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PTAs and Social Media

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Workshop delivered at Westcheter-East Putnam Regional PTA Workshop

Workshop delivered at Westcheter-East Putnam Regional PTA Workshop

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  • ----- Meeting Notes (10/29/11 23:28) ----- Ask for show of hands. How many have personal FB pages? Anyone on Twitter? How many have created Facebook fan pages for their PTA? Twitter for the PTA?
  • What we ’ ll cover. Connecting your social media is important as well, and although the learning curve is pretty widespread on this topic, I wanted to get into my recommendations and tips for connecting your social media efforts. If you are a beginner, definitely check out the wiki for beginner help.
  • There are 300,000 FB fan pages, at last count. If you ’ re not yet posting photos and videos to your fan pages, now ’ s the time. And don ’ t forget to keep your posts on FB conversational in tone, not too formal. And brief.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (10/29/11 23:28) ----- Use it to drive traffic back, but also give them as much as you can right on the FB page so that they don't have to go back and forth all the time.
  • This is the superintendent for the state of Oklahoma and her FB fan page. And a group of supts in Alabama have their own site. I recently presented to the Lower Hudson Council of School Supts, and got three phone calls from supers the next day and two extra jobs creating social media for new districts.
  • As about whether Joplin increase dramatically since the tornao. Queensbury is a small but successful district when it comes to using socal media. The reason? Their superintendent. If you don ’ t have support from the top on this, it ’ s going to be challenging to intro social media. But keep trying.
  • I know that this is extremely controversial, but some school districts are actually encouraging their teachers to create professional, classroom FB pages so that students can become fans and follow homework assignments, ask for extra help, etc. You can see on the right that District 128 in Libertyville, IL, is doing that. And on the left, Mr. Edelman has a FB fan page that includes the disclaimer: it’s for tutoring and extra help – not a social page or a way to try and friend me. On the other hand, you might have read that Missouri tried to ban teachers from using FB, and that was overturned for now.
  • The National PTA. 23,463 fans at last count
  • Here is the NYS PTA Facebook page. Someone should be updating it and posting photos from the conference, but that’s not happening. Notice use of the logo here.
  • Photo album from the 2011 state PTA conference. More than 200 photos posted here. Suggestion: Use a simple flip video camera and post videos.
  • Potsdam – 30 fans. Notice the use of a logo.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (10/29/11 23:28) ----- Click on Company, Organization, or Institution. Choose Education in the dropdown.
  • Important to be able to distinguish between types of FB pages. Group pages: only up to 5,000 members. You can’t have a personalized URL. This is a tattoo artistry group for people who love tattoos.
  • Fan pages. You have much more control over it and how it’s used. You can delete members you don’t want, you can hide posts and comments, and all members get your posts “fed” onto their personal pages.
  • 1. Create "personal page” in your name or fictional name related to your district (founder, mascot, etc.) 2. link account to authentic email address, wait for FB to confirm. 3. go to:   facebook.com/pages/create.php 4. When page (LEFT) comes up, 5. Choose Company, Organization or Institution 6. In dropdown, choose Education 7.  Give your page a name, click checkbox, then Create Official PAGE.
  • Add your logo, your mission statement, your website address, if you have one.
  • Here you can see that Highland Elementary School PTA has an Info tab. When you click on that you see some “boilerplate info.” They also have listed on the left their “favorite” pages – other PTAs, the Highland Districtl’s FB page, etc.
  • FB Insights is a handy tool that permits you to track how your FB fanpages are doing. You can find out how many likes you ’ ve received, comments, and if anyone unsubscribed to your site. There are many different ways of looking at the statistics, including by gender and age. On this page, I can even see how many impressions there were per post. For example, a slideshow I posted of the middle school graduations on June 24 received 723 impressions.
  • Find out how much this costs.
  • You have this in your handouts.
  • Razoo is a social fundraising tool that you can link to your Facebook page. You can create a fundraising cause and then place it on your website or Facebook page.
  • Note that they charge a 2.9 percent transaction fee
  • A great little tools to conduct informal and unscientific polls.
  • In the handouts.
  • I think there are more districts using twitter than Facebook. Effective for reaching media Journalists who get tips check twitter and FB first. Twello RT other people ’ s stuff.
  • The @ symbol is simply someone’s handle I’m @evelynmccormack. When people refer to me in a tweet, they will use the @ symbol. The hashtag is a pound sign in front of your topic; other people writing about the same topic will also use the #hashtag and that’s how conversations start and continue.


