Three Facebook Posting Strategies for Your School
Facebook continues to be the primary social media channel utilized by your current and prospective parents. Instagram is a close second and quickly gaining ground. This is based on 60 parent surveys that I conducted at schools last year.
I have seen some great campaigns on Facebook. In February, many of my schools clients shared a campaign highlighting why students, faculty and parents love their school. This tied in specifically in celebration of love on Valentine’s Day. What better way to reinforce why people love your school than during this special season. Huntington Christian School in Huntington Beach, CA, shared a post on the last day of February asking parents to share the love for their school. The post featured the picture at the top of this article–a picture of students in the form of a heart. They had over 160 shares of this post on Facebook! Karrie Stratton is doing a great job leading the posting strategy at HCS.
However, some schools that I begin consulting with don’t have a posting strategy. Instead, their approach is to post about events, announcements or pictures of student life in a very random, unplanned way. Their strategy is actually to not have a strategy.
Honestly, I have seen it all. I have viewed school Facebook pages that allow their athletic director access to post and the page portrays this one-sided view of school life. I have seen other schools that give access to multiple staff members to post whatever and whenever they want instead of channeling their posts through one person. Then, some schools post so infrequently that it appears that their school no longer exists.
Three Facebook Posting Strategies
Whether these examples describe your school’s Facebook presence or you are more sophisticated in your use of social media, I typically recommend a three-phased approach for your posting strategy. The goal is to post at least once a day and then to ideally post between 2-3 times per day by utilizing the following strategies.
1. Captured Moments of School Life – Every day is an opportunity to capture moments of school life. You can target morning drop off, classroom learning activities, science experiments, STEM labs, athletic events, band practice, and anything else you can think of. The key is that you have to be there in order to capture the moment or someone has to share the moment with you. If you could motivate your faculty and staff to capture one activity, lesson or event every month, you would more than enough content to share captured moments of school life.
2. Weekly Post Campaigns– One of the best ways to structure your school’s Facebook strategy is to plan on specific weekly posts. The following are some examples that I encourage school leaders to implement:
- Teacher Feature Tuesday – Your faculty are the stars of your school. They are the reason why families choose your school and remain enrolled. Every Tuesday you could feature a story of one of your faculty members in your “Teacher Feature Tuesday” post. There isn’t a magic to posting on Tuesday but this creates an expectation and a planned strategy for you to post stories about your faculty every week.
- Throwback Thursday – It is important to engage with your alumni online. One way to do this is to share a Throwback Thursday post featuring a story from your alumni. This could be a scanned picture from a past yearbook, an event that took place in the history of your school, a story about one of your graduates and what they are doing in life, or a baby picture of one of your teachers and you ask your followers to identify who it is. Whatever your approach, Throwback Thursday is a great way to celebrate your past and to connect it to your school today.
- Inspirational Sunday – Sunday’s can be silent periods on your school’s Facebook page. However, it can also be a time to connect to your audience by scheduling a post that resonates with them. For faith based schools, a Scripture post with your school logo can appeal to your audience. For other schools, an inspirational post with an educational quote or virtue can be a great post to tie into your constituency. These are posts that you can plan in advance and schedule on Facebook.
These are just a few of the weekly Facebook posting strategies that you can implement. The key is to create some expected posts which focus on telling the story of your school in a creative and compelling way.
3. Monthly Campaigns– In addition to weekly campaigns, you will want to consider special monthly campaigns that appeal to a specific event or timeframe. Last year I wrote about Mounds Park Academy’s Shareable Facts Campaign. Every day during the month of April, the staff shared a unique fact or stat about the school that related to the specific day of the month. For example, on April 28, they posted that 28 is the average ACT score of a MPA student. I love the innovation and creativity of this campaign.
You could consider other campaigns. Another example is a graduation countdown showcasing your graduates. This accomplishes two things by celebrating stories of each graduate and bringing the community together by looking towards the last day of school.
Ideas for monthly campaigns are endless. The key to remember is that these campaigns, if done correctly, can drive engagement and expand your online reach through effective storytelling.
A Final Challenge
Your social media posting strategy doesn’t just happen. It takes time for you to consider what you want to post and how you can accomplish this. It is critical for you to actually have a strategy. If you implement each of the above posting strategies, you will be well on your way of telling your school’s story on this key social media channel.