By now your school district falls into one of the following categories when it comes to social media:
- All in
- Dipping toes into the water
- Wavering and stuck
- The door is closed
Congratulations if you are all-in, and my sympathies if the door is closed. Your district has made a decision to either engage your constituents with social media or to stick with traditional methods. However, if your district falls into the second or third categories, here are five steps you can take to methodically and practically implement some form of social media into your existing communications plan:
1. Develop a social media strategy and plan. Figure out what you want to accomplish by doing surveys and focus groups, and then plan how you are going to meet your constituents’ needs and interests with social media.
2. Develop your social media policies or guidelines. Either your board is going to want to develop stand-alone social media policies or you can complement existing, board-approved technology policies with guidelines that don’t require board approval.
3. Train and educate your staff and students. Depending on what you will do, your staff and students need to have clear expectations about why you are using social media and how they can help.
4. Develop a content plan. Just as you would develop an editorial calendar for a newsletter, develop a content plan for videos, photos or other content that will keep your social presence current and engaging. Also, determine who will manage your social media.
5. Launch it and measure it. Don’t just start a Facebook page or Twitter account and expect people to flock to it. You have to launch it effectively, so think through your internal and external roll-out. The nice thing about social media is you can measure them all the time to prove their effectiveness or lack thereof.