Social media plays a vital part in today’s society. The average American spends 11 hours a day interacting with media. With such a prominent place in people’s lives, it is unlikely that social media will be leaving our world any time soon.
With that in mind, it’s important to understand the impact of social media and how it will affect your school. Social media’s impact can be both good and bad. After all, you do want to share with others everything the Lord is doing in your school and through your students.
It’s a good idea to create some guidelines for your school and students. At BSSM, we have a rule that students are not allowed to post faces of students without their permission, and they are not allowed to post encounters and manifestations because people viewing those posts may not understand what is happening. Setting guidelines for your students can be helpful and create a sense of safety. Once students know their encounters with the Lord will not be posted on social media, they can rest easier and be more open to encounters. Setting guidelines for those who post on your social media can be very helpful as well.
Social Media Basics
Adrianna is our marketing and content coordinator, and part of her job is managing our social media accounts. She shares with us how she develops our social media strategy and guidelines.
At School Planting, we use two social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram. I spend about fifteen to twenty hours each month working on social media, with about ten hours spent creating content, five to ten hours posting and planning, and two to three hours posting spontaneous posts and responding to comments.
During the last week of the month, I take about two to three hours each day creating content. We have the following posting schedule:
- Monday: Encouragement
- Tuesday: Declarations and Blogs
- Wednesday: Activations and Resources
- Thursday: Bible Verses and Testimonies
- Friday: Leadership Tips and A Look Inside BSSM Equip
I will generally create content for one category per day so I don’t get burnt out. You can do it all in one day, but it can get tedious. I use an online service called Canva to create all of our posts. I have a general template for each category, so it’s simply a matter of finding photos and content to create to posts.
School Planting has a paid account with Later.com, which allows us to post up to 100 posts per month. We recently upgraded to a paid account, after using the free account on Later for years. The free account gives users 30 free posts per month. The nice thing about Later is that it posts both images and video to Instagram and Facebook at the same time.
I spend the first day of the month scheduling all of our social media posts. I am always sure to schedule the first few days of the month in case I don’t have time in the day to do the entire month.
The first mandate of our department is to support school leaders around the world. With that in mind, our main guideline is that our posts are encouraging and uplifting. That’s why we start the week out with encouragement, and all of our posts are encouraging to school leaders. We like to keep things clean and legible. We believe 90% of what is posted should be to minister and serve, 10% should be to promote something we’re doing. Other than that, we don’t have very many guidelines. Take some time to figure out the mandate of your school, and build a social media strategy that serves that purpose.
Social media is a great way to stay connected with your students, alumni, leadership, and others who support your school, and to update them on what’s going on in your school, encourage your followers, share testimonies, and equip them with more resources and tools. Our friends at the BSSM Alumni department post updates on various BSSM Alumni around the world several times a week. These posts are a great encouragement to other Alumni around the world and help them feel connected with BSSM, in general.
Share testimonies on your social media profiles. As we know, “testimony is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). Meaning, when you share a testimony, it stirs up the faith of those who hear it to go out and impact the Kingdom themselves. Sharing testimonies also releases that breakthrough for others to receive in their own lives.
Give people a look inside your school. Share with them your planning sessions, family time, and other “behind the scenes” moments of your school. Every once in a while you’ll find a post on School Planting’s social media about planning sessions or of the team working in our office.
This “behind the scenes” look is also an opportunity to model your values. Have your team members share their favorite core value, what they do for your school, what their favorite part of school is, what their hopes and dreams are, and more. This can be a time to empower your team members and show honor to them.
We want you to know us! Every month we spend time with our directors, Steve & Ruth Moore, on our social media platforms so you can get to know them and receive ministry from them! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out when they’ll be on!
As we mentioned before, keep advertising to about 10% of what you post. If you take a look at the list of what we post, only one out of the nine weekly posts are advertisements (A Look Inside BSSM Equip). People don’t want to be overwhelmed with advertisements. However, social media is a great platform to advertise your school. You can advertise open school nights, when enrollment opens, and any merchandise you might have. Research hashtags to find what hashtags people click on so you can become relevant to what people are searching for.
Below is a cheat sheet for you to get a quick insight on social media and its role in your school.
Know Your Audience
- Who’s following you and engaging with you? When? Why? How often?
- Use Instagram and Facebook’s analysis tools for this information.
Know What to Post
- Make a plan and map out your content.
- School Planting uses Later.com
Know When to Post
- Best time for engagement performance (depending on where your audience is, too).
- Again, use Instagram and Facebook’s analysis tools for this information.
- In quality, tone, voice, and frequency.
Engage with Your Audience
- Respond; bring humanity back.
Quality vs Frequency
- People are looking for authenticity and connecting with the real.
- We love pretty graphics, but humanity, people, and diversity is why people are drawn to it.
- Facebook’s algorithm favors Facebook Live. Have a Q&A session.
Social media is a powerful tool. Don’t let the negative side-effects of social media affect what you do with it. Don’t hide what you are doing with the Lord! Make Him famous and share His miraculous works!
You can follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/schoolplanting or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/schoolplanting/