During a recent Campus Suite Academy webinar, Facebook for Schools: How the Pros Do It, featured presenter Andrea Gribble took the time to answer some questions live, but couldn't get to all of them. Below are 6 questions – and answers, of course – for our school social media expert.
For more webinars on school communications, visit the Campus Suite Academy web page.
Q: What are your thoughts on how to use Facebook ‘Stories’ for district social media?
A: I’m not an expert on this yet, but we have started using Facebook Stories for announcements and event reminders. They show up at the very top of the newsfeed and stay up there for only 24 hours, making them perfect for this type of post. I also think you can use it similar to Instagram Stories. I have a few helpful blogs on that. Check out this one on using instagram stories, and then read this post on using student contributors for social media. I might also suggest that you turn on “Story Archive” in case you want to keep the posts after the 24 hours elpase.
Q: What is the formula you use to measure engagement?
A: The formula I showed is based on an algorithm. It is just a scale to help represent the impact that each reaction makes. I explained that:
Like = 1 point
Comment = 7 points
Share = 14 points
You will see a direct link between your reach for any post and the level of interaction as stated above. Posts with the most reach will definitely have a lot of shares and comments. I learned this from a podcast from Social Media Examiner. I have no doubt that the algorithm has been updated since then, but I still see a direct correlation that says this is still relevant. For a deeper dive, check out my blog article on engagement ratings.
Q: When a page goes 'live' do all fans receive a push notification?
A: According to Facebook, each fan should receive a notification that you are live. Each individual Facebook user has the ability to turn these push notifications off. So keep that in mind. They are, by default, on – but you can turn them off. They should not have to request those notifications. One issue that your fans may be experiencing is not seeing all of your posts. Having them take one simple step to see your posts first will help. This blog article walks them through it, and includes a video.
Q: Should we also post 2-3 times per day on weekends and holidays?
A: No. I would not post that often on weekends and holidays. Depending on how much content you have, you may post 1-2 times per day at these times, but you sure don’t have to. I like a Sunday post at 7pm. I think many parents are winding down from the weekend and check in on Facebook then. Sometimes I have luck with Saturday mornings too. But overall, weekends are a time where people are spending time with their families. You don’t have to continue to post at the same schedule that you do during the week.
Q: Should I include students full names on social media? Do I need parents' permission?
A: This is based on your policy – and this is up to your school. You do need parents’ permission in all cases, but this should be covered by your FERPA forms you already have on file for your district. Check out this blog article that addresses using student names on social media posts.
Q: Someone created an unofficial page for our school years ago. Can we get that removed?
A: This is a tough one, but you are not alone. Your best defense is to smother the internet with your official Facebook URL. Work hard to try to find who in fact created the unofficial page and ask them to delete it. Drop a message on the unofficial page (if it is set up to accept messages) and ask them to close it down. You can also report the page to Facebook using their prescribed method. I wrote an article about unofficial school Facebook pages. Check it out here.
Thanks again to Andrea for hosting the webinar and answering these and all the questions about using Facebook. Andrea welcomes your questions about school social media. You can visit her website, socialschool4EDU.com, or contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him @jay4schools.