Back in the fall 2013, the Ritenour School District started a private Facebook group for retired employees. After nearly three years, the page has proven to be an effective way to engage and correspond with some of the district’s most valuable communicators.
In Ritenour, located in suburban St. Louis County, Mo., our retired employees are an active and influential group. They get together for lunch and dinner on a regular basis, and many serve as tutors for our elementary school students. We consider our retirees some of our greatest ambassadors and key communicators within the community.
We correspond with our retired employees in a variety of ways: by hosting an annual luncheon, providing volunteer opportunities, sharing our district’s newsletters, and, on the sad occasion, sending a funeral notice via email.
In three years, we have added more than 50 of our retirees to our private Facebook page. In total, we have more than 400 active retirees, so we are always trying to increase the number we connect with on social media.
The feedback from our Facebook page has been tremendous. We receive dozens of “likes” and “shares” for each post. Because it is part of a private group, you can see how many people have viewed each item, which helps us track our analytics. Many users have commented that the page helps keep them more connected to our district and provides them with points of pride to share with others. Several of our retirees are prolific Facebook users and like to share and comment on every post.
We have a lot of fun on the Facebook page as well. We share the good news from our district, birthdays, personnel moves and some fun Internet memes. We also share videos, anecdotes and the occasional funeral notice. We don’t share everything from our district page; typically we find two or three stories or news items to share each week.
If you have the time, building and maintaining a Facebook page like this should be part of your social media toolbox — it is well worth the time and effort.