Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to Increase Parent Followers on Social Media Sites

Let's say you've already set up a classroom Instagram, Twitter, and/or Facebook. Now you need to get the word out to your students and their parents. How do you do that? Here are some suggestions:
  • Feature the students. From what I understand, CISD employees are allowed to post student photos on a classroom website, so long as the parent has signed the permission slip. My kids still get excited when they see me taking pictures of them because they know there's a good chance they could wind up on our class Instagram and be "famous!" 
  • Let the kids post for you. I did this 2 years ago on Twitter {and need to do it again!}, and the kids were so excited to tweet that they excitedly ran home and told their parents.
  • E-mail parents. Be direct and let parents know you just started a classroom social media account and would love for them to follow the updates.
  • Put a reminder in your e-mail signature. You can do something as simple as writing "Follow me on Twitter! @MrsKaras," for example. You can link to your profile(s) if you want to get a bit fancier. And if you have multiple sites you'd like to share, you can add social media buttons to your e-mail signature:
This is currently at the bottom of my work e-mail signature
  • Put links on your classroom website or blog. Everyone at CISD has an Edline page to customize, and most of us have blogs, too. Link to your social media sites in the sidebar so that they're always visible to visitors. 
  • On a similar note: embed a stream of your latest updates on your website. I know you can embed Twitter and Instagram feeds onto a website, but I'm not sure about Facebook since I don't use it for the classroom. On Twitter, go to settings >> widgets >> "create new." You can generate a simple HTML code to put onto your site, which could look something like this:

Instagram is mobile-based but you can view photos from the web now. I used SnapWidget to create my embed codes. You can see examples of my embedded Instagram feeds by visiting individual grade level pages on my classroom website.

The good thing about embedding feeds directly into your website is that visitors don't have to do any extra clicking or navigating to see your updates -- it all appears right there on your main website.

  • Interact with others in the community. I think my professional Twitter account pretty much flew under the radar until I started interacting with other CISD accounts. Something as simple as favoriting, re-tweeting, or mentioning another user might help you gain followers.
  • Put it in announcements. Simply telling the kids via announcements -- either school-wide or just at the beginning of class -- can do wonders.
Keep in mind that parents can see your updates by visiting your profile even if they don't officially "follow" or "like" it. I'm always surprised to find that I have a lot more readers than my "following" number shows.
Above all, the point of social media isn't to get "likes" or "followers" -- it's about connecting with others. Don't get too caught up in your numbers!
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1 comment:

  1. I love the idea of adding social media buttons to your e-mail signature! How do you do this?