One of the benefits of social media is how much more measurable it is than most of our other communication tools. We can see what people like, what they click on, what they respond to and what messages resonate for them.
In my district, using Facebook insights, Twitter analytics, survey data and focus group feedback, we developed a picture of what our key audiences want to hear from us:
- Things that affect their lives
If it answers the question, “What does this have to do with me?”, it is great content. This is why the school board approving the calendar is such big news. It is also why people care more about pictures and videos from their own schools. In my district, we make sure to cover every school in the district at least once a month.
When we, like the other districts in the Kansas City area, canceled school for the Royals’ World Series parade and celebration, our social media posts blew up. Like a snow day, this affects everyone.
- Success stories
When the district succeeds, it validates for people that they are in a successful district. District awards, teacher awards and student awards all get great engagement, and not just from the people who know the award-winners.Our Facebook photo album from our annual awards banquet got off-the-charts engagement:
- Visual storytelling
Thanks in part in to people’s love for strong imagery and in part to social-media algorithms that push photos and videos, visual elements have the most impact. To fully take advantage of this, we not only produce lots of photos and videos, we tag people in the photos and we make sure to use the native video players. On Facebook, using the platform’s auto-playing videos get lots more eyeballs on our content than links to videos somewhere else.