Social media is like a gun.
Smart people will use it as a useful tool, not-so-smart people will shoot themselves in the foot with it.
I don’t think I’m breaking new ground with the above yet every day people do stupid things on social media. Teens. Adults. Business people. Everyone. Even our president…
Here are four things you should keep in mind when using social media for your school.
- Social media is a tool (not a toy).
Social media is not something we should regard as a harmless pastime. While many use it for entertainment, you need to remember that unlike a television or radio, the media is bidirectional so where a TV can only send media your way, social media allows you to broadcast your own media (i.e., tweets, videos, pics, etc.) for the world to see.
That said, social media can be a HUGE asset to help your school’s brand, a new [or existing] program, your team, your community, or even to promote an individual trainer or teacher.
- Nothing is private (ever)… even when it’s marked ‘private’.
There are two types of social media users. Users that realize they are broadcasting in public and those who don’t. While a lot of schools may think they can simply delete a post or a tweet or a picture as needed, they don’t realize this actually isn’t the case. MEDIA POSTED ON THE INTERNET CAN LAST FOREVER. Content can easily be screenshot / screen captured and then saved, reposted, shared, etc.
Schools have to remember that Instagram pics, Facebook posts, Tweets, they could end up being viewed by thousands of people even though they were deleted or marked ‘private’.
- If you repost / retweet something, you own it!
Many schools struggle with this. Some even put up a disclaimer that goes something like: “Reposts do not equal endorsements”
Those disclaimers are worthless and many schools get into trouble when their teachers, owners, etc. repost tweets or comments that are inappropriate or misaligned with the school’s brand. Even though a tweet or a post isn’t yours, you can still face troubles for sharing someone else’s.
- You are your own publicist (every social media post reflects what your school is).
What a lot of schools don’t realize is that social media creates a very strong perception of who they are. Imagine hiring a publicist who has no training or no real direction and just randomly puts stuff out there without any real thought or planning. You’d never do that… but perhaps you’re doing exactly that with your school’s social media.
Every social media post from your school reflects what your school is about. Every social media post from your owners, teachers, administrators, basically anyone who represents your school, also reflects what your school is about (and why many schools have a strict social media policy for their personnel).
Is your school sending the right message about itself to the public?
Parents, students, future parents and students, employees, future employees, investors, and partners all use social media to learn more about your school.
What does your school’s social media portfolio say about you?