School District Spotlight: Cabarrus County Schools
With almost 14,000 school districts in the United States and over 300 in Canada, there are so many that are doing great things on social media. Here at Box Clever Education, we know how much work goes into making your social media efforts a success, and we want to highlight some of the fun things that individual school districts are doing. We hope that you will find some inspiration for your school district’s social media here!
One such school district is Cabarrus County Schools, located in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. It is comprised of 32,000+ students and 4,000 employees including 2,400 teachers, and they have won three NCSPRA awards (including one for an Instagram takeover!). They have reason to be proud of their students: they received more than $43 million in scholarships in 2016 alone. Cabarrus County Schools has a lot of school pride to share and their awesome social media efforts have not gone unnoticed.
We spoke with their Digital Media Specialist, Aurelia Edwards, to get the inside information on how Cabarrus County Schools finds success with social media.
Box Clever: What is your school district’s social media strategy for content?
Aurelia Edwards: We are consistent with our branding. We look for content that is easy and quick to share, but also fun. But consistency is key!
BC: How do you obtain all of the high quality photos that you use across all platforms?
AE: Our school district employs a full time photographer that takes all of our photos. Whenever our schools have events going on or things are happening around the community, we send our photographer out.
BC: What kind of social media posts do you find are most successful?
AE: Typically the posts that do the best are the the human interest pieces, or “feel good” posts. For example, we did one event where we surprised a student with her brother returning home from the military, and we captured it all on Facebook Live. That was so fun and people really responded well to it.
We also did a Snapchat geofilter for our graduation ceremonies that went over well. They were all individually branded with each school’s colours, and the students had a lot of fun using it to take pictures in their caps and gowns. The Snapchat filters reached more than 51,000 user accounts, so they were definitely a success!
Cabarrus County Schools graduation Snapchat geofilter
BC: What advice would you give to other school districts that are using social media as a communication tool?
AE: There are a few factors that will help make your social media a success. One of them is to always have a goal. Make sure you know what you’re trying to communicate, and execute on it. If it doesn’t work, don’t give up - try again! Not everything will be a winner. Be consistent. When people look at our photos and in-house designed graphics, I want them to know it is one of ours before they see our name. Stick to your brand.
Another major factor for success is the willingness to try new things. Be a trailblazer and be willing to experiment with new platforms and techniques. Follow your social media guidelines, but be open to change to see what works. For example, we experimented with an Instagram takeover at our schools, where we allow a school to takeover our district account for a day. When we first conceptualized this idea, we weren't sure if it would work, but in the end it is one of our favourite things we've done on social media!
Cabarrus County Instagram takeover with the hashtags #tigersbelieve and #welcometoCCS
BC: Thanks, Aurelia! We really love what your school district is doing, and we think you could be a great inspiration to other school districts in North America.