Building your Twitter following has nothing to do with numbers

It excites me to see schools embracing and maximizing the power of social media. I have seen a total shift in mindset in school districts, from complete fear and avoidance to total acceptance and domination of Twitter feeds with awesomeness!

In my current role of marketing schools and helping them tell their stories, one of the many things we discuss is how to grow audiences and engage stakeholders on social media.

I knew I had to develop a training for schools to grow their following after receiving countless emails that go something like this:  “We’re on Twitter now and tweeting some amazing things, but we have only 13 followers. Help!”

When we talk about growth, I recommend quality over quantity. This means growing your list of followers organically and methodically instead of trying the quick “grow your Twitter followers overnight” methods.  As school communities, we must think of it in terms of building relationships – it takes time. Think of social media the same way. You must know your purpose and what drives people to follow you.

So here’s my secret sauce to growing that following! With each of my posts on this blog, I will be elaborating on these tips. I would love to get your feedback in the comments. We all know one size does not fit all in #schoolPR, so share what works for you!

1. Tweet Daily: The great thing about school PR is that we are never at a loss for great content. There’s always something to showcase daily.

2. Be Consistent: Leverage social media automation tools to share the “definites. You already know your preplanned content, such as important dates, celebrations and milestones, so schedule those out ahead of time. Now you can focus on capturing the spontaneous and authentic moments that will tell the story of your school.

3. Be Social and Engage, Engage, Engage: Dialogue drives social media, especially Twitter. It’s not about you, it’s about us. Follow and follow back, poll your audience, participate in a Twitter chat, retweet and like valuable content. Join the conversation!

4. Encourage your teachers to become #tweetchers: Some of the most successful companies and social media accounts have fostered environments that convert employees to brand ambassadors. Thanks to Greg Turchetta and Collier Co. Schools, there’s now a term for this in education. As champions for your school, #Tweetchers leverage social media to share the vision, showcase student successes, engage and promote all that makes your school amazing!

5. Promote: Take every communication opportunity to remind your stakeholders about following your school on social media. Your standard communication channels work (automated messages, websites, newsletters, promotional items, bulletins, email signatures, etc.) but don’t forget to think outside the traditional box. Make a fun and engaging promotion or contest out of it. You can never over-promote your social media platforms.


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