With recent changes to the Facebook algorithm, it's likely that your school's Facebook engagement has dropped. The Facebook algorithm prioritises interactions with your audience. To simplify it, users need to engage with your content in order for Facebook to identify it as something worth showing to your followers. Once Facebook sees that an individual actively engages with your content, you're more likely to show up on their news feed. Here are a few different things that you can do to try and improve your school Facebook engagement and thus improve your parental engagement.
How do you measure your Facebook engagement?
When we talk about social media engagement we mean, how many people are interacting with you on your social platforms. This is in the form of likes, comments and shares. If you use a social media scheduling tool then you can easily monitor this in the analytics section. If you're unsure of what tool you should be using then check out this Social Media Manager for Schools.
Monitoring your social media analytics is vital to decide what posts are getting the most engagement and what posts aren't doing so well.
It's no secret that schools and businesses should be posting regularly on your social media channels. The sweet spot for Facebook Engagement is posting twice a day, your audience needs to see regular updates from you. Having said that, don't just post randomly, you need to have a strategy. Check out this blog on Creating a Social Media Content Calendar to help get you started. To give you a general idea, 80% of your content should be fun, educational and engaging. This is anything that will encourage comments, for example, students taking part in activities, daily highlights etc. The other 20% can be for any announcements or school admission related posts. Keeping this 80/20 rule in mind will help you think about what content you're posting and will form more of your strategy.
You also need to think about the best time to post on Facebook, don't Google this because you'll get so many mixed results. The best thing to do is test out different times and see what works for you. If you don't have an analytics tool for all your social media channels, then I would recommend just using Facebook Insights. You'll be able to see how your school's page is performing and times when your audience is most active.
Focus on creating the right content
It's pointless creating content that doesn't fit with the platform or the audience on there. Your content needs to teach, entertain and inspire. Knowing your audience is where you'll succeed in your Facebook Engagement. So think about what parents want to see, this would be anything to do with their children.
Keep it short and sweet. The majority of people use Facebook on their phones, so bear this in mind when you're writing your post. Two sentences and a photo is what is going to capture your audience's attention and make them want to engage with you.
Use great images. Facebook posts that include a photo see higher engagement rates than those without. You don't need to be a professional, a phone is all you need to get started. Capture images of the children taking part in a fun activity or a sporting event.
Always use visual content
With people's attention span only being a few seconds, your content needs to immediately grab their attention and stop them from scrolling. The only way to do this effectively is through photos and videos. Facebook actually gives top priority to video content, as more than 50% of users prefer video content. A great way to use video is to make use of Facebook Live. This media is great for schools because you can capture what's happening at that very moment. This can be a sporting event, school open day or a school play. You don't even need professional camera equipment, all you need is a good phone camera.
Creating a community on Facebook is so important, meaning you must take the time to reply to comments and interact with your audience. This Facebook engagement builds a conversation and more importantly a social relationship. Your audience will know that if they tag your school in a post, or comment on one of yours, you will reply and therefore they will continue to engage with you. As I mentioned previously, your audience needs to be engaging with you and they'll only do that if they like the content you're posting and they know for a fact that you'll reply to their comments.
So, the key thing to remember is the Facebook algorithm is continuously changing and sometimes you just have to ride the wave. As long as you have a Facebook strategy and have incorporated the points I mentioned above, you should start to see improvements to your Facebook engagement.
For more help, you can enrol yourself on our Social Media for Schools Course.