Feb 21/12
Sandra Bokovay Back to Blog

Social Media for School Divisions - Hot Topic at the CACE Regional Meeting

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the Communicators in Education regional meeting which took place in Red Deer. The highlights of my Red Deer visit were:

  • Driving the company vehicle (instead of my beater, which barely brakes when required)
  • Meeting and catching up with Alberta CACE members (nice to see everyone!)
  • Presenting on Social Media Strategy for School Divisions (I like talking, maybe too much)

The day started off with a presentation by Peace River School Division’s communications coordinator Vanessa. She did a superb job showing us how to plan and complete a BRAVO! Award submission. She was definitely qualified to present. In fact, Vanessa is the only CACE member in history to receive a BRAVO! Award with a mark of 100% on her campaign!

I for one, am looking forward to seeing lots of Alberta submissions at the next BRAVO Awards. Particularly digital solutions, as our work on Elk Island Public Schools' websites received a BRAVO Award in 2009.

I wrapped up the meeting with a presentation entitled Social Media Strategy for School Divisions. I’ve included a link to my slide deck, in hopes that it will give you ideas and tools on planning, monitoring and measuring your own District’s strategy. 

There was a lot of conversation and many good questions. So, I’m going to take this opportunity to share a couple of the questions that came up, along with some answers and ideas.

Q: How  does a school division account gain followers and likes for Twitter and Facebook?

A: I have a few different ideas for this:

  1. Run a contest (One school division did a ‘What do you love about your school?’ contest)

  2. Post interesting content (photos, videos, info graphics, student and success stories) and content that is important for your audiences, such as inclement weather notices.

  3. Create awareness by putting social icons on print material, e-mail signatures and making it visible on your website. Also make sure that division staff are aware, they will help you spread the word!

Q: What type of content should school divisions be posting?

A: Pictures, videos, statistics or info graphics are all interesting content. You should also be linking to news releases found on your school division website. Any news or content that is relevant to your audiences should be posted. Also, make sure your Division’s social content follows FOIP guidelines before posting.

Also, consider the season and which campaigns you are running. As you are all well aware - tis’ the season for Kindergarten registration. This means you should be posting relevant content frequently and linking to your Kindergarten information page on your School Division website, to help parents find registration information - quickly and easily!

Remember:  Social media should always link audiences back to the School or School Division website.

Your website is an information hub, and social media helps you make it easy for parents, staff, students and community to find the information they need, quickly and easily. If your website isn’t up to the task - contact us, we can help you our with that!

Social Media Strategy For School Divisions  

Thanks to everyone who came to the meeting, I had a lot of fun hearing your questions and ideas.

If you have any other opinions or questions, please feel free to add a comment, I hope to hear from you!

Leave A Comment

Nikki Gilks said on April 26, 2012

HI Sandra - I have recently taken on the permanent position at Grande Yellowhead as their Communications Manager. Part of their desire for the upcoming year is to look into social media strategies. I was very interested in your presentation - when you get a moment, maybe you can give me a call and we chat about it? Thanks! 780.723.4471 ext. 146

Sandra (Box Clever Education) said on April 26, 2012

Nikki, thanks for your comments! We can certainly chat about it - I'll be in touch shortly to set up a time!