Social Media Best Practices for Staff

Get tactical tips that can help maximize your social media efforts.

These simple strategies can help you make the most out of your social media efforts:

  1. Commit to posting relevant, interesting, and engaging content on a regular basis. This will keep your audience coming back for more.
  2. Include clear, well-lit photos or great videos in your posts to increase engagement. Ensure that students are not on the photo opt-out list prior to posting photos or video.
  3. Proofread your posts! That includes watching your videos from start to finish before posting them. When a mistake happens, acknowledge it, apologize, correct it (if possible), and move on.
  4. Check your links. Make sure they point to their intended destination.
  5. Apply the "Washington Post" test: If you wouldn't want your words, photo, or video to appear on the Post's home page, then don't post them. When in doubt, don't!
  6. Don't #gocrazy #with #hashtags (unless you're using Instagram). Use hashtags with the spirit under which they were intended, not to suit your own goals for visibility. In other wordsuse them when there's a relevant connection to your content.
  7. Take at least five minutes a day to monitor conversations, comments/questions, and other notifications. Respond to appropriate questions in a timely manner.
  8. Don't feed trolls. Some people are only interested in posting annoying or inflammatory comments. Don't fall into the trap of engaging with those people.
  9. Don't take an image from another post and use it in yours without acknowledging (or tagging) the original creator or seeking permission.

Social Media Guidance for Staff (Non-Instructional Use)

Follow this guidance to help prevent social media mishaps that could negatively impact you and the school division.

Platform-Specific Tips

Facebook

  • Set up your school, class, or department Facebook account as a page, not a personal profile.
  • Be brief. Posts that are too wordy are less likely to be read.
  • Upload videos directly to Facebook when possible, as opposed to linking to YouTube. This will help to increase viewership. Also, Facebook's algorithm favors native video.
  • Do not hide or delete comments from posters who are critical or disagree with you. 
  • Post at least two-three days per week.
  • Click the "Insights" tab on your page to better understand how your posts are performing.

Twitter

  • Choose who to follow carefully. Definitely follow FCPS accounts to keep up with what's happening in and around the Division.
  • Remember, #hashtag #spamming #is #annoying.
  • Be a good member of your community by retweeting. It shows you appreciate what others have to share.
  • Use a link shortener, such as Bitly. It will save space, look cleaner, and track the number of clicks on your links.
  • Monitor your tweets' performance by clicking the "Analytics" link on your account's drop down menu.

YouTube

Spend a few minutes optimizing your video for search:

  • Your title should be short and engaging with relevant search terms.
  • Write a detailed description of the video in the "Description" field and include a link to your school's website and/or other appropriate content.
  • Tag your video with search terms that are specific to the video. Think about what your audience might enter in the search box.
  • Make your video "Public" to maximize your optimization efforts. However, you should select "Unlisted" when necessary.
  • Feature the latest, most popular videos on your page. You may even want to create a 30-second "sizzle reel" showcasing your school at its best.
  • Do not use copyrighted music. Otherwise, ads will appear in your videos.

Instagram

  • Consider Instagram if you want to reach students and millenials.
  • Posting great photos and videos with a compelling caption is essential. Using multiple hashtags is the norm on this platform.
  • Respond to followers' questions, if appropriate. 
  • Encourage community engagement by sharing appropriate photos and videos from other accounts. You'll need to download an app such as Repost, or screenshot the original post and repost it. Just be sure to credit the original poster, tag them, and/or ask them for permission.
  • Check "Analytics" to track your posts' performance, measure engagement, monitor trends, and more.