Social Media Checklist: Parent Engagement Made Easy#Culture
by Lexi BeecherRead time:
We know that high parent engagement is linked to positive outcomes like better academic performance and smoother school-to-home communication. So, how can we invite parents and guardians to engage in a way that’s convenient, easy, and FUN? Get ready to stop, drop, and scroll, because we’re talking social media.
1. Promote your PresenceFirst things first—you need to meet your audience where they are. Then, you need to let them know you’re there!
While not every parent is on social media, a sizeable chunk of them log in every day. In fact, about three out of four adults in the U.S. are active social media users! So, take a look around and see where your audience is online (when in doubt, Facebook is a great place to start).
That said, your district probably already has a few social media accounts running. If this is the case, do families at your district know about them? A few simple tricks can help you increase awareness (and followers!):
- Add icons and links on your parent-facing communication channels
- Have a school newsletter? Include links to content on your channels to drive traffic to your social media pages
- Plug your accounts during the enrollment process
2. Provide ValueNow that families are aware of your district’s social media presence, you need to make them want to stick around. Why would parents want to follow and interact with your school’s social media content? Ask yourself this and be sure you have a clear understanding of your answers.
When in doubt, go right to the source—you can always ask your audience what they’d like to see!
What’s more, with an endless stream of content available, parents and guardians have a limited amount of attention while scrolling. Your job is to give them a reason to stop, consume, and interact with your school’s content—no easy feat when there are plenty of other posts they could be looking at. Here are a few ways school districts provide show-stopping value:
- Share important dates, events, reminders, and alerts
- Provide fun behind-the-scenes content
- Celebrate your successes
Pro Tip: Be sure to follow your district’s guidelines regarding the use of student likenesses in photos or videos. Oftentimes, parents indicate whether or not their students have permission to be pictured in content. Always ensure you have this permission before posting!
3. Encourage EngagementNow that your pages are chock-full of value, it’s time to optimize your posts for engagement. This might seem too good to be true, but if you want to boost engagement, just ask for it! By actively inviting families to participate in posts, your pages will be less of a sounding board for your district and more of an active conversation stream for stakeholders. To spark engagement, you can:
- End a caption with a question
- Leverage interactive content
- Add “stickers” to Facebook and Instagram stories
Always remember the golden rule of engagement: the easier it is for someone to engage with a piece of content, the more likely they are to do it!
4. Engagement is a Two-Way StreetIt’s not enough to post valuable content that’s primed for engagement—your district needs to engage right back! Now, this doesn’t mean using your district pages to comment “Happy birthday! 🎉” on parents’ accounts. In fact, they’d probably find that a little odd. What you should do is acknowledge individuals when they engage with your accounts and content. Here are a few easy ways to do it:
- Respond to direct messages
- React and reply to comments
By now your head is probably buzzing with great ideas to implement on your school district’s social media accounts. Try new things, find inspiration in peers, and share your school’s successes with the online world. Your classrooms and hallways are already an engaging place to be full of meaningful conversations—let’s bring that energy to your social media channels, too!
Follow-up resource: Learn from other districtsLearn how districts use technology to tell their stories. From branding to social, there's something new for you to learn!
|Lexi Beecher Edtech Thought Leader