I recently had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors at a local school district. Immediately, it was made clear that social media should not be used in any situation – even deleting it would be best. The apprehension towards social media is not without justification; what you post really can make or break you, but in this day and age, social media is essential.
It’s no secret that this year is unlike any other we have experienced. Reaching your audience in real time is important. Clear and concise communication is key in disseminating information that can change in the blink of an eye. However, you have to use the proper tools in order to do so. While a website is crucial to hosting information that stays unchanged, it is unrealistic to expect most audiences to check a website every day, multiple times, for updates.
Today, 72% of American adults use social media. They are looking to these channels for crucial information. Absolutely approach with caution, but a well-crafted message delivered where your audience is can mitigate much confusion and the spread of misinformation.
So, how SHOULD social media be used?
- Avoid having information come from personal accounts, like employees, administration or board members.
- Posts should always come from an official, branded page.
- Keep posts strictly informative; never comment on matters of opinion or controversy.
Of course, your website should also be updated with pertinent information. When something new is added or modified on your website, you can direct your audience’s attention to it by utilizing your social media channels and linking to the update.
We are now more connected than ever and information – especially misinformation – can spread quickly. Schools and businesses are expected to be transparent and to communicate essential information as quickly as possible. Luckily, social media is a free and easy way to do just that.