- General Best Practices
Did you submit a question during Monday's webinar, Social Media Strategies for Schools with St. Anne's-Belfield School? Beth and I are taking the time to answer every single question.
Since there were so many questions, we divided this webinar recap into three parts:
Part 2: Blogging, Twitter, Instagram, and Vimeo
Part 3: Content Management, Online Ads, and General Questions
Today, we start with answering all questions related to school blogs, Twitter accounts, Instagram profiles and videos on Vimeo.
Our blogs are actual pages on our website. Are we missing opportunities by not using Wordpress or another external platform?
Nope — if anything, you're better off! The reason blogs are so good for organic search performance is because each time you write a blog post, it is one more indexed page on your website — which means it is one more opportunity for you to show up in search engines and drive traffic!
If you were to start using another external platform like Wordpress, your blog would compete with your website for a ranking in Google search, rather than help boost it.
What is the best blogging tool to use?
If you have a website CMS, we recommend using the blogging platform that comes as a piece of the platform for the reasons already stated above.
Twitter for Schools
Do you have a separate Twitter feeds for athletics, and what successful strategies and pitfalls are you aware of with working with (or directly managing) another department's feeds?
We have a @STABathletics feed that the Athletics Department manages on their own. I believe they receive texts from coaches and parents throughout games (if they aren't in attendance themselves) and they update when possible.
We have close to 50 sports teams throughout the school, so it's hard to ensure the same amount of coverage for every team and game, but we do try.
We also make sure to tag their account when we put up a social media design that they might want to re-tweet.
It can be a little tough when others tag just the Athletics account and it's a great photo or live score update that we would like to see, but learning more about the accounts that engage with Athletics has helped us follow them as well.
Do you have successful strategies for using Twitter or other platforms to contact members of the media? What about Direct Messaging?
Twitter Direct Messaging (DM) is great for communications and quick, private replies you want to keep off your timeline. If you want to run a DM campaign, I would start small. I love how Adidas ran this campaign, rewarding their most engaged followers with a personalized conversation.
If you want to get the attention of members of the media on sites like Instagram and Twitter, use industry hashtags and mention them in your posts.
Weekly Social Media Planner
Instagram for Schools
Can you advertise on Instagram in another place besides through Facebook advertising?
No. All Instagram posts are managed through Facebook's ad tool. This is a great way to A/B test campaigns and figure out which social network has better engagement for the same post.
How often should we be posting on Instagram?
Unless you're live-posting from an event, or you let a student take over your Instagram for the day, try keeping it to 1-2 posts. There is no drop off in engagement when you post more — however, try to make each one of your posts unique.
Can you moderate who follows you on Instagram?
Yes, if your account is private you can accept or reject follower requests. However, you should consider keeping your account public. When you make your account private, your hash-tagged photos won't show up in Instagram searches, which could hurt your organic reach and followers.
Any tips about launching an Instagram account?
- Get a stockpile of photos before you launch
- Set up an "Instagram Takeover" calendar to get students and faculty involved
- Promote it on your other social media networks
- Run a campaign to get followers — such as a photo contest
Have you ever used a photo contest to get more social media engagement?
We have not. In previous summers our Lower School ran a campaign for students and teachers to take photos of themselves reading in leisure locations and we piggybacked on that to create a Facebook album. This was a great way to create summer content and keep our School community engaged.
Vimeo for Schools
Can you talk again about using Vimeo as a feed to your homepage? How does that work?
St. Anne's-Belfield's website is managed using Finalsite Composer, a WYSIWYG content management system that makes sharing content easier than ever.
Using a simple "Vimeo" media element, St. Anne's-Belfield's video panel on their homepage is dynamically updated as the school adds new videos to their Vimeo accounts.
- Social Media