CS8: Social Media Strategy – School

Case Study: Social Media Strategy

Image courtesy of ddpavumba / FreeDigitalPhotos.netMaking things clear from the beginning

WHERE IT STARTED

The School knew that Social Media was a big part of the daily life of their students and staff and yet felt completely overwhelmed by how it would be managed or used. They could see great opportunity to using it as a marketing and communications tool, but were also fearful about its potential for harm and misuse particularly when they had a welfare responsibility to students. They wanted help to understand what it was all about and advice on how they should manage it.

We set up meetings with the various individuals who had an interest, and this is what I found:

  • Spreading the word – The Business Manager was keen to use Social Media to market the school to a wider audience and wanted to know which network was most suitable
  • Learning & Communication – Teachers had tried online forums to gather students together to share learning but they had not been used. They wanted to explore Social Media as a way of connecting with students on their own turf
  • Sales & Marketing – The Sports Centre wanted to increase revenue by promoting its sports facilities for use to the local community
  • Welfare of Students – Students welfare & parents concerns were high on the agenda & the teachers wanted to ensure they were fully informed in order to assist and advise students
  • Staff responsibilities – Some teachers had been using Social Media personally in ways that the Head worried reflected badly on the school. He didn’t know how to deal with this

WHAT I DID

  • A strategy was developed for meeting the school’s Social Media needs, which was split into key areas and a different approach developed for each area.
  • A simple policy of Social Media use was written and distributed to parents, teachers & students clearly detailing acceptable behaviour.
  • Recommended networks, how to use them, security issues to be aware of and etiquette for use were trained to each key area.
  • Nominated teachers & students were put in charge of monitoring specific networks.
  • Teachers were trained specifically on their responsibilities regarding student connections, personal postings and security on the sites.
  • Students were trained specifically on safety online, responsibility towards others and thinking of the long term effects of things posted on-line.

WHAT THE RESULTS WERE

  • The School understood more clearly the opportunities & pitfalls with use of Social Media and were able to approach its use at the school with confidence.
  • A clear policy meant that everyone was clear on their roles and responsibilities.
  • Time online was spent wisely and appropriately according to that team’s objectives.
  • Key people in charge & fully trained meant learning could be shared and students guided.

To put it even more simply, it helps to make standards clear from the beginning.

“Thank you for all the information, you facilitated some valuable discussions. We were impressed with your knowledge & understanding of our specific needs.” Business Manager, Secondary School