First of all, to those of you who have followed my blog and asked me where I’ve been…thank you! To those of you who thought I fell off the face off the planet, I promise that is not the case. I have been working at balancing my home and work life, along with extra time being dedicated to writing a book, with the final manuscript due to ASCD on September 1st. While I’ve spent so much time writing, I have often lacked other ideas to write about for my blog.
Recently, we had Melissa Emler join us on the PrincipalPLN podcast to talk about school Facebook pages. You can read all the show notes and download the podcast from here. I share this here on my blog, because I previously thought I did a pretty good job of communicating with our families on our school Facebook page. I take time every month to schedule posts that will go out a day or more before events to serve as reminders to parents. I post pictures about the great things I see in our building a few days a week so that parents have a “window into our world.” I make sure to post lots of pictures or videos from major events. From looking at our analytics, we get a lot of action from parents and community members that are seeing our posts.
However, Melissa shared with us the news that Facebook changed the algorithm for your feed so your friends’ posts show up higher than pages, which means a school Facebook page post will likely not even show in someone’s feed. She taught us how people can change the setting and I took on her advice right away to share this information with our parents.
I created this screencast to show parents:
I also gave a quick written post a couple of days later in case someone didn’t want to watch the video (and because Melissa said to post every day!):
Melissa emphasized that you need to post every day to your Facebook page to keep your page showing up in people’s feeds. The more you post, the more opportunities you are taking to share your school’s story. She also encouraged using Facebook Live, something I have never attempted to do, but is on my list of things to try in the next couple of weeks.
If you want to learn more, she has great resources posted here.
So what’s next for me to “level up” my school Facebook page? Here’s what I plan to do:
- Create a video to introduce our new staff and changed grade level teams and post it to our page. Like this one by Brad Gustafson or this one by Todd Nesloney.
- Try Facebook Live. I’ll post ahead of time to let people know when I’ll be going live, but still need to figure out what my content will be. I’m thinking maybe a preview to freshly waxed floors and classrooms ready to go?
- Find creative ways to keep posting between now and the start of the school year, remembering that anytime you have news to share to have a picture to go with the text to catch people’s eye. I’ve used a variety of tools to create images, but have quickly fallen in love with the app WordSwag. Post ideas include:
- UPS guy delivering packages of new books (I already got a picture of him and he said that’s the first time anyone has ever cared to get a picture of him).
- Reminders for online registration
- Reminders for Open House
- Pictures of kids in the community staying active (sports, library events, etc.)
- Picture of custodians working on floors/rooms
- Pictures of teachers in for professional learning
- Pictures of teachers working in their rooms
- Picture of the tech guys working to get iPads ready
If you still follow my page (after my 6 month absence) please feel free to chime in with unique ideas!