Episode 113

Schools and districts need to be on Instagram!

Guest:Joel Gagne & Carole Dorn-Bell

In this episode, hosts Joel and Carole are back together to talk about their love of Instagram and why it’s the social media platform that deserves your attention. Schools and districts need to be on Instagram, and they explain why.

“We are Instagram junkies,” Joel admits. “We love it, we can’t get enough of it.”

First off, it’s drama-free—and that’s rare to say about social media.

“I feel like there’s this purity about it,” Carole says. “When I log onto my Instagram, it is my happy place.”

She loves that it’s very visual, and feels that’s the way society is going. Carole says she likes being able to keep tabs on her children, too.

Joel agrees that Instagram is a more positive platform than, say, Twitter, which tends to bring out the worst in people. There isn’t as much political debate, or any sort of controversy, on Instagram.

“I feel like Instagram brings out some of the best in people,” Joel says.

He and Carole say the platform’s positive characteristics make it a great tool for schools and districts. It also happens to be a growing platform with nearly 1 billion users.

“I am of the belief that Instagram is where the future is, and I think when it comes to schools this is the platform that they really should be considering getting on,” Joel says. “I just feel like it’s a natural platform for schools because when you’re trying to promote the positive and great things in your schools this is the platform on which to do it on.”

Joel and Carole acknowledge Facebook is still where the vast majority of people congregate. But Instagram can be a more intimate experience in which you follow only the people that really matter to you. And younger people tend to be drawn to Instagram over Facebook. Joel and Carole note that Instagram is owned by Facebook and that data privacy should still be a factor. However, Joel notes that he sees value in the targeted ads on Instagram.

Schools should consider advertising on the platform.

“Ten years ago, we never would have said that,” Carole notes.

They talk about how kids will often set up two accounts on Instagram—a public one and a private one. They’re in tune with their own personal brand, and the private account may be a more candid look at their lives.

They discuss how the wrestler and actor The Rock runs a great Instagram account, giving people a peek inside his real day-to-day life.

For superintendents, Instagram can be valuable for creating candid videos, like The Rock does. You don’t have to have layers and layers of text, or shoot a well-choreographed video to have a great impact in getting your message out. It’s not like YouTube, where you have to have more professional production.

“There shouldn’t be any pressure to create this highly polished video,” Carole says.

Got a question or topic you’d like covered in an upcoming We Love Schools podcast? Email us at info@weloveschoolspodcast.com

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