For this edition of the School Spotlight I’m excited to share the Facebook page from The Notre Dame School of Dallas and interview with their social media coordinator Alex Eckler. I’d like to thank Alex for taking the time to answer the School Spotlight questions.
1. How long have you had a Facebook page for your school?
We have had a page since 2011, but have only truly utilized it in the past year.
2. What were your initial/goals reasons for starting the Facebook page?
Our goal is to communicate the Notre Dame story. As the only independent school in Dallas exclusively devoted to the education of students with cognitive disabilities, The Notre Dame School offers an affordable alternative to families searching for a caring, quality education for their child. Through Facebook we have been able to connect with new families and donors as well as continue to maintain strong relationships with our current families and benefactors.
3. Have you achieved those goals?
We have been steadily building a community and have more than doubled our ‘likes’ in the past school year.
4. Were there unintended consequences, positive or negative, as a result of launching your Facebook page?
The positive is the ability to communicate what is happening at school, in the classrooms, and on extracurricular activities. One negative is that with so much information, people often expect answers that we do not necessarily know at the time.
5. How many people help you manage the Facebook page?
Emily Frye did an incredible job setting it up and I maintain and update with new content and features.
6. How much time do you devote per week to managing the Facebook page?
Between 7-10 hours.
7. How frequently do you post to the Facebook page?
At least 2 times a day with special events such as Prom receiving almost hourly posts.
8. What type of content do you post?
We post special events, neat classroom activities, sports, staff birthdays, job sites, and even include some special videos.
9. In your experience are there better days or times to post to Facebook?
For us, the beginning of the school day is great as well as an afternoon post. Weekend posts seem to do really well.
10. How do you define success with your Facebook efforts?
Our success is in highlighting our students’ abilities and our staff’s dedication. We have been blessed with both and it is an honor to get to showcase them.
11. Do you integrate your Facebook efforts with your other social media and/or marketing channels?
We have tried Twitter, Youtube, Google +, and Instagram, but the majority of our families prefer Facebook.
12. Do you feel that your Facebook page is more for recruitment or retention?
I feel that we try to have a good balance, but a lot of our focus is on retention due to the limited size of our school.
13. If you knew then what you know now — what advice can you share for schools just starting with Facebook?
Be patient with slow growth and be consistent and dedicated in posting.
14. Can you share one ‘secret’ which has helped your Facebook account to be successful?
Communicating with our parents via email that we have this amazing content and community that we would love for them to be part of. They are great!
I’d like to thank Alex and The Notre Dame School of Dallas for agreeing to be a School Spotlight. If you haven’t done so already I encourage you to check out their Facebook page.
If you have any questions for Alex please ask them in the comments section below.