Social Media Success: Easy Strategies For Schools And Districts

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

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This podcast with Andrea Gribble will help school administrators and principals create a school social media strategy to drive engagement, build community, and enhance their organization's online presence. Schools and districts are leveraging the power of social media social more and more because it engages them with parents, students, and the larger community. But with so many platforms and strategies, it can be challenging to know where to start. That's where this podcast comes in. In this episode, we'll explore successful social media strategies proven to work for schools and districts. We'll cover all you need to know so your school and district can understand how to effectively use social media and create a strategy that works.

Episode 802 - 10 Minute Teacher Podcast

Social Media Success: Easy Strategies For Schools And Districts

Andrea Gribble, author of Social Media for Schools, shares proven social media strategies for schools.

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Resources Shared in This Show about Social Media Strategies for Schools

Andrea Gribble's Book – Social Media for Schools

Propello – amazing free NGSS science curriculum and supplement – Show Sponsor


Andrea Gribble - Bio as Submitted

Andrea Gribble

Andrea’s passion is helping schools recognize their daily awesomeness and sharing that story with the world. She’s built a team that celebrates hundreds of schools across the country! #SocialSchool4EDU provides full social media management and runs a vibrant online community that provides ongoing professional development for school social media champions. She hosts a weekly podcast, Mastering Social Media for Schools. Her new book is called “Social Media for Schools: Proven Storytelling Strategies and Ideas to Celebrate Your Students and Staff – While Keeping Your Sanity.”


Twitter: @andreagribble

Linked In:

Instagram: @socialschool4edu


Episode 802 - Transcript

Episode 802 – 10 Minute Teacher Podcast

Social Media Success: Easy Strategies For Schools And Districts

This transcript was generated by AI within Adobe Audition but edited and proofread by me, Vicki Davis. If you see something I missed, leave a comment or contact me. Thanks! 

00;00;01;05 – 00;00;04;17

John Davis

This is the Ten minute Teacher podcast with your host, Vicki Davis.

Show Sponsor – Propello

00;00;04;22 – 00;00;28;17

Vicki Davis

Today, sponsor is Propello, a remarkable K-12 teaching and learning platform which combines high-quality curriculum with built-in student differentiation and supports. Stay tuned at the end of the show to learn more about these free resources, including language, translations, level, text, and hands-on activities for your students. If you teach science, you'll want to check out Propello.

Introducing Andrea Gribble

00;00;29;00 – 00;00;38;25

Vicki Davis

Hello everyone. In today's podcast, Andrea Gribble shares her expertise in social media management for schools. Thanks for coming on the show, Andrea.

00;00;39;01 – 00;00;40;14

Andrea Gribble

I am so excited to be here.

00;00;40;14 – 00;00;59;17

Vicki Davis

Vicki So Andrea is the author of Mastering Social Media for Schools and has a new book called Social Media for Schools: Proven Storytelling Strategies and Ideas to Celebrate Your Students and Staff – While Keeping Your Sanity. So, Andrea, we're going to talk about five tips for schools and social media that you can use right now. Where should schools start?

Tip 1: Not Everything Belongs on Social Media

00;01;00;04 – 00;01;18;17

Andrea Gribble

Well, I think right now, people are a little bit nervous about using social media. My first tip is not everything belongs on social media. So just as you know, in your personal life, you wouldn't post maybe a fight you had with your spouse or something like that. You're not going to post everything on social media there.

00;01;18;17 – 00;01;37;11

Andrea Gribble

Direct communication methods. Social media can be used for things that you want to celebrate. If there are things that are going to be controversial or have some negative comments coming in, you can still be transparent. You can share those on your website, direct communication, emails and all of that. I think that's one of the big things.

00;01;37;11 – 00;01;51;16

Andrea Gribble

You know, a lot of schools are just using social media like as a bulletin board, and maybe your school board feels like you've got to put everything out there. And it's just not the way that we can use it today because there is, unfortunately, negativity out there.

Examples of Things That Schools Post That Don't Belong on Social Media

00;01;51;29 – 00;01;59;02

Vicki Davis

Do you have any examples without naming schools of things that you're like, “Oh, I don't know if this belonged on social media?”

00;01;59;03 – 00;02;19;23

Andrea Gribble

For instance, if you're changing the school start time, okay? And all of a sudden, it's a new school start time. You want to get the word out; You may not want to put that on social media because all of a sudden you're starting middle school 30 minutes early, and then everybody goes off about kids needing their sleep and, you know, “why are you doing this to our children?”

00;02;19;23 – 00;02;38;28

Andrea Gribble

So you really just have to think about those types of things. Also, if you're ever doing any kind of redistricting in your district, you know where school lines are going to change a little bit, that can also be very controversial. And so you just want to pick the right tool for the message that you need to get out there and you just have to be ready.

