Social media is no longer just a platform for people to stay connected with their friends, family, colleagues or people from different parts of the world.
It has become a platform for businesses to build their brand or reach out to their customers, and educational institutions to introduce resources, aid professional development, build community for support, improve communication with all stakeholders, share lesson plans and helpful teaching strategies, and to connect with various learning groups. Making the most use of social media by school leaders has become indispensable in today’s education world. It has become a way to build a positive culture at the school.
In this article, we explore how making the most use of social media as a school leader can help build a positive culture at their school and also bring remarkable outcomes in their day-to-day functioning by providing few tips to educational leaders.
Connect with stakeholders
Connecting with all stakeholders and keeping them up to date on any matter related to the school is the responsibility of any education leader. Social media is a great way to achieve this. School leaders can make the most of their social media platform to deliver real-time information on students’ achievements, staff innovations, meetings and important updates, news and content that their students, parents and community members use on a routine basis at home. This powerful combination can lead to the establishment of a positive brand presence.
Join professional groups
Use social media to your best advantage as a school leader by joining professional groups or online organizations for support and resources. Whether you are looking for instructional and classroom management strategies or to improve school culture and erase the achievement gap, they will help you take control, learn in bite-sized pieces just when you need the information.
Build personal learning networks
Social media is now quickly evolving into the ‘go to’ source for professional development. School leaders can now easily establish their own Personal Learning Networks (PLNs) based on their specific interests and needs. PLNs are free and available 24/7 from anywhere that has an internet connection.
Connect with like-minded people
If you’re always on hunt for opportunities, then staying connected with people you met in an educational conference or workshop via social media platform is absolutely necessary. It would help you get easy access to new opportunities. Also, by being a regular user of social media, you can get in touch with like-minded people of different age groups, learn from them and stay abreast of latest updates and innovation of the industry.
Build relationship with other school leaders
To be up to date with latest development of the industry, school leaders need to connect and build relationship with leaders of other schools in their community, district or even worldwide. They can do so only through social media. Through social media, they can interact with them, share and discuss their perspective on various issues. They can even share lesson plans, compare and exchange teaching techniques and learning styles that can enhance the learning experience of students.
Collaborate with other schools/educators
Collaboration is a great way to know the flaws and learn from each other. Through social media, school leaders can collaborate with leaders and educators of other school or from other countries. Such partnership will help them keep abreast of changes in curriculum and content in other states and maybe even other countries. It can keep them updated of the new innovations, changes, trends and information of the education sector.
Build vibrant culture of the school
There’s no better way to build a positive culture of the school than building a community of like-minded people, alumni, students and parents and engaging them in a vibrant manner. Social media is the perfect platform to maintain and ensure this. Taking advantage of social media as a school leader can garner support for any initiative, introduce resources and improve communication with students, parents, and the greater community.
Participate in live discussions or chats
School leaders can take part in live discussions or chats on social media platforms and talk about their school, their achievements, strategies, or share their perspective on various issues or challenges and build their brand presence among a wide range of audience.
Develop a social media style guide
To remain consistent in brand identity across all public facing channels and to be easily understood, school leaders need to develop a style guide on what their institution want to accomplish with their social media platforms, who their target audience are and who they’ll be engaging with, and how they want their tone to sound on social media, etc.
Formulate a social media policy
Like style guide, a proper social media policy is also essential. Think of social media policy as a document of guidelines for your school’s social media use, it can help leaders with maintaining brand identity across multiple channels. However, a social media policy goes deeper than a style guide.
Stream live videos and engage with audience
Live streaming has become one of the biggest trends in the virtual world. It lets users to instantly connect with their audience. It is perfect for things like lectures from big names, sports events, Q&A session with faculty, graduation ceremonies, or any other event that might gratify audience.
Apart from this, school leaders can engage their audience in various other ways. They can engage them by giving a reply, retweet, like, follow, shout out on posts and comments, etc.
Post blog about the institution
In this tech era, there are quite a lot of amazing opportunities for both students and leaders to do meaningful work. However, not all of the leaders are much indulged into such practices. So, educational leaders need to learn to leverage technology to help develop products that have value outside institutions, receive feedback on their work, and experience the rewards of publication or exhibition. They could blog or share about their institution on social media; as it can provide a widespread audience for students' work, link students to the world, provide new reasons to write, and receive new sources of feedback on ideas. It is one of the most effective ways to talk about your school in the social media space and develop a connection with the audience.
In a nutshell, we may say, social media provides an indispensable resource to students and alumni; help leaders connect with stakeholders, and facilitates institution build their brand. While it provides various benefits, it’s not enough to just post out events happening at the institution. They need to keep their audience engaged, make their presence felt and most importantly, publish or make announcement that’s useful. Doing so encourages more people to follow them, and increases brand awareness. Yes, we are talking about brand awareness, because school — like a business — is a brand. And how people perceive your brand depends a lot on the content you put out into the world. And unquestionably, social media platform is a perfect avenue for that.