Social Media Strategy is a catchphrase that is popular with bloggers and online entrepreneurs. It is a summary developed of everything you plan to post and hope to achieve using social media. A few years ago, when I first started teaching art and blogging at Party in the Art Room, I was able to get away with using social media on the fly. I just posted here and there whenever I wanted.
As I blogged more frequently about my lessons and the things going on with the arts at my school, I noticed I started to get some engagement from the community. People started to really pay attention to my classroom, and I was able to get more grant funding and community support. So, over time I started to pay more attention to what I was posting and when I was posting on social media. I began to focus on promoting my classroom through social media over blogging about lessons.
Like I said, that was several years ago when it was still fine to post on the fly. Now, there is so much to compete with out there. If you really want your classroom to shine, you have to develop a Social Media Strategy. It is not a requirement of teaching that you build a classroom presence on social media, but it can help you with community engagement. Letting your community know what you need, what you are doing with your resources, and how you are engaging your students is a good thing.
How-to-Develop A Social Media Strategy for Your Classroom
Read District Policies
Make sure you are familiar with and understand your district’s policies for using social media and for photographing students. This will ensure you are operating within the proper parameters for your job.
Start with a 3-Month Calendar
Keep it reasonable by focusing on the first three months of school. Look at the school calendar and your classroom calendar. Identify things that would be of interest to your audience and make note of those dates. Plan to post on specific days about specific things. For instance, if you are doing a back-to-school art lesson during the second week of school, write on your calendar that you will post about that. Writing it down on specific days will help you remember and stay on track with posting.
Plan for Announcements
Look ahead on your calendar and figure out what will need to be announced. This is different from planning for promotion. Here you need to think about upcoming after-school activities, parties, materials you will need to collect from home, etc. Plan to make the announcement on social media in time that your audience can react appropriately. Also, make sure you are posting safely. If you don’t want community members to show up at your Awards Day, make sure that is clear in your posts.
Start with One Platform
Do a little research and figure out which social media platform your community uses the most. My research led me to figure out that our district had a Twitter account with a lot of followers. So, I started with Twitter and tagged the district in my posts. That helped me get followers. It helped followers of the district see my classroom as well. I recommend starting with one platform because your audience will know you consistently post on that platform. They will know where to find your classroom.
Always, always, always post positive news. Focus on the good and wonderful things about your students, your classroom, and the teaching profession. Your class social media page is not the place to post about poor education policy or to complain about how much you hate your school’s new schedule.
Are you interested in starting a blog for your classroom? Read this article about Blogging for Arts Advocacy.
Amanda Koonlaba, Ed. S. is an educator and educational consultant with over 12 years of experience teaching both visual art and regular education. Her career has been driven by the power of the arts to reach all learners. She is a published author and frequent speaker/presenter at education conferences. Amanda was named the Elementary Art Teacher of the Year for the state of Mississippi in 2016 and received the Arts Integration Service Award from the Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative (Mississippi Arts Commission) in 2015. She holds an Elementary and Middle Childhood Art certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Amanda is on a mission to ensure every student in America has access to a high-quality arts-based education. She blogs at Party in the Art Room (http://partyinartroom.com).