Since the spring, many school systems are finding themselves on the front line of passions surrounding the COVID-19 crisis. It is playing out on social media and on the political stage with schools squarely in the middle of trying to managing how to open, stay open and how to stay out of the politics of it all.
The coming months are shaping up to be a doozies too, amid social justice issues and the "noise" of transitioning to the new administration. The times seem to encourage people to take sides and dig in.
So how do you keep your organization and public focused on your work, especially on social media channels?
Let’s take it back to the basics and remember what social media is and is not. It is the front porch and welcoming space to your school system. Be positive. It is not the place to encourage contentious conversation.
Here are some tips to keep the focus on your school:
- Give people something to love. Isn’t there enough negativity out there already? Your page should have a unique voice and it should give people something to which they will want to click “like” and “love.” And how can you not love this picture?
- One is never enough. Social media is one of your outreach methods. It should not be the only way you reach your public. While use has skyrocketed since COVID-19 hit, remember not all of your public is online. Use your newsletters, speciality publications, email and all other outreach methods. Check out this publication from Hilliard City Schools.
- You can always reflect your brand. Here, you’ll see that amid all the noise of reopening that we went back to this organization’s key reopening hashtag.
- Your school system is unique so be unique. Use unique visuals with each post. Not only do the social media algorithms like it but your public does, too! This career center does an excellent job with graphics and with highlighting students and staff.
- Big announcements are usually best announced on your website. You can still use social media but handle it there like a teaser announcement. The cross marketing impact is wonderful, too!
The year 2020 may have no quit but we know you do not either. Remember these and it will go a long way toward keeping your social media what it should be and it will help you to better manage and shape what comes your way.
Carole brings more than 20 years experience to Allerton Hill Communications, focusing on creating multi-pronged approaches to help clients solve critical issues. She has a B.A. in English from the University of Cincinnati and a M.A. in Public Policy and Management from Ohio State University and works with school districts to help them find their voice and garner both support and credibility on crises and hot-button issues.