Donovan Group Insights

Beyond Likes: Mastering Social Media Engagement

School leaders often measure engagement by the number of likes their content receives on social media. Likes are good—they’re proof that people saw your content! However, likes don’t offer feedback. Stakeholders can’t sum up how they feel with the click of a button. Create social content that not only garners likes, but encourages stakeholders to speak their minds.

Open the door to two-way communication

There’s so much more to social media engagement than likes, shares and retweets. These metrics are great for quantifying how many people see and interact with your content. However, if you want to understand what really matters to stakeholders, you have to go deeper than metrics.

Social media gives you easy access to stakeholders’ thoughts and opinions. Anyone can create a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, and they can log in to see your posts anytime, anywhere. If they want to express their thoughts or concerns, all they have to do is type them out in the comments section. Thanks to social media, school leaders can connect with stakeholders like never before.

Every social media post is an opportunity to delve into the minds of parents and community members. Take a look at the comments—what are they talking about? How are they responding to your posts? Their comments shed light on what’s most important to them, as well as what they like or don’t like about the district.

This is valuable information. Listen when they speak!

Social content should always serve a purpose

When you create social content, your main question should be, “What’s the purpose of this post?” More specifically, what’s its purpose within the context of stakeholder engagement? For example, you might create a poll to gauge the public’s opinion about a certain topic. You might decide to ask them a question, then read their answers in the comments. Big announcements are another great opportunity to gain stakeholder feedback as well.

Social media posts are never just about saying what the district needs to say. Social media gives stakeholders a platform to speak, whether you ask for their input or not. Every time you post, stakeholders are going to respond. Their comments might have nothing to do with what you posted. Learn to anticipate (and appreciate) stakeholder feedback, solicited or otherwise.

Approach social media with a mind for engagement. Communication is a two-way street, and nothing makes that more apparent than social media. Think about what you want to say, but also think about how you want stakeholders to respond. It’s time to go beyond likes and hear your community speak!

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