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Summer Success in 3 Easy Steps

Summer break is the perfect time to give your school’s online presence a little TLC. From your website to social media channels, this is the ideal time to do some sprucing up before the next academic year. So, while you’re soaking up some summer rays, consider taking on these three priorities to elevate your school’s digital presence.

1. June: Spring Cleaning for Your Website

We’ve all got that closet or garage full of stuff we no longer need. Your website accumulates content too. Take some time to go through and archive any outdated content cluttering things up.

Maybe it’s old news stories or details about last year’s back-to-school procedures. Getting rid of that stuff will keep your site looking fresh and make it easier for families to find accurate, up-to-date information. Plus, it can give your SEO a nice little boost, too.

“Set expiration dates for news stories and announcements so outdated information doesn’t pile up on your website,” recommends Andrew A. Hagen, CEL integrated marketing coordinator. “It keeps your website clean and prevents that stale, outdated feel. It’s a simple thing that will make future clean-up a breeze.” We recommend expiring all dated content at the end of the school year.

Test your search function for clutter:

    • Search for the names of retired administrators or leaders who have left your district and remove them from your site where possible.
    • Search website photo files for photos older than 3-5 years, and replace them with newer images. 
    • Delete old academic calendars, forms, and PDFs. Your website should not be a historical record (except for Board minutes and financial reports). Removing outdated documents will ensure users find only current information.
    • Search for the last few school years (e.g., 2023-2024, 2022-2023, 2021-2022, and more). Remove dates or pages, so no pages appear dated.
    • Search legacy terms no longer in use and remove them (e.g., distance learning, masks, or state programs like Minnesota’s World’s Best Workforce.)

2. July: Amp Up Your Social Game

Your school’s social media feeds are prime real estate for building buzz around big events and shouting out your awesome students and staff. But during the summer months, should you pause all content?

“This summer, bulk schedule summer posts, and get a head start on your needs for fall,” suggests Ashley Winter, CEL content marketing coordinator. “Summer content doesn’t need to be too complicated. Think about a series of #TBT posts looking back at old-school dances, big games, or yearbook photos. Another series might focus on reading with short book recommendations from your principals or staff. Meanwhile, summer is the time to ensure your content calendar is up-to-date for fall.”

Pro tip: Create your commonly used social media templates in Canva so they’re always on-brand and easy to update. Think staff recognitions, emergency closures, graduation spotlights, and more. Having these pre-made templates will save you time and hassle when you need to push something out quickly. Want to see some examples? We highly recommend checking out Andrea Gribble’s SocialSchools4Edu. She literally wrote the book on leveraging social media for schools, so her recommendations are top-notch.

3. August: Unleash the Power of Brand Ambassadors

Your school’s biggest supporters are not just students, teachers, and parents. There are plenty of other brand ambassadors within your community who can help amplify your message.

Don’t forget about your coaches, crossing guards, bus drivers, local business owners, and more. These are the friendly faces that interact with your school community every day. And chances are, they’ve got valuable insights to share.

As you prep for the new year, take some time to chat with these ambassadors one-on-one. Ask about their experiences and perspectives. What do they love most about your school? What are their hopes for the upcoming year? Are there any concerns they’d like to see addressed?

Listening attentively shows you value their voices. And when ambassadors feel genuinely heard and appreciated, they’ll be even more motivated to promote and advocate for your school.

You can then equip them with key messaging, photos, graphics, and other assets to share through their own channels. A social media repost from a beloved coach or crossing guard goes a long way in reaching different slices of your community. Hiring? Make sure your ambassadors know where to grab information so they can share opportunities in their local communities and online groups.

Just be sure to keep those ambassador relationships strong all year long with regular check-ins and shout-outs. When everyone feels invested in your school’s success, it creates a powerful united front.

 

 

 

With these three summer victories – decluttering your website, revamping your social strategy, and empowering ambassadors – you’ll be in excellent shape heading into the next school year. But if you need any other tips or advice along the way, we’re just a call or email away!

 

 

Published on: May 29, 2024

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