How to Expand Your School’s Online Reach using Facebook, Blogs and Twitter Let’s Start with Some Questions • How do you stay connected today with your former students and parents? • How do you share information about the accomplishments of your current students and the new successes of your school? • Are you fostering a sense of community among former students, alumni, family, friends a donors? • Are you happy with your school community’s support of your school through their annual giving? Pi Picture This World • You create an announcement using a simple blog tool about an upcoming Homecoming event. • The blog tool posts the announcement to a website used by your alumni. • You also add to the website pictures from last year’s Homecoming event to bring attention to your announcement. • You then send a short message to your alumni that their website has been updated with Homecoming information. • Your alumni go to the website and see the Homecoming pictures and announcement. • While visiting the site, alumni add some of their own pictures of Homecoming from last year. Pi Picture this World continued . . . • Some alumni comment on the website that they plan to attend this year’s event and ask who else is coming. • While reviewing the homecoming announcement, alumni see another entry you posted about a new fundraising campaign. • They click on the posting and a new web page opens. • The page includes a video on the campaign and a Donate Online link. • The alumni views the page, clicks on the link and makes a credit card donation. That World is Social Media! WORDPRESS Pi Blogs • Blogs provide an informal way to share information and announcements. • They are typically posted on your school’s website and may contain categories such as Alumni, Parents, Events, etc. • Use the Alumni category of your blog to build your online community and interest among your alumni. – Feature “Then and Now” articles on prominent alumni. – Discuss accomplishments of your current students and successes of your school. People want to be a part of a winning team. – Promote social events among alumni. – Inform them of upcoming fundraising campaigns and how you are investing their gifts to improve the school. • Then update your Facebook fan page with links to each new blog post. WORDPRESS Pi WordPress • WordPress is the largest self-hosted blogging tool and publishing platform in the world, used on millions of sites. • It’s free. • Features include: – Search engine-friendly structure – Comment management – Spam protection – Full user registration system • Many website content management solutions have built in blog functionality. Check with your webmaster. • To download WordPress, go to www.wordpress.org and select the Download menu item. Pi Flickr • Flickr is an online photo-sharing tool owned by Yahoo! with 51 million registered members and 6 billion hosted images. • The service is widely used by bloggers to host images that they imbed in blogs and social media. • Features include: – Enables users to upload, tag and comment on their photos and other users photos. – Provides the ability to search photo tags and display the images. • To download, go to www.flickr.com/signup, where you will first be prompted to create a Yahoo! account or log into an account that you already have. • Invest in Flickr Pro for $25. Pi YouTube • You Tube is the World’s most popular and highly visited online video community, averaging 69 million visitors per month. • It provides a free service that allows you to easily post, edit and store video on your “YouTube Channel”. • You can then link the video to your website, blog or Facebook account. • To create a YouTube Channel, go to www.youtube.com/create_account. • The username you select will become your YouTube vanity URL, such as www.youtube.com/yourschoolname. • It cannot be changed in the future so reserve wisely! Pi Twitter • Twitter is an online micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets", and images. • It’s great for sending short messages to the accounts of your “followers”. • You can use Twitter to notify your followers of new blog posts or Facebook updates. • To create an account, go to www.twitter.com/signup and fill out the online form. Pi Facebook • Facebook is the world’s leading social networking site, with more than 750 million active users. Approximately 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day. • Your Facebook “Fan” page will serve as the foundation of your alumni’s online community. • WordPress, Flickr and YouTube create or store content that is linked to the Facebook page, and Twitter directs traffic to the Facebook page. • The goal of the page is to encourage your online community to interact with one another and remain connected and invested in your school. Pi Facebook continued . . . • To create a Facebook “Fan” page: – Go to www.facebook.com/pages. – Select “+ Create Page”. – Select Local Business of Place. – Choose a category of Education and fill out the fields provided. – For your Facebook Page name, spell out the complete name of your school to optimize search engine results. – If you are going to have a unique page for alumni, append the school name with “alumni”. – You cannot change the name of your Facebook Page later, so make sure that you do it right the first time. Pi Is Facebook good or bad for educators? • Wary about how social media is affecting your students and changing your classroom? • We recommend you read 7 Ways Educators Can Use Facebook. • This guide explains seven ways to use Facebook effectively for teaching and learning. • To access the guide, go to: http://www.scribd.com/doc/55182215/Facebook-for-Educators-Guide Pi For Facebook Guidance • Useful guidelines at www.facebook.com/marketing - Resources Pi Review of Social Media Tools • The school used WordPress to create the blog post containing the Homecoming Announcement. • The school published the blog post on their website, in a Category called “Alumni”. • The school included a link to the blog post on the school’s Facebook “Fan” Page. • The school stored Homecoming pictures in flickr, and then posted the pictures to the Facebook Fan Page to complement the announcement. Pi Review of Social Media Tools • The school used Twitter to send the brief message to alumni that the Facebook Fan Page had been updated with the Homecoming Announcement post. • The school created in YouTube the video promoting their fundraising campaign, and posted a link to the video in their Facebook Fan Page so alumni would see it as well. • School Alumni who “liked” the school’s Fan Page view the Facebook page and make posts of their own, including comments and their own pictures. • The school also posted a link in Facebook to an Online Giving page, which is key to your fundraising strategy. Pi We Encourage You to Read . . .
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