It’s okay to be picky about social media

Headed into my district’s fourth year of using social media, some days I wonder why I dove into this pool all alone. With no staff to help manage the world I’ve created that my community and parents rely on, sometimes I can feel like I’m drowning.

So how does a one-person PR office manage a social media network (or three) for an entire school district? Easy. I’m picky. And purposeful.

Here are my tips to keep from drowning in the sea of social media.

1. Get on board. If your community and parents are there, you should be too. Do your research. In fact, take a survey, or ask on whichever platforms you are currently using.
2. Get off the boat. If that Instagram account you set up has hundreds of photos and few to no followers in the two years it’s been active, consider moving away from it. Don’t focus what little time you do have on a network that isn’t giving results. Don’t be on a network just to be there. It wastes time and isn’t useful.
3. Go with the flow. Spend your valuable time on the networks that work. If you are seeing dozens of new page likes and even more comments on your Facebook page every day, stick with it. If Twitter is picking up steam, spend some time there.
4. Row, row, row your boat. Once you establish the networks that work, be purposeful about engaging your audience. Know what engages them and use it. Follow an editorial calendar to schedule posts, and aim to post content that increases interaction. Don’t harm your networks that work by neglecting your audience.

With so much going on in our schools and communities, don’t waste time on social media networks or content that don’t bring value. Be picky.

9 Replies to “It’s okay to be picky about social media”

  1. Emily, I’m in the same boat!! SIngle-person PR department about to embark into the dark sea of social media. I’m also working on my dissertation on this same topic and am desperate for a survey for external stakeholders and their willingness, abilities and challenges for using social media to build a larger constituency. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Nancy Kemp-Communications Director, Blount County Schools, Maryville, TN

  2. Great commentary, Emily. With everyone chasing the new, hot thing in social media, the ideas you present are important to keep in mind..Thanks, Ken Koch – Francis Tuttle Technology Center

  3. Great thoughts, Emily. I would add that it’s important to be thoughtful in how you add to your social media presence as an organization. Maximize the use of Facebook at the District, building and classroom level, then move on to Twitter, for example. Being intentional in your social media strategy can play great dividends in community engagement.

  4. Great points here, Emily. I often tell people in my districts about all the social media possibilities, but then realize that sometimes we have to back off and do only what we can do well, given the resources. The thing about all this social media is that it quite frequently follows you home — at night and on weekends! It’s OK to back off and re-think your priorities. Thanks for the post!

  5. Same Here!!!! I tried to make things easier by connecting some platforms but am sticking with the ones that work best.

    My dissertation was on the policies needed to guide teacher interaction on social media – so I am very busy also with our social media policy.

  6. I’m hearing a lot about surveys on this site and was wondering if anyone has any good surveys that they would be willing to share that they’ve used in their communities. I would rather not recreate the wheel if someone has one that they were able to get good results from.

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