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Managing Online and Social Media Presence in the Modern School
Published Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Today's modern school is in a constant state of flux. Technology has grown and developed, and when it's implemented effectively in schools, it can be used to improve student engagement, promoting a school or college's unique mission and making it is easier to connect with alumni. We live in a world that revolves around technology and it must, therefore, be implemented properly. Here are seven reasons why it is important for people to properly manage their online footprint:

1. Take Charge of Perception

Technology is one of the best PR tools at your disposal. If managed properly, you control the message and how people perceive you and your school. You must be proactive in this by regularly sending out new positive messages.

2. Take Control of Your Brand

Make sure that your tone is consistent in look, feel and sound. Start by examing your profiles on sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and make sure they look the same. This is an opportunity to make a good first impression. It will take a visitor just a single second to see whether or not they want to follow you. Consider:

  • Whether your profile is consistent with your brand's vision and mission;
  • You have a clear and concise bio that makes it clear who you are;
  • And you have a good ratio of followers to following, so that you can increase your overall credibility. By following others, you show that you care.

3. Build a Community Through Interaction

You can speak with businesses, alumni, students and parents in real time. They will contact you using their smart devices, which means they expect real-time information as well. At the same time, other people can see the conversation and how it is responded to. This means that you can really be active in what people see. You can launch and promote campaigns and events, making sure that everybody knows what is going on. If you connect with people, they are more likely to invest in you as well.

4. Be Relevant and Timely

Let's say that a VIP is visiting your school campus; that a graduation ceremony is about to take place; that your college team won a big sports event; or that you have recruited a new important faculty member. Report this straight away, because it will become old news more quickly than you can imagine. Your audience wants to know what is happening right now, not what has happened weeks ago. You must engage your community through relevant content, speaking to them as real human beings. Don't be afraid to ask questions, or to post tweets with humor and honesty. Most importantly, make sure your content is valuable and awesome, bringing something of value to your audience.

5. Make Sure Important Information Is Shared

Ensure that if something is happening, people get to know about it in plenty of time. Try to get insight from your audience on upcoming activities, asking them to comment or post or otherwise engage in what you are doing. By reading what they mention on your social media pages, you can gain a real insight into what they want.

6. Remember that You Are Being Watched

If you want to own something, you have to say it first. Hence, remember that there are people you want to reach who haven't quite found you yet. Promote your school and its community, spirit and mission whenever you can. Make sure that your content is valuable and unique, as well as being fresh at all times. People who may accidentally come across you, or who are researching you without you knowing it, will appreciate this.

7. Make Sure Your Content Is Properly Managed and Organized

You need to make sure that it is easy for your readers to navigate through your news stories, pictures and other posts. Have a good content library present where people can find what they want through an easy search function. This is the only element that you should reuse, but make sure it is repurposed as well

Mark Christensen is director of marketing for Ed Map, an Ohio-based content strategy and logistics company focusing on higher education. Christensen has also held several teaching an administrative roles in NH's education system, previously working for Hesser College in Manchester and the Nashua, Plymouth, Kearsarge Regional (New London) and Winisquam Regional (Tilton) school districts. 

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