Donovan Group Insights

Social Media Goes Beyond Announcements

District leaders often turn to social media for sending out quick messages. Within minutes, they can post about upcoming events and make district-wide announcements. While these are important messages, using social media strictly to update stakeholders only taps into a tiny fraction of the medium’s potential.

Social media makes possible so much more than just dropping in for a quick announcement. It opens the door to stakeholder feedback, and you get to hear their stances on hot-button topics. Leveraging social media in different ways can help your district connect with stakeholders on a more meaningful level.

Social media connects you to the community

Social media is an effective tool for communicating with stakeholders. More district leaders are starting to realize this, often using the medium to post updates, event reminders and announcements. That’s great and all, but communication is more than shouting messages into the ether. Instead of talking at stakeholders, district leaders must find ways to talk with stakeholders.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide incredible opportunities for two-way communication. They’re some of the few online channels that allow you to see stakeholder feedback in real time. You can start a poll, host a live Q&A and read what people are saying in the comments section. Few stakeholders attend in-person meetings, but many are prepared to share their thoughts online.

Additional ways to leverage social media

You can go far beyond posting updates or announcements on social media. There are many ways to leverage this medium for connecting with the school community. Consider adding these content ideas to your social media calendar:

  • Polls: Start a poll on social media to gauge stakeholders’ opinions about a certain topic. You can also use polls to include stakeholders in the decision-making process. You’ll get a clear picture of where they stand, and stakeholders get to play a role in guiding their school district.
  • Live Q&As: Social media livestreams provide a relaxed, casual environment that encourages stakeholders to use their voices. Hosting a Q&A session makes conversations more accessible since stakeholders have the flexibility to participate from home.
  • Feedback: Posing a question on social media can be very effective for generating feedback from the school community. Brainstorm some open-ended, thought-provoking questions about what stakeholders want to see in their district. Choose one question to ask, then see how stakeholders respond in the comments.

Social media isn’t just about getting the district’s message across. It’s an opportunity for stakeholders to speak their minds as well. Few other mediums make it possible to connect with the community anytime, anywhere. Give stakeholders a chance to speak, and they will most certainly take it.

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