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Don’t Post That! Terrible Social Media Advice for Schools
Hailey Smith

It’s no secret that social media is an integral part of nearly every school and district's marketing strategy. With 81% of schools reporting increased parent engagement due to social media usage, a daily Reel, post, video, or tweet is a powerful way to connect with communities, share updates, and showcase successes.

Everyone has an opinion about how social media should be managed, but with an endless stream of advice, it’s your job to separate the golden nuggets of information from the duds—and it isn’t always easy.

Ready to use your critical thinking skills? Let’s review some of the terrible (and sometimes truly cringe-worthy) social media strategies for schools we've heard over the years and what your school should be doing.

You Need To Post Every Day

Flooding your feed with low-quality or irrelevant content can overwhelm your audience and reduce the effectiveness of your social media efforts.

But when it comes to posting, remember this piece of social media marketing advice: quality is better than quantity.

Creating content that resonates with your target audience demonstrates authenticity, expertise, and value, and builds stronger connections with your followers. Each well-crafted post has the potential to captivate, spark conversation, and drive meaningful interactions.

If you can create high-quality and engaging content daily, go for it (and tell me your secrets, please). However, for most, this goal is unattainable. It's better to post when you can create quality content rather than simply posting out of routine.

Hun School Instagram grid

Alyssa Onisick, director of marketing and communications for digital media at the Hun School of Princeton, has overseen a deliberate shift in the school’s social media strategy, opting for quality over quantity.

“In the past year, we've slowed down our posting on each platform and are being more intentional about the story we're telling,” Onisick said, adding that rather than posting for the sake of it, they craft narratives that resonate with their audience.

Posts Should Always Be Promotional

While promotion is critical to a balanced strategy, your social media should be more than self-promoting upcoming events. Excessively focusing on yourself will turn your audience off and make your feed appear one-dimensional and self-serving.

Social media should be interactive, engaging, and, above all, FUN! It's a space where students, parents, teachers, and the community come together to share experiences, celebrate successes, and create meaningful connections.

You can create a more dynamic social media presence by finding a balance between promotional content and more lighthearted, relatable posts, such as student spotlights, glimpses at behind-the-scenes moments, or fun challenges. This approach keeps your audience interested and engaged, and humanizes your school's brand, making it more relatable.

70, 20, 10 social media rule for content

Remember the 70/20/10 rule when creating content: 70% of your posts should be non-promotional and inspire, excite, or entertain your community. Twenty percent should be shared content your audience would find helpful, and the last 10% should be saved for self-promotion.

Burnsville 191 instagram grid

Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District has a nice blend of fun and engaging content, such as celebrating Pi Day, as well as promotional/informative content about enrollment and the transition to middle school. They also have a strong mixture of photos, Reels, and graphics!

Your School Needs to be on EVERY Social Media Channel

Some think that schools need to use every social media channel out there to reach as many people as possible. Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, BeReal, Buzz-E ...(OK, I made that last one up.)

However, this isn't the best approach. Trying to be everywhere can spread your efforts too thin, making it hard to keep up with posting and interacting with your community. What's more important is for your school to focus on the social media channels where your audience spends their time.

By choosing the right platforms, you create a social media strategy focused more on meaningful connections and sharing content that engages your audience. This will be a better use of your time and resources, and make your social media strategy more effective and manageable in the long run.

Ignore Negative Feedback

Negative feedback always stings, but it can provide valuable insights and an opportunity to improve. It allows your school to address concerns or misunderstandings and demonstrates a commitment to listening to students, parents, and the broader community.

By publicly — and constructively— engaging with negative feedback, your school can create transparency and accountability, and that will ultimately strengthen relationships with stakeholders and support your online reputation.

Free Download: the Complete Social Media Calendar for Schools

Use ALL The Hashtags Every Time

What’s the “right” number of hashtags? Hashtags have always been a topic of debate in social media. Should you use as many as possible or avoid them altogether?

Using an excessive number of hashtags in your social media captions can make your post appear cluttered and unprofessional, which can actually work against you and diminish the message you’re trying to share.

It's important to be selective and strategic with hashtags, focusing on a few relevant tags that represent the content of your post and resonate with your audience. Also, using irrelevant or generic hashtags may attract the wrong audience and lead to poor engagement.

RiteTag social media hashtag screenshot

There are many ways to find quality hashtags, but we recommend starting with a competitor analysis – see what hashtags nearby schools are using! You can also utilize hashtag generators such as RiteTag, which lets you type in your caption and generates trending hashtags based on your content.

Hashtag Guidelines | How Many Hashtags Should You Use On Your School’s Posts?

  • Twitter (X): 1-2 hashtags per tweet. Add your hashtags anywhere in your tweets.
  • Instagram: While Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags per post, Hootsuite reported that  3-5 relevant hashtags get the same results as using 30 hashtags! For the best performance in Reels, stick with three strong hashtags and place them after your captions.
  • Facebook: 2-3 hashtags can be a part of your written Facebook post or in the comments.
  • LinkedIn: Aim for 1-5 hashtags per post. LinkedIn is a more professional platform, so it's important to use hashtags relevant to the industry or topic of your post.
  • Threads: Currently, Threads only lets you use one hashtag, so choose that one tag wisely! 

Don’t Respond to Comments

Encouraging followers to comment and share your posts is a tried-and-true strategy for boosting your school's social media presence because posts with high engagement tend to have more visibility in users' feeds.

When someone engages with a post, it increases the likelihood of that post appearing on the timelines of their friends and followers, which extends your account's reach to those who may not follow you yet.

Why & When You Should Respond to Comments

We’ve all seen the comments section of a Facebook post quickly turn into a battlefield. It can be exhausting, but knowing when and how to manage comments can help ease some of the stress around social media comments.

By acknowledging and responding to comments, whether they are questions, feedback, or praise, your school shows that it values the opinions and concerns of students, parents, and community members.

Besides, many users will be expecting a comment from you — 83% of us expect companies to respond to social media comments and questions within 24 hours or less.

Responses don’t have to be long, thought-out messages; they can be as simple as, “Thanks so much for sharing!”

Keep Reading: How to Manage Your School’s Social Media Comments

Responding to comments allows your school to address any issues or misunderstandings promptly. It provides an opportunity to clarify information, offer assistance, or resolve concerns in a transparent and timely manner, which can help prevent potential conflicts from escalating.

When NOT to Respond to Comments

While it's generally beneficial for a school to respond to comments on social media, there may be situations where it's best to avoid answering. Ignore comments that have non-constructive criticism, are blatantly rude, or use foul language (which you can report.)

Most importantly, don't give "trolls" the spotlight. Encourage the individual to reach out via phone or email for serious issues. If it's simply someone trolling, hide their comment. They'll still see their remark, but it won't be visible to anyone else.

Key Takeaway

Since social media can change extremely quickly, it’s best to take any advice with a grain of salt and to do your research. Remember, quality is better than quantity, community engagement is key, and always have a strong balance of fun, educational, and promotional content.

The Complete Social Media Guide for Schools. Download your copy

Hailey Smith Headshot


As the Social Media and Content Specialist, Hailey oversees Finalsite's social media accounts and helps grow its online community. Following her time at the University of Kansas, where she took up rowing, Hailey is a fitness enthusiast who enjoys playing soccer and running.

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