As a follow up to all of the attendees that posted questions on our recent webinar "Facebook 2017: What's New for Schools", we've answered all of the questions and provided links to helpful articles. We've also made the video of the recorded webinar available for those that may want to watch again or share with others.
How does Facebook Live and Live Streaming impact ADA/508 Compliance?
STEVE: While Facebook Live is a great tool to share streaming videos for your school it is important to recognize that this content needs to be available with CC and a transcript. My recommendation is to provide a live stream through Facebook and also provide an additional video that can be uploaded to Youtube and added to your website with CC and a transcript.
Where did you find the information on your competition in FB?
ANDREA: The Insights inside of Facebook allows you to look at how your school stacks up against other schools. On the main “Overview” tab, scroll to the bottom. You’ll see a section where you can “Add Pages.” This means you can add other Facebook pages that you’d like to measure yourself against.
In the image below, Hibbing Schools is stacked up against several other schools in Minnesota. You can easily see where you rank in terms of total page likes, posts this week, and overall engagement in the past 7 days. It’s great to see that Hibbing is on top in terms of posts and engagement!
If you want to see what other schools are doing in terms of popular posts, you simply click on the school name. A window will pop up to show you the top posts this week from that school.
How do you merge two district facebook pages together? Do I have to be the owner of both pages?
ANDREA: You do have to be an administrator of both pages. They also have to have a similar name. For example, you can’t merge a page called Maple School District and Tiger Athletics. You’d have to rename the Tiger Athletics page to “Maple School District - Athletics” or something like that.
Merging Facebook pages together is easy. See "How to Merge Facebook Pages" from blog that helps walk you through the process.
If you were looking for a volunteer to help manage your school's social media - how much time would that person need to put into it at a minimum?
ANDREA: I think it’s about five hours per week. It is a job that includes evenings and weekends as well because you always want to be monitoring comments. You can certainly schedule out posts in advance, but some content is going to come in at odd times throughout the week.
I’m sure you can do it with less, and it all depends on how much content is being sent to the person. Many times it might be 3 minutes here and 10 minutes there...
Is there a length of time for using FB live? Like 20 minutes?
ANDREA: The current time limit on Facebook Live is 4 hours. I don’t recommend going live for that long, but you can if you want to!
Remember, start small and build up from there. People don’t have the patience to hang with you for 5 minutes, let alone over an hour. If it is the right activity with the right audience, of course, they will tune in!
You can also use actual video cameras to live stream. Rather in-depth process, but higher quality video. Could be good for a news productions or video productions class.
ANDREA: Yes - there are so many ways to take things to the next level! My best advice is to start simple. Shooting video with your smartphone is an effective way to share your school’s story. Those authentic videos do well on social media.
If you have a higher level marketing, news or video production class - put them to work for your school events!
Are we liable for district employees that respond to negative comments (and are therefore representing the district) on Facebook?
ANDREA: Having a solid social media policy is the first step to using it in your district. This article will help share several examples from other schools: Creating your School Social Media Policy. I also shared an article on tips for responding to negative school social media posts. See "5 Tips for Responding to Negative School Social Media Comments".
In regards to the tangible benefits for districts, I think the best article I can provide is direct advice from six other superintendents on why they use social media. I shared this article back in 2015, but it still is completely relevant for breaking down the biggest myths about social media for your school. See "Six Social Media Myths" from Wisconsin School News.
I have another study that asked respondents how informed they were about school activities. The survey was given prior to social media launch, and then six months after the launch. Out of 200 respondents, 92% felt more informed than they were as compared to before social media was used. If communication and branding your district is important, social media is a MUST. See "Social Media Matters – and Here is the 2017 Data to Prove it!" for recent 2016 data.
What are the best ways to show ROI to the administration?
ANDREA: I use a quarterly report card to showcase the reach, growth and positive comments that we get through social media. A few helpful blogs might be:
- Social Media Matters – and Here is the 2017 Data to Prove it!
- Social Media Report Card: How Does Your School Measure Up?
Another strong ROI is in understanding that if you can attract or retain just one student at your school, then there is a dollar amount attached to that. Whether you are public or private, more students means more funding. You could start asking new students and parents on why they made a decision to attend your school. Social media may play a very important role!
How do you best deal with live streaming something like music concerts when a lot of the material is copyrighted?
ANDREA: I would recommend talking with your music teachers. While we all have seen the YouTube videos where people sing out popular tunes, I’m not educated in the copyright laws that go along with that. Is Adele happy to hear 5-year-old Joey singing “Hello?” I would hope so, but I’m not sure.
I would strongly urge you to stay away from full musical productions and performances like that. I know that there are very specific rules about transmitting those over the internet.
Is there a gentle way to "reinvite" people to like your page that you've invited before, but they never clicked "like?"
ANDREA: Great question. I don’t think you can “reinvite” people if you have already formally tried inviting them through the Facebook platform. Facebook doesn’t want pages to get bothersome, so one invite is probably all that they allow.
Remember to invite people in person as much as you can. It’s all about promotion, and making people think that they are missing out if they don’t follow you! Check out this blog post on "16 Ways to Promote Your Social Media Channels".
How do you monitor comments before displaying them publicly?
ANDREA: While Facebook no longer allows you to turn comments off, you can block a list of common words. When one of those words is used, that comment remains hidden until you unhide it from your page. The list is so comprehensive, nearly every written post is hidden. You can then unhide the post once you review it. This is easy to do on your phone or desktop version of Facebook.
I don’t recommend this method because it will decrease the level of engagement on your page. You could have a fun post where a bunch of people try posting a comment, but when they see it doesn’t show, they may get discouraged. Social media is meant to be social - and while you need to monitor the comments to keep things positive, I don’t think you need to hide them all as a default.
A great way to get followers on district page: Use district page to announce school closings (weather, etc) before announcing through any other avenues.
ANDREA: Thanks Scarlet! This is a great way to use your social media sites. Remember, many families don’t even watch TV or listen to the radio at home. Reaching out to them through social media is key!
Check out this great story from Grand Forks Public Schools. They added nearly 1,000 fans over a couple months this winter by using this strategy!
We are trying to build followers for our school pages, but I can't always tag them. Sometimes there are other similar community pages that come up instead of the official page. Is there any trick to tag a specific page URL?
ANDREA: Great question and I often struggle with this too! Unfortunately, the tagging of other pages doesn’t always work.
When you use the “@” symbol, the page should appear as you start typing it out. One reason why it may not work is that there is a setting for each Facebook page. You can prevent others from tagging your page. If this box is unchecked, others will not be able to tag your page. If you’re attempting to tag a page that has completed this step, you are out of luck!
I’m not exactly sure on what the other reasons may be. I thought it could be an unverified page, or that I hadn’t personally liked the page, but even after going through those steps it doesn't work.
I always remind people that Facebook is like any other website (except much larger and more intricate). It can get quirky and just not work...
Campus Suite blog contributor Andrea Gribble is a social media consultant who helps schools celebrate their students and connect communities through social media.