At a recent meeting with our school’s leadership team, I was asked to share why we need to increase our school’s social media presence. Please understand, I am not a social media expert. I am not a marketing expert. Through the use of social media, I have been exposed to some outstanding resources and I have some very strong opinions about how social media can be an incredible tool for our school to use.
Whether we like it or not, all organizations, Allendale Columbia School included, have a digital presence. While our digital presence is something we can never completely control, there are many steps we can take to help make sure that what is out there is an accurate and authentic representation of AC. A digital presence or footprint is something that an independent school, like a business, needs to be very careful about. If current or prospective families research our school they are very likely going to get information that is controlled by traditional marketing (website, brochures, advertisements). Traditional marketing is needed for independent schools, but it must also be supported and complemented by our social media efforts.
As a school, it is vital for us to publish what we feel is an authentic view of our daily interactions. We want people to see, hear, and feel what our school is all about. This information needs to come directly from the people who experience it. I am referring to parents, students, faculty, and staff. We know how to market ourselves to the community at large because live it everyday.
If we do not actively participate in social media we will not have any input in our schools digital presence. Essentially, we will be controlled by that those who are sharing digitally. As a team, we need to build up this presence in an authentic way. A few examples of this are by sharing Tina Duver’s sixth grade Mastodon Project Blog, photographing special events using our Instagram feed, and publishing events such as our “College Life Program.”
This is not just about marketing, this is about becoming an educational authority and resource. It is about being a role model for our school community and the world at large. It is about using modern educational tools, like social media appropriately. Being absent in the digital world is not an option. We must connect!