In this episode, hosts Carole Dorn-Bell and Joel Gagne, speak with Andrea Gribble, founder of #SocialSchool4edu.com. As an expert in the use of social media in schools, Gribble shares her thoughts on the variety of social media platforms, the challenges that school districts face, and parent engagement.
Gribble calls social media a “complete game changer” for schools wanting to better engage with the community.
Most adults are on social media, she notes.
“And if are schools aren’t there, what kind of information are they learning about our schools?”
Gribble says Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Snapchat, put the power back in the hands of schools to tell their stories.
The primary challenge is the consistency of posts, especially considering the platforms’ algorithms favor active accounts.
After all, administrators and teachers are strapped for time, and schools and districts are not used to promoting themselves.
Getting started can be intimidating, but Gribble recommends first trying Facebook, where there are the most users. She recommends posting two to three times per day.
“How do you do that? Well, you make it easy for all of your staff members to tell those stories and so you build a good way of submitting content,” she says. “I recommend having a Facebook page manager but that doesn’t mean they’re the ones out taking all the pictures.”
All staff should be contributing.
The second challenge is in interacting with the community once a post is out there.
“It’s called social media for a reason, it’s meant to be social,” she tells Dorn-Bell and Gagne. “You have to have that engagement.”
For parents, contributing to the effort is as easy as liking or commenting on a post.
“It is so powerful what they can do.”