7 Ways Parent Groups Can Use Social Media to Connect
With so many social media channels out there, it can be difficult to choose which one to use for your parent group. Spread the word of your group through these social media channels.
One of the great aspects of social media is that it is free and shouldn’t take much time, once you get organized. When first starting out, it might be worth a quick survey or ask your members which channels they use themselves. For example, you may find many people are comfortable using Facebook, but might not use Twitter. Start with the social media app that works for the majority and you may find it easy to branch out from there.
Also, it’s a good idea to let your school Principal know what you are doing. Technically, they do not have to approve social media use if you are an independent group, but they will appreciate knowing what you are up to. One other tip, it’s a good idea to appoint one, maybe two, social media coordinators. This ensures that your messaging stays on point.
Facebook Groups are excellent ways to get all of your members on the same page fast. They are simple to set up, as long as all members are using Facebook. Groups work well for whole parent groups or smaller committees. Keep in mind that the account administrator may spend some time each year adding and deleting members to your different groups so it may be a good idea to limit your groups to one or two.
Facebook Events is a great way to build hype for an event. It is an easy feature to use and can be a good way to gauge attendance as interested people are asked to RSVP. The feature will walk you through time, location, tickets and other helpful details.
Pinterest is literally a digital scrapbook. It’s a great place to showcase what your parent group is up too, like past fundraisers and projects you are working on. Pinterest is also a great place to see what other groups are up to, to get ideas of your own. “Pinning” your own image simply involves uploading a new image from your phone or computer, then adding a caption and pinning it to a board of your choice.
Short videos work well for demonstrating your programs and other helpful content for parents and students. They also make great “Thank You” clips when done by students after a fundraiser or other community event. YouTube videos can also be embedded into Twitter and Instagram.
Twitter use has been rising steadily in the last few years and is a great channel for your parent organization to connect. If you are just starting Twitter it might be a good idea to set up your page and then follow a few other PTAs and PTOs just to get a good sense of what they are posting.
Instagram is a fun visual platform with a growing user base. Similar to Twitter you can create your own unique hashtag that is searchable. It’s a great way to advertise programs and events.
Does all of this social media talk sound overwhelming? Well, there is an app for that. Hootsuite is a social media channel managing app. You can manage up to three different social media accounts with a free account. You can schedule posts into the future and choose which platform they will post to. A great place to start is with a fun “post of the week” and post it to your Facebook Page and Twitter account.
For your parent group to be socially media savvy the steps are easy. First, focus on one or two platforms. Second, designate a creative social media coordinator to post all messages, photos and monitor comments. Three, add more channels as you see your followers increase. With this plan your parent group is bound for success!