My 3 favorite tools for social media marketing and why they're critical for education! #edtech #gafe #BISDconnect

Don't put your head in the social media sand! Social media & digital marketing is becoming more and more critical in public education. Every other business is working hard to sell their product ... why shouldn't we?! Three quick reasons why you should be embracing social media and digital marketing for yourself, your school and/or your district...
  • This is the media age - school communication needs have increased and become more complex
  • Education is under attack - if there is no positive communication from us, only the critics will be heard
  • The scope of school PR has expanded - we need a comprehensive approach including print, face-to-face AND DIGITAL
Here are 3 powerful tools that you can use to help share your story, sell your product (QUALITY EDUCATION!) and keep your stakeholders engaged.

1. Buffer

If you're not already aware of and using Buffer, I hope you will be after reading this post! One of the most powerful aspects of using social media is the ability to reach more people with your message. Buffer takes this idea to the next level by letting you post to multiple social media channels in one place. Here's what my Buffer dashboard looks like...

I have my Twitter account, Google+ page, Facebook page, and LinkedIn account all connected in my Buffer account. I can add posts to my queue or schedule them to post at a specific time. All of my connected channels receive the information I post simultaneously. Broader reach. Greater audience. Less work. Bigger impact. Here's what it looks like when I'm ready to schedule a post or add it to my queue...

I use the free version of Buffer personally and the paid version for all Brenham ISD posts (I do all of the social media posts for the district). Brenham ISD pays for the "Awesome Plan" so I can schedule more than 10 posts at a time. On Monday mornings, I schedule all of the posts for all of the campuses with upcoming events based on the information on their campus Google calendar. Then, I can fill in with posts throughout the week and add them to the district Buffer queue.

In addition, Buffer offers a hand dandy Chrome extension! :) So when you come across something you know your audience can benefit from, you can click the extension and automatically add it to your queue. Work smarter, not harder!

2. IFTTT

If This Then That also allows you to connect your apps. This tool works by creating "recipes." For example, when I post to the EdTech Chic blog, IFTTT automatically sends my post to my Twitter account. The recipe looks like this...
Again ... Broader reach. Greater audience. Less work. Bigger impact.

There are DOZENS of channels you can connect and HUNDREDS (or maybe more!) of recipes you can create. Another of my favorite recipes sends all of my tweets to a Google Sheet so when I'm thinking "Ugh, what was that article or link I shared last month about PBL?!" I don't have to scroll through hundreds of tweets to find it ... I just ctrl+f in the sheet and search for keywords.


See, work smarter, not harder! Are you beginning to see a trend?! :)

3. Flashissue

This last tool is not a freebie, but it has proven worth my financial investment because the return has been great. Our Tech Dept blogs every day. EVERY. DAY! We blog about technology tools, formative assessment, teaching strategies, motivational ideas, educational trends, etc. We - blog.

http://brenhamtechdaily.blogspot.com/
However, sometimes the people we're blogging for (BISD staff!) forget to go check out our blog every day. So, Flashissue allows me to create an email newsletter that we send out as a "Friday Follow-up from BISDwired." The simple drag-and-drop interface lets me pull over the blog posts from each day in a sidebar and then sends it off in a nice, easy to read, embedded email format.


We have gotten excellent feedback from this Friday Follow-up email newsletter and many staff members have responded to this even if they missed the initial blog post. Once again ... Broader reach. Greater audience. Less work. Bigger impact.


I hope you find these 3 tools as useful as I have and I also hope you embrace the use of social media and digital marketing in the world of education. Let's let the whole wide world know all of the AMAZING things we're doing as educators and showcase all of the POSITIVE things happening in our schools!



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