Is your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club using social media to connect with parents online? Whether your a TikTok maven or you think ‘Grams are a type of cracker, social media plays an increasingly important role for parent teacher groups, especially through the social distance protocols of 2020. If your group isn’t using social media to its best so far, it’s time to up your social media game for parent teacher group success. Here are some tips for success from AIM.
PTA, PTO, and Booster Club Social Media Goals
You can’t have social media success if you don’t create any goals to succeed. Most parent teacher group social media goals should fall into one of three categories: increase awareness, promote participation, increase membership. Social media can help you reach parents you normally might not. Parents can’t participate in your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club if they don’t know your group exists.
The second type of goal is promoting participation with the group. Parent teacher groups live and die by their active members. It’s the only way events run smoothly and fundraisers make it off the ground. Social media can help your promote participation in your group’s activities and visually show parents how they’re missing out on all the fun. If you have parents who are aware, and interested in participating, the next step is to get them to your meetings. Increase your membership by promoting your parent teacher group online and engaging interested parents. Then, invite them to your next meeting.
Parent Teacher Social Media and School Administration
Because your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club is not governed by the school district, the school administration does not have any authority over your social media accounts. However, do your principal a favor and let them know about plans to promote your parent teacher group on social media. Your principal will appreciate the heads-up and may direct parents to your group’s online accounts.
Getting Your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club Started on Social Media
You have your goals, you’ve informed the school administration of your intent but you may not be sure which social media platforms to target. A problem that is easy to solve by polling members at your next group meeting. See what social media platforms they use, those are the best platforms to reach them and other parents like them. Don’t try to use all the social media platforms, pick the most popular and useful platforms to target. There is no “wrong” social media platform to use for your group. Pick the ones that work best for your group and your message.
How to Use the Major Social Media Platforms Effectively
Each social media platform is a little different and certain types of content are best on different platforms.
The world’s most popular social media platform. Facebook allows you to create photo albums, events, and groups tied to your page. It’s the best catch-all social media platform, but also the one with the most competition for people’s attention.
All about pictures and videos that capture highlights for you to share. Instagram is a great platform for pictures and sharing short video, but is less successful at written communication and disseminating information to your group.
Great for collecting and sharing resources for parents. Use Pinterest’s categories to segment your group’s activities and upload event pictures. Pinterest is a small, but powerful social media platform for its audience.
The best platform to use as an online PA system for your group. Twitter is great for repeating announcements and sharing bite-sized information with images or short video.
Parent Teacher Group Social Media Planning
One of the first things you should do for your group’s social media is create a hashtag to use on your posts. A hashtag will make it easy for you and others to find social media posts about your group across the most popular platforms. Continue reading for more parent teacher group social media tips.
Post for Social Media Success
Keep your posts simple and sweet. One to two brief sentences combined with an engaging video or picture is easier for parent to view and engage with than a wall of text. If you do need to make a lengthy post, break it into smaller paragraphs to make it easier to read.
Schedule Your Social Media
For most of us social media and planning don’t seem to go hand in hand. But, like the adage touts, when you fail to plan you plan to fail. The biggest ingredient to continued success on social media is consistency. Creating a posting schedule will help your parent teacher group create a consistent representation online. It keeps your group and its activities at the top of parents’ minds. Post consistently throughout the year, but always feel free to make additional posts as needed, to highlight a special event or back to school.
Go Live with your PTA, PTO, and Booster Club on Social Media
Don’t be afraid to go live from your phone at events and meetings. This is great way to show parents when they’re missing out right now and potentially boost attendance for upcoming meetings.
Evaluate & Experiment
While analytics may not be the most fun thing in the world, it’s important to track how your posts are doing. Certain types of social media posts and times will work better than others. Evaluate how your posts do and make changes so you do more of the good things and less of the bad. Then, experiment with new types of posts and scheduling to see if it resonates with your parents. You won’t know what might work if you don’t experiment.
PTA, PTO, and Booster Club Social Media Promotion
The secret to successfully promoting your events and activities on social media is the same as it is offline. Promote your events early and often! Start promoting large events, activities, and fundraisers to your parents weeks in advance. Then continue promoting as the event date gets closer. It may seem excessive, but your parents aren’t likely to see all the messages before their buried in their social media feed.
Better yet, do more than promote make sure you also engage your parents. Ask them to comment and share. This helps gets your posts out to more people and create even more awareness and interest. While it may be tempting to censor negative comments, it’s a good idea to only censor false or hateful comments. Negative comments might be uncomfortable, but they can lead to problem solving. Use negative comments as a way to open up conversations and resolve miscommunications. For more complex issues you can ask to take the conversation off social media an into email or a phone call.
Mix Up Your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club Post Content
If a parent scrolls through your posts it should be varied and interesting. What you don’t want is a sequence of social media posts that say, “meeting in three weeks, meeting in two weeks, meeting next week, meeting tonight,” repeated as the only content. Try offering tips, making announcements, thank you posts, share resources, parent inspiration, encouragement for your school’s teams, and reminders to your parents. Post variety will broaden your appeal and keep more parents engaged with your group online.
Don’t Sweat Social Media Failure
It’s unlikely your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club content will go viral. At first, it can be disheartening to see little response to your social media. Focus instead on promoting your social media offline and keep your posts focused on being valuable and entertaining for the parents of your school. Do that consistently and your group will find success on social media. If your social media is contributing to your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club mission statement, it is a worthy endeavor.
Social Media Photo Usage
Lastly, make sure you have permission from parents and school staff to post photographs! It’s best to have members sign a release waiver for their likeness to be shared online. Just in case, it’s a good idea to leave photos untagged and let parents tag family members if they want.
PTA, PTO, and Booster Club Media Liability Coverage with AIM
Social media offers a lot of positives for parent teacher groups. Your PTA, PTO, or Booster Club can easily reach parents throughout the week with news, updates, and resources. However, increased communication can also put your parent teacher group at risk. Media Liability coverage through AIM protects your group and its officers in instances of misuse of logo, copyright, pictures, confidential information and other misrepresentations or misappropriations that could impact your group’s social media.
AIM offers specialty parent teacher group insurance for your group’s specific needs.