If your school does not have a Facebook page yet, you are behind the times. It is an absolute must that each school manage a Facebook page for marketing, branding, fundraising and engagement on all levels. Some schools have been dragging their feet on getting a Facebook page operational thinking it is a fad that will fade away and be taken over by some other form of social media. Although that might be true in the next 5-10 years, the moral of the story is that there is no excuse not to have a Facebook presence for your school NOW.
Here are the 3 biggest misconceptions that prevent schools from launching their school’s Facebook page:
Bad Reviews. “There is no such thing as 100% satisfaction with students and parents and someone is bound to make a bad remark about my school on Facebook for all other parents to see.”
Although this absolutely true, there are many processes and tools to help manage bad reviews on Facebook. All comments on any post can be deleted and reported by whoever is the administrator on your school’s account. If anyone makes a vulgar or inappropriate remark (including students) you can quickly hide the comment so no one can read it and decide whether to report this person or even block them from commenting on all future posts.
Page reviews are a great way for parents and students to showcase their love and appreciation for your school. Think yelp for businesses. However, the fear is always there that someone will give your school a bad review for all to see. The good news is that there are a few things you can do about this. You can turn the review feature completely off on your page. This way no one will ever leave a bad review, guaranteed. Or, if you want to allow the review feature on your page, you can report any review if it has nothing to do with your school, and Facebook will determine if it needs to be removed. Lastly, you can always seek 10 rock star parents at your school who will add positive reviews after someone left a poor review to push the review farther down the list.
Human Capacity. “I don’t have time as a school principle to add one more thing to my plate and I don’t want to pass it on to anyone else either!”
There is no denying it, Facebook takes time. To have a great presence, you need to post consistently, including activities at the school, classroom field trips, staff recognition, and the list goes on. This all takes time. The good news is that your Facebook page can have multiple administrators to manage and post content!
It is called delegation. Does your school secretary always seem to be checking her Facebook? Why not ask her to be an administrator for the school account? She can create a schedule for postings and get other staff to send her pictures and content to share. To think of it, how great would it be to have a few other instructional staff as administrators too? The reading specialist is in the classrooms and can take a picture of a student with a smiling face and their favorite book! This does not mean that the school principle is far removed. You can still be set up as an administrator and even get push notifications for all postings so you can monitor content right from your phone.
No Open Enrollment. “My school is at capacity and there really is no need to market my school as we don’t have room for more students.”
First of all, applause to your school for locking down your enrollment goals! Secondly, marketing is definitely not the only reason to have a school Facebook page. Engaging with current parents and students is a great retention strategy. Parents want an easy way to brag about their kid’s school. You can give them that easy opportunity by branding your school with posts on your events, activities, and curriculum. What parent wouldn’t love to share a picture of their child posing with their adorable art project? This is a great branding opportunity for your school to showcase the quality of curriculum you offer.
Facebook is a great way to make donating to your school a breeze. Create your list of goods on your Amazon Smile account and post to your Facebook page. The next time your school needs toilet paper or tissue, parents and friends of your school can simply click on your post and choose an item to buy and checkout from your Amazon List and link to their account that will automatically ship your items right to your school! Facebook is also a great way to take advantage of the annual Giving Day and ask parents and community members to give to your school.
Whatever your hesitation is, I urge you to take the leap. If it is overwhelming to think about digging in, find the teacher who is always on Facebook and ask them to research what it would take to get started. What is your biggest worry in starting your school’s Facebook page?