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Campus Suite Blog

Top 10 Best-Performing Facebook Posts For Schools

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Posted by Andrea Gribble
Sep 17, 2015, 8:57:14 AM

Struggling with your social media post reach for your school? Tired of having only about 10% of your followers see your information? What would you say are the ingredients for the best-performing Facebook posts for schools?

I know the frustration all too well. I just posted a great group of photos with smiling students on the school page on the first day of school to find a day later that it only reached a fraction of our 681 fans.

What makes Facebook think that a specific post is worthy enough to show to more people? Well, the ever-changing algorithm is a tricky nut to crack. It has a lot to do with likes, comments and shares – a term we collectively call “engagement.” While no one can predict what post will receive the most engagement, we can learn by looking back at past posts to see what has performed the best.

In this article we will explore ten different posts from several different school districts. We will share the statistics – a scorecard, if you will – of each post and break down why we think they did so well. My hope is that you will be able to think of how you could incorporate similar strategies with your own school district.

 

1. New principal selfie

principal-selfie

http://on.fb.me/1W4dB5n
Reach: 9,920
Likes: 323
Comments: 67
Shares: 13

Magic Formula explained:

  • The power of a #selfie; it really is magic! It’s up close and personal. Social media watchers relate well to these photos. Mr. Schmidt also made sure to capture the Cameron Middle School sign in the background. This is genius, considering his new role as middle school principal.
  • A heartfelt letter cannot be beat. Usually, the shorter the written post, the better. But in this case, Mr. Schmidt opens himself up from the personal and professional side. He also explains his open door policy, which is a great extension of accessibility to the community.
  • He’s a great teacher. He has obviously made a huge impression over the years, which is why he received so many comments like this one:

“Mr. Schmidt was my fourth grade teacher about 8 years ago. He was one of my favorites and was full of energy and passion. If we luck, he’d even do flips off of the desks. I’m sure he’ll be a wonderful addition. ☺”

Note: the statistics that can be viewed by the administrator of the page differ than those seen on the actual post by others. For instance, this post had 294 likes on the original post and another 29 on the post after it was shared. There were 59 comments on the original post, but another 8 on the shared posts.

2. Video to support an ill student

 

http://on.fb.me/1QiKTdn
Reach: 7,488
Likes: 199
Comments: 36
Shares: 66

Magic Formula explained:

  • Cancer has unfortunately touched so many of our lives. This issue is relatable on so many levels that it was very easy for people to hit the like and share button on this video tribute. Many fans also made comments like this: “I'm so proud to be part of such an awesome community. My family is thinking of you, Carter!!”
  • The Frederic school district put so much effort into creating this video for Carter. Absolutely everyone was involved, from the middle school football team to the janitors to the elementary students to the high school volleyball team. The quick-moving video scenes were entertaining to watch and made the viewer want to stay tuned to see what else these creative students put together.
  • “Keep Your Head Up” by Andy Grammer, provides the perfect music to background this video. When you can find lyrics that relate so well to the topic at hand, it is key. And you’ll notice that this video included sound bites, but the music continued as background throughout. This is a great way to involve the audience as well because many times when we start listening to a song, we just want to finish it! 

3. Bedtime chart

bedtime-post

http://on.fb.me/1W4esTM
Reach: 7,279
Likes: 82
Comments: 53
Shares: 56

Magic Formula explained:

    • This informative post was shared on the school page right before school was to start. It has nothing to do with the school itself, but pertains to students everywhere, which is why it got 56 shares.
    • The easy to follow chart is one that parents can show their kids to justify bed times. Perfect! They are not the “bad guy” when it comes to putting their kids to bed on time. Now this specific post did strike up some controversy, with some parents saying it was unrealistic to follow. It is up to your followers on whether they want to put information to use in their own home.

Quick Tip: The information and photos that you share on your school page don’t all need to be original content. Share an article that talks about homework advice for parents. Encourage followers to check out the latest video explaining how math is being taught the “new way.” Being a source of good information that relates to students and your school is a meaningful way to keep students and parents tuning in to your Facebook page.

4. Teacher’s 42nd first day

42-first-day


http://on.fb.me/1Lj0M48
Reach: 6,221
Likes: 442
Comments: 47
Shares: 7

Magic Formula explained:

  • Visual content is king and this photo tells the complete story because the teacher is holding the small sign. If the post creator would have just typed the 42 years in the post text, it would not have had the reach it did. The text here is typed and printed. This is one approach, but others can work. You can hold a handwritten note. There are also tons of apps out there like Word Swag (link to http://www.wordswag.co/) and Phonto (link to http://phontogra.ph/) that allow you to put text on your photos after you’ve taken them. It allows you to be creative but only takes a few minutes to do right from your mobile device.
  • This story just screams for people to interact and respond. The numerous comments helped get this in front of people all over the country. Whether past students had her for a teacher or someone was just shouting out “congrats,” it was a compelling reason to take the time to type a response.
  • The text in the post was kept to just five words. Great advice for most posts. And one of those words they chose to use was the school hashtag #ColfaxPride. We hope you have already established one for your school, but if not, get some great inspiration from these 10 cool hashtags other schools are using - http://www.socialschool4edu.com/10-cool-hashtags-for-schools/

5. Student tragedy announcement


sudent-loss-post

http://on.fb.me/1LiWpG9
Reach: 5,322
Likes: 117
Comments: 15
Shares: 32

Magic Formula explained:

  • Facing a tragedy like suicide in a school is not easy. It is not the kind of news we ever want to share on Facebook, but yet it needs to be addressed by the school. The professionalism in the post and the sincerity behind it reflect how deeply the school cares.
  • Usually photos are needed with social media. At times like these, they are not. The short post was shared over 30 times, as people were moved get the word out. Wouldn’t it be great if all of the positive messages we put out there were shared as often?
  • News like this calls for many to comment. The one noteworthy post was from a nearby small school, who posted: “The Clayton School District sends our sincere sympathy to the entire New Auburn community. You are in our thoughts and prayers!” 

