4 Reasons You Want Multiple Twitter Accounts at Your School

I love Twitter.

 

It’s where I find nearly everything of interest to me online not requiring the immediacy of a Google search.

 

It comes to me out of the ether,  no request needed.

 

Recently, I joined a great conversation on twitter between fellow edSocialMedia contributors Hans Mundahl and Turnaround Marketing about multiple twitter handles and a school’s brand.

 

At the heart of the discussion was the question,  “should schools have multiple twitter accounts?

 

From my perspective, I think the answer is yes for four reasons in no particular order.

 

1)   It’s Public Relations – The golden rule is to get your story heard. If I had to choose between one person singing the gospel about my school or multiple people in multiple niches within my school, I’d choose the latter every time, especially when these are the very people who are doing the great work I’m trying to expose. Factor in the network for each twitter handle, and you have the potential for considerable exposure of content produced by those who live your brand.

 

2)   It’s Content Creation – My long term vision for communications at my school is building a faculty, staff, and student army of content creators, whose stories I can link to and/or share via different channels, whether that’s a tweet, a traditional media pitch (i.e. a phone call with a journalist), a post on our institution’s facebook page, a blog post, or a feed or link on our website. Or, all of the above.

 

I think of NPR strategist Andy Carvin scanning twitter, using the platform to cull sources and eyewitness during the Arab Spring in an attempt to report and give context on what was happening. The more teachers who are creating their own content or are sharing the content created by their students, the more story ideas or already-generated stories I have to share. I want to be Gould Academy’s Andy Carvin. I’m not there yet, but I think it is a worthy goal.

 

3)   It’s Professional Development & Modeling – Social Media is here to stay. Period. Humans are a gregarious breed and twitter is just one of many social media tools in our collective wheelhouse. As centers of learning and institutions that prepare young people for the world, we have a responsibility to understand, use, and teach the tools that are impacting our world.

 

And these tools are impacting our world and our students significantly.

The more our faculty and staff members become comfortable with these tools, the better they can understand how to integrate them into their class work, showing students how to use them in positively powerful, responsibleand meaningful ways.

 

4)   It’s Reinforcing Your School’s Brand – As authentic, or transparent, (or any buzzword with a similar meaning) as I can be telling a story that brands my school, I’m still doing it as the as the school’s communications director. I’m not the coach, the teacher, or the student. A variety of twitter handles are the primary sources of a school’s brand via the medium, because our people are our brand. Giving them the tools and the freedom to voice what they are proud of doing every day is no different than coordinating the interview between a teacher and the journalist writing the story. We’ve just taken the journalist out of the equation.

 

As the communications director I won’t stop telling my school’s story, however I’ll gladly accept the help…and promote it.

 

But enough from me. What do you think?

Tucker Kimball

Tucker Kimball

Director of Communications at Gould Academy

Tucker is the Director of Communications at Gould Academy in Bethel, Maine. He's a husband, father, fly-fisherman, movie and music lover.

  • http://twitter.com/madelinesen Madeline Senkosky

    Amen! Get your school’s (or organization’s) voice heard across multiple channels. What if someone is searching for athletics or technology? They might find a different twitter handle in their search because of the tailored subject matter. The single handle from one school won’t always magnetize the users you are seeking. If you can swing it (i.e. you have the student/man power), I completely agree to invest in multiple handles. Just be sure to keep them current & have a pulse on what’s out there. Always do a brand search, right?

  • http://twitter.com/tuckerkimball Tucker Kimball

    Thanks, Maddy. Glad it resonated with you. I think you’re spot on with the comment that it’s predicated upon human resources. Not something to be forced.

  • Nate Green

    Thanks for writing this. At our school, we have multiple people who manage one twitter account. We have different roles at school and thus post a variety of activities, promotions, news etc. Check us out @avonoldfarmsu00a0

  • http://twitter.com/scottwnichols Scott Nichols

    We have multiple Twitter accounts at The Webb Schools and I agree with Tucker that it is more effective to do so. There is so much going on with schools these days between daily events, athletics, Alumni relations, parents, admissions, etc., that it makes a lot of sense to have some help promoting one’s school. Currently, we only have two main accounts,u00a0@thewebbschools:twitteru00a0u00a0and u00a0@webbalumni:twitteru00a0, but we are thinking of reviving our Parents and Athletics accounts.u00a0nnThanks for the great post, Tucker!

  • http://twitter.com/tuckerkimball Tucker Kimball

    Thanks for reading, Scott and Nate. Most appreciated.

  • Pingback: Evaluative Statement – Assignment 2 INF506 | catherinesonlinejournal