00;02;38;28 – 00;02;44;09

Andrea Gribble

Like if you don't want comments and you don't want opinions, then you shouldn't be putting that on social media.

Sometimes Email Newsletters Are Better Than Social Media For Some Topics

00;02;44;10 – 00;02;51;21

Vicki Davis

So maybe a email newsletter or some other way of communication, how you communicate directly to your family?

00;02;51;24 – 00;02;52;21

Andrea Gribble


00;02;52;21 – 00;02;55;05

Vicki Davis

Okay, so what's our second tip?

Tip 2: Social Media is About Engagement

00;02;55;29 – 00;03;19;04

Andrea Gribble

So our second thing is with social media. Vicki, it is all about engagement. Like we want people to comment. We want that engagement because the more people that like and comment and share our posts from our school pages, the more people see it. So just because you have 2000 followers on your Facebook page doesn't mean that all 2000 followers are going to see what you're sharing.

Drive Engagement By Asking Simple Questions

00;03;19;05 – 00;03;40;14

Andrea Gribble

So a really easy tip is to drive engagement is asking simple questions. Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up at the beginning of May. A great easy question to ask on Facebook with just the Facebook colored background is

Can you name your favorite teacher?

Not only do people instantly know who their favorite teacher is, they may have a story about them.

00;03;40;14 – 00;04;05;25

Andrea Gribble

They may actually tag their teacher. We've had schools get tens like 20,000 responses to that. Now, that's not typical. But, you know, if you can get if you can get 40, 50, 60 responses, that's incredible. Another great question to ask right now around graduation and time is Alumni Roll Call.

What year did you graduate?

Vicki, I'm not afraid to say.

00;04;05;25 – 00;04;29;12

Andrea Gribble

I graduated in 1996. It was the best year. It's an easy question for people to answer. And again, it builds that engagement. It builds their confidence in responding to other types of posts with kind of, “Oh my gosh, I'm so proud of the school,” or “This is such a great activity. I'm so glad we offer it.” It can be a way to get people used to interacting with your page.

00;04;29;12 – 00;04;43;03

Vicki Davis

That's great. And then, if you can get them to interact like you said, everything is not shown to everybody. But the more you interact with a page, the more likely you are going to see content from that page. So getting people to interact can be a great thing.

Tip 3: Feature Your Staff

00;04;43;14 – 00;05;09;21

Andrea Gribble

Tip three How often are you featuring your staff? This could be a simple weekly shout out to a staff member. Thanks for all you do. Or it could go more in depth and it could talk about why the teacher or the staff member loves working at the school. It could even be a photograph of, you know, your lunch person, your lunch crew serving up food for your children, your students, and thanking them.

00;05;09;21 – 00;05;28;19

Andrea Gribble

Three people in your school that get some of the most love when they get shoutouts are bus drivers custody ins and your lunch crew. So I'm just telling you people love to really give some love. I mean, a lot of times where we're giving maybe teachers appreciation, but those types of roles, they get talked about a lot by kids.

00;05;28;19 – 00;05;50;15

Andrea Gribble

And so it's really nice to be able to show them some love back. So please page back through your past posts and see how long has it been since we highlighted a staff member? And it should be at least weekly, even if it's an informal way. But that's a great way to really engage your audience, build that positive engagement, and get that engagement up.

00;05;50;21 – 00;06;04;20

Vicki Davis

Love that! It also serves the purpose of showing appreciation. Oh, letting people, you know, talk about the people they love and the good experiences. So you're kind of bringing that experience out into the world. Those are fantastic. That's great. So what's our fourth?

Tip 4: Throwback Thursdays

00;06;04;21 – 00;06;35;04

Andrea Gribble

So fourth tip is something I've been doing since 2014. Vicki Just so you know, every day I manage social media for my small little school district in New Auburn, Wisconsin. So I am in the trenches. And one of the things, when I launched with them back in April of 2014, was Throwback Thursdays. These are pictures of your old yearbooks that you put up every Thursday morning at 6 a.m. with a simple, Hey, you know who let the tagging begin, right?

00;06;35;04 – 00;07;02;07

Andrea Gribble

Because people are going to see this picture from the 1960s or the seventies, eighties even into now, Of course. Gosh, we've got alumni that graduated in 2020, right? So it really engages your alumni to be able to see what's happening. People love the big hairdos. They love the old technology. They even Vicki. Just the other day I shared a picture of Barb's Highway Cafe, which was one of the staples back in the day, our little double act in New Auburn.

