5 Steps to a Better School Facebook Page
24 Oct 2018
Here are simple ways to make your FB page engaging for the entire school community. Despite Facebook’s challenges addressing publicity over data breaches, the reality is that more schools are using it to communicate news and updates, several times daily.
Your school page should be a place for positive conversation that leads to a more engaged community. It should aim to be a helpful resource, and an informative space, and not a channel for public feedback. There should be room for useful suggestions, but your page can also provide a contact for anyone who wants to discuss or report issues of concern. Setting up the basics and creating some clear guidelines around what the page is for will help the whole school community to contribute to it. The result is then more likely to reflect the school’s unique personality and celebrate its growth as an institution for learning and student development.
1. Your brand – get it right
For your school logo, use school colours or your crest so it’s easy to identify on a mobile phone. Use an image with students and staff engaged in learning, events, concerts, or sports—change it every month for a dynamic and fresh page. This is the first impression for visitors to your page so it’s important to provide school contact details.
2. Get all of the school on the same page
Set up a team to manage Facebook, share the responsibility. Have teachers and parents collaborate with students in one team to provide a safety net and create a policy around what can and can’t be posted, and be sure to review it regularly. Rotating responsibility for the page by classroom throughout the year allows the whole school community to be involved and own the page, and will help all students learn about responsible social media use.
Post daily to keep the audience coming back. It should become the school’s main source for the latest updates and announcements. Images and stories should come in from the whole school community. Your team can manage this with a dedicated email address, and schedule posts in line with the school’s major events and term dates. Always pin important announcements to the top of the page, and schedule reminder posts for the school’s calendar of events.
3. Monitor comments – these are important and most will be positive
People want to cheer on academic, creative and sporting achievements. It keeps the page alive and fosters a dynamic and inclusive sense of community. Use the settings menu to get notifications each time a comment is made. You can review comments and remove inappropriate content. Facebook has a profanity filter, set it to high.
4. Short videos - even just 30 seconds, anything fun that doesn’t make fun of anyone
It gets many more viewers. Check your parent consent so there is a check list of students who are NOT to be involved in activities around photographic images and video usage. For others, always be sure to have the student’s permission before posting their image. Never share images or video of anyone without their knowledge and consent.
5. Track your success – use Facebook tools to see what’s working
Use ‘Insights’ to see which post types work best for your school community, and ‘Pages to Watch’ can provide some information that tells you what other schools are doing with their Facebook page and how it’s performing for them. It’s worth tracking your posts to find out which are liked and which are the most engaging for the school community.
There are numerous ways to engage your school community in activities and events by using Facebook. It’s an ideal way to promote a school fete or fundraiser because information is easy to refresh. You can direct people to other communications sent out or posted on the school website. Updates to information can be distributed instantly, and unlike the old print newsletters of the past, the opportunity for parents and friends to contribute content to a school page promotes a sense of connectedness. Ultimately, your school’s Facebook page belongs to the entire school community, and with a little delegation and management, it can become a vital interactive space for everyone.