This school year, as part of our strategic communications plan, we started Twitter accounts for several of our school administrators and counselors. Since it is the new year and many of us are getting reorganized and refreshed for the second half of the school year, I wanted to give you some practical tips we share with our school administrators when they start a Twitter account. Feel free to use these or share with any staff members in your district who are considering taking the leap to social media.
- It’s recommended to tweet three to five times a day. You can be both serious and silly. Be sure to include fun anecdotes, interesting facts and post many photos of what is happening in your school. It is also OK to have fun and show your lighter side.
- If you’re finding that tweeting three to five times times a day is too much, at least once a day would be best so you stay on your followers’ radars.
- Feel free to tag the district account by adding “@ritenourschools” (our district Twitter handle) to your posts.
- Hashtag campaigns can be fun — for example, for our convocation this year, we used #RitenourExcellence and continued it throughout the school year.
- Great things to tweet include photos that tell a story, 20-second videos in classrooms taken with your phone, bubble thoughts with students holding a white board with the thought (i.e.: Stay Organized; Get Involved In School Activities, etc.) and trends like “Throwback Thursday.”
- Please do not to use copyrighted materials (most images you find in a Google search) and do not promote any political agendas or candidates, ballot issues, etc.
Ways to build following on Twitter:
- Begin following other colleagues, organizations and others in your professional circles. Typically (but not always), when a person or organization gains a new follower, they will follow you back.
- Use an incentive for students to follow you, but don’t follow them back. You can promote your handle with students through daily announcements, message boards, posters, etc. Consider picking a name of a student follower each week for spirit wear or other small incentive.
- Be sure to add your Twitter handle to your signature on your email and other correspondences.
- Promote your handle with parent newsletters, messages and fliers.
- Follow local news media. Keep in mind, when you follow them, they might follow you back to try and get a story idea.
Twitter is an excellent platform for sharing information with students, families and the community. I hope these tips help you begin the second semester in your school district. And, please feel free to share any tips you would like to add in the comments section.
Happy New Year!