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Are you wanting to start using social media to recruit for your program, but you’re not sure where to start? In episode 3: Have You Been Wondering How to Utilize Social Media to Recruit Without Having to Do All the Work? I talked about how to use your school’s or district’s current social media or public relations person to increase enrollment for your program without having to run your own social media accounts. But, for this episode, we’re going to talk about how to set up a social media account with the intention of increasing enrollment for those courses you truly want to teach.
In this episode, Khristen discusses:
- Before Starting, Check your School or District Social Media Policies
- Deciding Which Social Media Platform to Use
- What to Name Your Social Media Account
Before Starting, Check your School or District Social Media Policies
Do you know if your school or district has social media policies or guidelines? If you don’t know the answer to this, find out. Our district mentions guidelines for communicating with students is in our computer use agreement. I have seen other districts give even more guidelines for using social media personally. In addition to checking the published policies, have a conversation with your administration in case they have any additional guidelines–that may not be published. No matter what your district policy is, I would strongly recommend having a separate account for your program and enrollment efforts and your personal accounts. This will not only protect you but also your students.
Deciding Which Social Media Platform to Use
Once you’ve researched the policies, you need to figure out who your target market is for your recruiting efforts. Currently, Facebook is still the most popular–especially among parents, but millennial-aged parents and teenagers are on Instagram. It is easiest to start with only one platform. Because Facebook now owns Instagram, there are ways to post to both platforms. Ask your students what they are using and get feedback from them.
What to Name Your Social Media Account
Most program-oriented social media accounts are named after the school. For example, @MMHS_Welding. You will want something easy to remember, but also easy for future students to find. While you may feel like you’re going to be at your current assignment for the rest of your career, you may move schools at some point. You won’t want to lose all the work that you’ve already done on social media. For this reason, I’d suggest using an account name that isn’t associated with the school or district. Instagram Tip: don’t leave that other account name out there to get snatched up by someone else. Create an account with your alternate account name and direct users to your actual account. Also, the “Name” field in your profile is findable in searches as well as your account name.
Final Thoughts on Creating Social Media for Your Program
As mentioned earlier, to protect you, separate your program accounts from your personal accounts. From an administrator’s perspective, I have some additional tips to keep you and your students safe. First off, keep all communication threads public. Engagement is key to the algorithm for social media and getting your posts shown. You can build relationships in class and in your comments–not your direct messages. Next, tell your administrator your account names/handles so that they can follow you. This allows you to be transparent in what you are posting and the engagement you are receiving. Finally, tag your school and district in your posts and stories. This way they can be shared on those accounts as well.