORT is a resource-effective, bespoke, integrated platform built specifically for schools to manage their social media with confidence and enhances results in 3 key areas:
✔ Community engagement
✔ Student & parent engagement
✔ Empowering and developing staff
Want to learn more about how RAPPORT can help you drive your school’s community engagement to unprecedented levels, streamline your school communications and energise your marketing strategies? Contact Principal today!Do you have an idea for a story?
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