With so much caution around student-staff social media interactions, should a school have a Facebook page? Absolutely. Facebook posts from your school can provide a professional online presence and open the door to two-way communication with parents.
Each school has a unique personality, and its Facebook presence will reflect that. Here are seven strategies principals can use to build trust, connections and involvement with families and students.
1) Control rumors: Is the school gossip mill working overtime? Use Facebook to respond publicly to parent and student questions, clarify misconceptions and make sure people have the facts.
2) Push toward a goal: Whether you’re trying to boost attendance, increase conference participation or raise funds, use Facebook to celebrate progress toward a goal, and remind people how they can help the school hit its target.
3) Showcase student work: If you have parent permission to post student work and photos, use Facebook to post art, essays, projects or music performances to highlight the innovative learning opportunities in your school.
4) Boost event attendance: While you still need to announce school events in all the usual ways, using Facebook events for just-in-time information may boost attendance at parent conferences, school concerts, open houses or parent meetings. The RSVP feature provides the opportunity to announce last-minute changes and to send a reminder.
5) Make school announcements: Bus running late? New after-school program? Flooded gymnasium? Snow day? Use Facebook for breaking news and watch it go viral.
6) Do research: Want to know what your community thinks? Post a link to your online survey, and do the research before making a change at your school.
7) Try trivia: Make it fun! See if your fans can answer a weekly question tied to facts about your school, student achievement, staff or curriculum. Prizes can be as simple as a reserved volunteer parking space, free tickets to the school play, a tour of a new facility, or a chance to be a guest speaker at a classroom event.