00;07;02;11 – 00;07;33;14

Andrea Gribble

Vicki We had over 40 comments on just the advertisement supporting that, showing that Barb's Highway Cafe, people talking about their parents working there, what they loved to eat when they went there. It was really powerful. So throwback Thursdays, you know, school spirit and showcasing all of the old vehicles. I mean, it's fun. And I've got a lot of tips in the book and on my website Social School for, but little tips on how to make it easy to do that feature every single week, because guess what?

00;07;33;22 – 00;07;43;13

Andrea Gribble

You can schedule it out. You don't have to be on live posting at 6 a.m. on Thursday. No, you schedule those out so that they automatically post and you're going to see great engagement.

00;07;43;19 – 00;07;45;18

Vicki Davis

People will start looking every Thursday, won't they?

00;07;45;19 – 00;08;07;05

Andrea Gribble

Oh, for sure, because Vicki, they're either going to see if they know somebody or if they're the alumni. They're going to be like, Please don't let them feature me, you know, with braces or my big hair or whatever. So yeah, it really gains a lot of engagement. And the community remember in your community, about 70% of the people don't have kids currently going to school.

00;08;07;11 – 00;08;12;10

Andrea Gribble

But in your community you probably have a lot of alumni. So they're going to love looking at that.

00;08;12;10 – 00;08;20;27

Vicki Davis

I love these ideas. I'm sitting here thinking, Oh, I've got to send this to my marketing director of my school. Okay, shout out to Rebecca because she is awesome. So what's number five?

Tip 5: Get Your Students Involved in Making Reels

00;08;21;06 – 00;08;40;07

Andrea Gribble

My fifth tip is just an easy one of getting students involved, especially when it comes to Instagram reels. Tik Tok Love it or hate it, You know, I don't do a lot of training on Tik Tok in particular because Instagram reels and Facebook reels is like Tik Tok, but you don't have to start a new channel. So it's a little more controlled.

00;08;40;15 – 00;09;02;29

Andrea Gribble

But being able to get your students involved and I have a whole chapter on getting other staff members and other students involved in the social media creation process. I know you might be nervous, but, hey, you know, we're teaching these kids to be responsible and they know what they're doing. So get those students involved. They consume this on a regular basis.

00;09;02;29 – 00;09;25;07

Andrea Gribble

So they are very creative and you can make better connections with students, with alumni. There's a lot of parents, young parents that are on channels like Instagram. And so it can be very engaging. It's a unique way of telling your story. I am 45 years old. I did not grow up on social media, but I have learned how to use these tools.

00;09;25;07 – 00;09;47;07

Andrea Gribble

And I can tell you I get freaked out. Vicki, when I try to learn something new, I get freaked out as well. But once you do it, and especially if you get a reverse mentor, which is like a student teaching you how to use it, all of a sudden, the light bulbs go off of how you can use this to really celebrate the incredible things that are happening inside and outside your school building every single day.

Control the Narrative or the Narrative Controls You

00;09;47;08 – 00;09;58;29

Vicki Davis

Love it. And as is often said, you control the narrative or others create the narrative that controls you. So we really don't have a choice, do we, any more about telling the story?

00;09;59;09 – 00;10;20;09

Andrea Gribble

Yeah, and we have the ability with social media. It's a powerful tool. Love it or hate it, it's powerful. My little school district in New Auburn, we have 300 kids, K through 12. We have small school districts in Wisconsin. K 300 kids. We've got about 500 people in the town. Every week on Facebook, we reach about 5000 people with our stories.

00;10;20;09 – 00;10;36;19

Andrea Gribble

So that is a powerful reach. We don't have a local newspaper rate. And yes, there are challenges still in our little community. We're not saying that we're a perfect school district, but we sure deserve to shine a light on all of the amazing students and staff that are doing great things in our buildings each and every day.

00;10;36;25 – 00;10;51;01

Vicki Davis

Love it. The book is Social Media for Schools by Andrea Gribble. These are some fantastic tips that we all need to be sharing. And hey, you know what? If all of us did Throwback Thursday, would we laugh a lot more and make Facebook a better place?

00;10;52;03 – 00;10;55;19

Andrea Gribble

Yeah, and that's what it's about. We're we're brightening up everybody's news feed.

00;10;55;19 – 00;12;10;07

Vicki Davis

Have a little fun and see all of our big hair. Well, thanks, Andrea, for coming on the show today.

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00;12;10;12 – 00;12;23;25

John Davis

You've been listening to the 10 Minute Teacher podcast. If you like this program you can find more at If you wish to see more content by Vicki Davis you can find her on Facebook and Twitter @coolcatteacher. Thank you for listening.

The post Social Media Success: Easy Strategies For Schools And Districts appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!