Tired of the same ole’, same ole’ in social media? Spend some time on Bay Ridge Prep’s Twitter profile and you might just get the inspiration you’re looking for.
This K-12 independent school out of Brooklyn, New York uses its Twitter presence to share more than the standard campus news. On a typical day a parent can see tweets with links to The Times of London, MSNBC, US News & World Report and more. Recently, EdSocialMedia took a minute to catch up with Bay Ridges Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator/Assistant to the Head of School Anthony Hazell to find out just how this approach works:
First, how much time do you spend on social media each week?
Depending on how busy the week is, I could spend anywhere from just about an hour to maybe 4 hours per week on social media for the school. The great thing about social media is that it really only takes up a small amount of time per day if you know how to properly and effectively use it.
When did Bay Ridge launch its Twitter profile?
We started out Twitter page in February 2009.Â Our Facebook page launched in July.
Why did Bay Ridge decide to take an unconventional approach to tweeting?
We decided to take an unconventional approach to social media because we wanted to be able to convey information to constituents that we couldn’t normally do in formal letters or e-newsletters. If you look at our Twitter or Facebook presences, we usually post links to education and/or family-related news articles that we think parents and students might be interested in. Something fun that we did the other day was take some candid photos of our teachers getting their classrooms ready and then posted the photos on our Facebook page and linked to it from Twitter. Things like that humanize our teachers and staff to constituents in ways that we can’t do with other forms of communication.
How do you determine what makes your “this is a great item to share with our families” criteria?
Anything that we think can help parents and students in any way or get them to think about education in different ways. We post articles or videos from media sources that mostly have to with trends in education (such as recent articles about new technologies replacing the need for textbooks in some schools or cursive writing courses not being emphasized as much with the advent of computers) or articles that have useful tips like ways to save on back to school shopping or how to pack a healthier lunchbox.
How do you sync Twitter and your Web site?
Our social media accounts with Twitter and Facebook have links at the bottom of all of our Web site pages and at the bottom of any e-notice that is sent out. A live sync/feed of all our Twitter updates also appears on the news page of our website.
Any tips you’d share for the beginning or advanced tweeting educator?
Don’t be boring or repetitive! If people want to be reminded about when medical forms are due or when parent-teacher night is, they’re going to go to your Web site or call the school office. Use social media to be social, not just re-print things that are already on your Web site.
Thanks, Bay Ridge Prep, for sharing your story with us! Now it’s your turn: let EdSocialMedia know what’s going on at your school that’s unique and innovative with Facebook, Twitter and more. We’re all ears!