At The Agnon School, a community Jewish day school located in Beachwood, Ohio, we set out to enhance our social media reach and interaction in order to attract additional students to the school.
One of the first things we did was to conduct a survey of our constituents – primarily our parents and prospective parents – to see what types of social media they were using most frequently. Through the survey, we discovered that Facebook was most often used.
As a result, we increased our use of Facebook by posting engaging items on a daily basis each week. We developed the following weekly schedule:
- Mondays: We posted an article of interest written by a national education expert for our target audiences to read (articles were not specific to our school).
- Tuesdays: We posted a video or photo album related to activities happening at the school (including special programs or simply everyday learning).
- Wednesdays: We posted a fun and/or thought provoking question and parents could respond to the question.
- Thursdays: We had “Throwback Thursdays” and posted an alumni photo with an accompanying question or invitation to interact and share.
- Fridays: We posted our Head of School Shabbat blog.
We found that student photos sent out on Tuesdays and Thursdays received the most attention. In addition, photos of people holding signs with key messages regarding fund raising also generated a tremendous amount of attention for our benefit golf outing.
In addition, we pre-posted articles on Mondays to make sure we have regular posts. In order to increase interest on the other days of the week, we learned through trial and error that Wednesday’s “question of the day” needs to be simple in order to get responses. We plan on changing the questions for this day to something shorter in order to encourage more responses. Plus, we plan on giving the Head of School’s blog on Fridays a more attention-getting name. We are also considering the pros and cons of paid posts.
However, our ultimate goal was to have our followers “like” or “share” all of our weekly posts. Through this exercise, we discovered that we needed social media ambassadors to engage and support participation. To achieve the best results, we e-mailed some of our key parent ambassadors and requested that they “like” or “share” our posts. This worked so well that we decided to create a Social Media Support Committee for the 2014 – 2015 school year. This committee’s sole job will be to simply “share” Agnon’s Facebook posts.
What’s more, we were introduced to a number of new tools to assess metrics. We learned a great deal about our posting habits relative to the types of postings that appeal to our audiences and the most optimal posting times.
The Agnon School participated in the 2013-14 cohort of the Jewish Day School Social Media Academy, an intensive program designed to help Jewish Day Schools advance their strategic use of social media in areas such as communication, marketing, community building, alumni relations and development. The 2013-14 nationwide cohort of 15 schools was generously supported by The AVI CHAI Foundation. Each of the schools will be sharing insights from their experience through blog posts here with the tag #jdsacademy
Complete the Social Media Self Assessment for your school at http://www.dayschoolacademy.org/assessment