6. Elementary homecoming tunnel

football-team-funnel

http://on.fb.me/1FiJSBv
Reach: 5,100
Likes 200
Comments: 25
Shares: 19

Magic Formula explained:

  • Many students were involved in the 21 photos that were used for this one post. That alone will get many of your fans to tap on the post to look for photos of kids they may know. In events where you have numerous photos, don’t be afraid to post a bunch!
  • The excitement on the students’ faces says so much. I think each person browsing through Facebook smiled as they looked at this post, thinking of how cool this might have been for them when they were elementary school. Capturing true emotion with photos is a great way to earn likes.
  • This was another event that attracted comments like this one: “What a great group of young men! This is such a huge deal for the kids.” And another, “We have such a great group of kids and teachers! I love this school and their school spirit!!!” 

7. Middle school dance party

middle-school-dance-party


http://on.fb.me/1QIpxGX
Reach: 4,443
Likes: 121
Comments: 16
Shares: 11

Magic Formula explained:

  • This video was uploaded directly to Facebook. While uploading to YouTube and sharing the link on other social media channels has been the traditional route, Facebook gives significant priority to videos that are native to its platform. When possible, I strongly encourage you to directly post videos to Facebook. You can always add them to your YouTube channel as well, but the direct post will garner a bigger reach.
  • Nearly every student in the middle school was shown in this video. Including a large number of students helps encourage more people to watch to see if they, their child, their grandchild, their neighbor, or someone else they know is in the video.
  • The music to which the students were dancing is the newest dance craze! How neat to be able to dance and go to school. I know I need to watch a few more times so that I can learn it, and then try to impress my girls when I show that Mom knows how to do it.

8. Special announcement

special-announcement

http://on.fb.me/1NFAxXq
Reach: 2,917
Likes: 95
Comments: 14
Shares: 37

Magic Formula explained:

  • The written post did not give away the message. People had to watch the video to find out what it was. Curiosity helps! Get creative with your short messages and video links.
  • Great job to the principal f or choosing video content! He could have written a post announcing the same message, but instead he took the short 16 seconds of time to put it out as a video. As I stated above, if this school had directly uploaded it into Facebook instead of going through YouTube, they would have reached even more people.
  • Good news travels fast! This is going to save a LOT of money for students (and by this I truly mean parents, of course). It also helps encourage team spirit. More students will attend the athletic events.

9. Football angel photo

football-angel-post

http://on.fb.me/1QiJZNS

Reach: 2,313
Likes: 166
Comments: 17
Shares: 14

Magic Formula explained:

  • If you've seen the movie Angels in the Outfield, you'll so get this. This image is so cool! It truly does look like an angel over the football field. If you can photograph things in nature like this, the posts do well on social media. Make sure to watch what is spelled out in your cereal or what images show up on your toast as well; you never know when it could be your school mascot.
  • A parent actually shared this image on their personal Facebook page and used the school hashtag #GoFrederic. You have hundreds of “reporters” out there with the ability to capture cool photos involving your school if you encourage the use of the hashtag.
  • The simple and short description for the post helped, along with the statement, “Hope it’s a good sign.” These simple words welcome people to hit the like button. It’s as if they are saying, “me too!”

10. #ThrowbackThursday

throw-back-school-facebook-post

http://on.fb.me/1KoC90N
Reach: 2,130
Likes: 40
Comments: 35
Shares: 3

Magic Formula explained:

  • #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday is always a big one for the school districts I work with. Each Thursday morning at 6 a.m. we share a photo or two from one of the yearbooks. This gets the alumni involved and current students love to see them as well.
  • We asked a question, “What year was it?” It’s easy to answer, and look how many people ended up commenting! Make sure you throw in questions on your posts. This helps encourage the participation from your followers.
  • The photo here clearly shows so many faces! How many can you count? People are likely to comment when they recognize someone.

Concocting the Magic Formula for Facebook posts

There you have it. Ten posts that have each reached thousands of people. Common threads among these posts are great visuals, short descriptions, native videos and a motivating reason to comment. Keep these ingredients in mind as you go out to tell the story of your school this week.

I’d love to hear from you. What ingredients are you using in your Facebook formula? I’m sure you have a post that has reached thousands. Send us the link and break down why you think it did so well. The Facebook world needs the positive stories from our schools.


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Posted by Andrea Gribble

Campus Suite blog contributor Andrea Gribble is a social media consultant who helps schools celebrate their students and connect communities through social media.

Topics: Marketing School Districts Private schools Social media

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