This is the fifth in a promised gloss on each of the 11 THINGS INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS MUST BE THINKING ABOUT featured in an earlier post. (I recap the entire list below the body of this post.)
#5. Social media—for advancement
You may disapprove of Twitter, or as an old curmudgeon from the Class of 1981 you may not care about being your high school’s BFF on Facebook. But parents and alums today—along with a small host of other interested parties—expect your school to have entered the Digital Age with a regular and lively presence on social media venues. Twitter and Facebook are the industry standards for the moment, but there will be new ones.
Don’t forget the potential of apps for users of multiple phone and tablet platforms that make staying informed about events at the school simple—apps (and content) that need to be written, curated, and updated just as often as your website.
And about that website: Take a good look at it, and scan a few of your neighbors’ and competitors’. If you can’t tell the difference except by the school colors and the fact that you recognize your own students, it’s time for a major overhaul. Don’t let your vendors and their “industry standards” override the real messages that you need to convey. If you aren’t sure what those messages should be, it’s time for an overhaul in the communication and marketing programs.
And—who is blogging or otherwise telling the story of your school? It’s great when it’s the leaders, but don’t forget the power of some INTERACTIVE communication involving students, faculty, parents, and alums. Colleges do it (check out the pioneering M.I.T. admissions blog and the student-created Johns Hopkins Interactive site), and so can you.
If you think this world is passing you by, it probably is. There are some great communities to help you find your way in, though; start with the blogs at edSocialMedia.
So, who is thinking about social media for advancement at your school?
The 11 Things:
- Design Thinking. What-ing? DONE HERE
- Data-informed decision-making DONE HERE
- Collaborative learning and (related issue) project design DONE HERE
- Smart assessment of student learning DONE HERE
- Social media—for advancement DONE
- Social media—in the classroom
- New directions for your library
- Online learning
- Strategic professional
- Shorter horizons for strategic thinking
- Being Green