We recognized that despite a healthy number of likes on our Facebook page for a school of our size, the engagement with our page was not where we wanted it to be. We also recognized that we couldn’t make the progress we wanted with just more staff effort – especially considering there are only 3 of us who are hands-on with the school’s social media.
So, we decided to hold training sessions with targeted groups of our volunteers to recruit them as social media amplifiers. We trained volunteers in our leadership program, on our advancement committee, and our PTO leadership. We customized the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) portion of each training to help our lay leaders understand how social media can help them achieve their goals for the school.
Through the course of our trainings, we learned that most of our volunteers and colleagues have a much more limited understanding of social media than we thought. They thought that when you like a page, you automatically see everything that the page posts; after explaining the algorithm and other Facebook and Twitter basics, our Epstein community understands why their participation is key.
We received such great feedback on these trainings that we have been asked to present to the Board of Trustees at their upcoming meeting. But the best part is that there’s been a culture shift toward embracing social media here at Epstein – among administrative staff and our lay leadership.
- Our colleagues are partnering with us to ensure their committees will be trained for the 2014-2015 school year.
- Our colleagues are excited to use Facebook and comment on posts; they are confident about telling members of their committees what to do on social media channels.
- Our parents are tagging themselves and others in photos; they are commenting on and sharing our posts.
- Our parents are creating their own content and tagging the school in their posts.
Since we began our trainings:
1) Largest reach from a post was 2,043. Now, it’s doubled to 4,323.
2) We’ve created interactive posts (like the one below) with great success.
3) Lay leaders are using their own pages to promote school events:
4) Alumni are tagging us with shout-outs about great educational value:
5) Parents are telling our story via social media:
We are really excited to see this shift in culture at our school and among our families. We can’t wait to see what next year will bring when we have the opportunity to increase the number of social media amplifiers!
The Jewish Day School Social Media Academy is an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2013-14 nationwide cohort of 15 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation. Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here with the tag #jdsacademy
Complete the Social Media Self Assessment for your school at http://www.dayschoolacademy.org/assessment