21 Ways Independent Schools Can Use Twitter

21 Ways Independent Schools Can Use Twitter

Creative Commons License photo credit: Nathan Jongewaard

Independent schools are flocking to social media and with good reason – promises of improved marketing, branding, and engagement at little or no cost is pretty appealing. The problem though is once independent schools create their social media accounts they aren’t sure how to proceed.

Below I’ve compiled a list of 21 ways that independent schools can use Twitter. My list is not exhaustive and I encourage everyone to offer at least one additional way to use Twitter in the comments after this post.

  1. Automatically feed your school’s RSS news feed to your school’s Twitter account using a service like TwitterFeed.
  2. Post your school’s sports scores and results.
  3. Tweet photos and descriptions of your new teachers using yfrog.
  4. Post your daily lunch menu.
  5. Tweet school cancellations due to weather.
  6. Tweet articles from local newspapers that discuss your school.
  7. Post changes in the daily schedule.
  8. Tweet a school picture of the day.
  9. Take a series of photos of dress rehearsal for a school performance and post a short animated image using Vine to encourage people to attend.
  10. Tweet quotes from school meetings that are informational or memorable.
  11. Tweet job openings at your school.
  12. Tweet upcoming admission, alumni, and scheduled calendar events as reminders.
  13. Individual teachers can post Questions of the Day for extra-credit.
  14. Conduct research using Twitter Search. (Watch a screencast about searching Twitter.)
  15. Create a PLN (Personal Learning Network) by reaching out to colleagues at other schools through Twitter.
  16. Create a Twitter List of Alumni.
  17. Create a Twitter List of Faculty and Staff on Twitter.
  18. Tweet items from your other social networks.
  19. Tweet new additions to your library.
  20. Share educational news and articles germane to your school.
  21. Follow other teachers, schools, alumni, and people in your community and listen to how they use Twitter.

Your turn

This list is not meant to be exhaustive. Please share one or two additional ways that schools can use Twitter by posting them in the comments section below.

Mind Meister - My mind mapping tool of choice.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://twitter.com/cassdull Cassie Dull

    That’s a great list! Lots of simple ideas for schools to implement. Here’s one I think is important: Talk to people! I retweet and reply to parents, alumni and faculty often, but they’re not the only ones. I also engage in conversations with people in our local community who are not affiliated with the school. Twitter is a great tool for outreach.

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Cassie and I really like your suggestion – consider it #22 on the list.

  • http://twitter.com/cassdull Cassie Dull

    That's a great list! Lots of simple ideas for schools to implement. Here's one I think is important: Talk to people! I retweet and reply to parents, alumni and faculty often, but they're not the only ones. I also engage in conversations with people in our local community who are not affiliated with the school. Twitter is a great tool for outreach.

  • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

    Thanks for taking the time to comment Cassie and I really like your suggestion – consider it #22 on the list.

  • http://twitter.com/tuckerkimball Tucker Kimball

    Hi Brendan, Awesome list. Another one I think is list worthy is live tweeting games and events either through the school’s feed or by pointing people to a community member who is doing it. We did this for a couple post-season Gould Academy lacrosse games this past year. Some parents who couldn’t be there really enjoyed and appreciated keeping up on the games in real time, plus there’s value in a number of other areas as well.

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Thanks for the addition to the list. What a GREAT IDEA! Consider it #23 on the list.

  • http://twitter.com/tuckerkimball Tucker Kimball

    Hi Brendan, Awesome list. Another one I think is list worthy is live tweeting games and events either through the school's feed or by pointing people to a community member who is doing it. We did this for a couple post-season Gould Academy lacrosse games this past year. Some parents who couldn't be there really enjoyed and appreciated keeping up on the games in real time, plus there's value in a number of other areas as well.

  • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

    Thanks for the addition to the list. What a GREAT IDEA! Consider it #23 on the list.

  • hmundahl

    New Hampton School has student tour guides tweet from the admission office while they are waiting for their family to arrive… just daily life stuff, what’s going on from their point of view.

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Thanks for the addition Hans. Great idea! I like the thought of having current students participate in social media. This is #24 on the list.

  • Hmundahl

    New Hampton School has student tour guides tweet from the admission office while they are waiting for their family to arrive… just daily life stuff, what's going on from their point of view.

  • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

    Thanks for the addition Hans. Great idea! I like the thought of having current students participate in social media. This is #24 on the list.

  • http://twitter.com/robdimartino Rob DiMartino

    Brendan,

    Very nice list. I also have to stress that schools doing this plan for sustainability so that when a person who is a twitter enthusiast leaves, you do not pull the rug out on the school communications plan. Ask the big questions on strategy, sustainability, and engagement for the long term.

    Keep the posts coming, great stuff.

    • http://www.brendanschneider.com Brendan Schneider

      Rob – Thanks for taking the time to comment. You make an EXCELLENT point and one that school’s don’t often think about with regard to social media, technology, or even content creators.

  • http://twitter.com/robdimartino Rob DiMartino

    Brendan,

    Very nice list. I also have to stress that schools doing this plan for sustainability so that when a person who is a twitter enthusiast leaves, you do not pull the rug out on the school communications plan. Ask the big questions on strategy, sustainability, and engagement for the long term.

    Keep the posts coming, great stuff.

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Rob – Thanks for taking the time to comment. You make an EXCELLENT point and one that school’s don’t often think about with regard to social media, technology, or even content creators.

  • deerwood

    That is a great list of things NOT to do on Twitter.

    14 and 15 I thoroughly agree with but all the others will probably just annoy your followers (if you have any left).

    The golden rule would appear to be that Twitter is not so much about ‘broadcasting’ but more about ‘conversation’. Use a twitter account to establish contact with other teachers, other schools and education bodies; build relationships.

    I see this article was written over a year ago. I wonder if you’ve got on with Twitter since that time?

    • schneiderb

      @deerwood Thank you for taking the time to comment. Although the post was written a while ago I still think the content is applicable for a general school Twitter account, especially for a school just starting out with Twitter.

      I also agree with you that social media, in general, is about conversation and building relationships. However, I think that it’s OK, as well as advised, for a school to broadcast a little about what is happening at school.

      Hope that all makes sense and I guess the real beauty with social media is that it is a tool open to personal interpretation.
      Thanks again,
      Brendan

  • @sarahbylsma

    Once signed up for twitter please see the #summeroftwitter challenge