Multi-Academy Trusts have the edge when it comes to social media
The power of collaboration
Our previous post gave some tips on utilizing social media that can be applied to any twitter feed, but there are some unique opportunities that multi-academy trusts can take advantage of to get the most out of social media.
Multi-academy trusts are formed for a variety of reasons. All have their own identity and philosophy but one thing they have in common is an understanding of the power of collaboration between schools. Each academy within a trust has an existing community of pupils, parents and teachers, and social media can be a formidable tool to bring all these communities together into one network.
Social media walls
One way we are implementing this is with social media walls, which provide a concise view of all the recent updates from twitter accounts maintained across a trust. A great example of this in action is the Infinity Academies Trust website, whose social media wall can be accessed from a link on their homepage. This wall not only allows people to see recent updates from a range of academies across the trust, but they can also see posts from individual teachers.
The inclusion of teachers gives a truly personal feel to the wall and really helps to emphasise the trust’s collaborative nature. Teachers often post updates on their class activities, but updates also involve them interacting with each other and with the wider trust. This interactive approach really helps to personalise the trust and highlights that it is full of people who deeply care about the education they provide.
A central multi-academy trust twitter account can help to encourage this interaction by acting as a conduit for sharing between schools and instigating conversations. It can start by saying ‘Good morning!’ to all the schools, it can post a question of the day, ask what each academy is up to or share events between schools.
Using hashtags effectively
A similar approach can be achieved by establishing a hashtag for those within a trust to use. Think of hashtags as an index – they are a shortcut for people who are looking to find people talking about a particular topic they are interested in, and they are a way of ‘filing’ your conversation for other people to find. If each school within a trust includes the same hashtag, parents will then be able to access all of those posts together quickly, ‘filed’ as part of the same conversation.
Hashtags can also be used as a one-off measure to promote and capture all the posts that are relevant to a single event. At the other end of the scale, if a trust wants to engage in wider conversations with others they can also include broader hashtags that have national interest such as #education, #teaching or #schools.
Ultimately, multi-academy trusts are designed to capitalise on the power of collaboration, and the benefits of this approach can be seen in many areas of day-to-day school life. When it comes to communication, social media collaboration is no different. By bringing together the various social media accounts which reflect life around a trust, an engaging stream of content can be created that is truly unique and reveals the trust to a whole new audience.