  • 1. PTAs and Social Media Evelyn McCormackWestchester-East Putnam PTA August 2012
  • 2. This slideshow can be found at:www.slideshare.net/evelynmccormack
  • 3. What We’ll Cover…• The Power of Social Media• Your Tools: Facebook & Twitter
  • 4. Where Are Parents Getting Their School Information?• According to Ipsos North America’s December 2010 poll:• 57 percent go to Facebook/Twitter• 26 percent go to District website
  • 5. Facebook1.900 million active users; 50% log on daily2.100,000 users age 64+3.310,000 users between 45–634.300,000+ businesses now have FB fan pages,including hundreds of school districts5.250 million have FB on mobile devices6.Avg user is connected to 80 communitypages.
  • 6. How to Use Facebook 1. Use to drive traffic back to website. 2. Post photos, videos, news, announcements. 3. Cross-post with school district.Provide parents with two sources of district “news.” 4. Posts on FB should be brief and informal. Make it a conversation.Photo credit: The Telegraph
  • 7. Public Education Officials Oklahoma State SuperintendentSchool Superintendents of Alabama
  • 8. School Districts Joplin, MO 5,000 followersQueensbury, NY 948 followers
  • 9. TeachersDisclaimer: the page is “for tutoring and extra help. …not a Libertyville, ILsocial page nor a way to try and friend me on FB.”
  • 10. Group Pages or Fan Pages?
  • 11. Group Pages• Can be set up by any individual & similar to clubs in the real world• You join Groups• Admins can send messages to up to 5,000 Group members.• Only open Groups are searchable publicly• Groups can’t have a personalized URL
  • 12. Fan/Business Pages• Fan pages of a company, person, product, non- profit, organization• Fans like pages• Admins can send unlimited messages, called ‘Updates’ that appear on members’ Facebook walls• Can host applications that permit you to show more content & interact with users.• Can personalize FB web address eg: www.facebook.com/swb oces 34 million fans
  • 13. Fan Page How-Tofacebook.com/pages/create.php
  • 14. Dress It Up
  • 15. Background, MissionStatement, etc. on your“About” page
  • 16. Disclaimers and Use Policies
  • 17. Facebook Insights Number of page impressions
  • 18. Mailing List App on Facebook Constant Contact
  • 19. Great Facebook ResourcesFacebook in Education
  • 20. Fundraising on FacebookRazoo.com
  • 21. Third-Party Fundraising Opportunities
  • 22. Facebook Questions & PollsYes Prep in Houston, Tex., asked what their mascot shouldbe.
  • 23. Facebook Guide to Best Practices in Education
  • 24. Twitter• Microblogging platform in 140 characters or less• Launched 2006• 106 million registered users; 65 million tweets per day• 750 tweets per second• It’s all about immediacy/useful in crises• Slower growth among parents than FB
  • 25. Why Use Twitter?• Drive traffic to your website/blog• Provide you with many professional contacts• Gives you information quickly about what is going on in the PTA/Education world• Teaches you new ideas, concepts, and skills• Alerts you to hot topics (great news source)• Allows you to share causes you support, content you want others to know about, news that people should care about.• “Facebook-to-Twitter” allows you to connect both sites.
  • 26. School Districts Park Hill, MODuval County Schools, FL
  • 27. PTAs/PTOs
  • 28. TwerminologyTwitter Help Center can assist you with terminology like #hashtags,@symbols, and how Twitter works in general.
  • 29. Great Resources• PTA Great Idea Bank: http://www.ptagreatideabank.org/forum/topics/should- we-have-a-pta-facebook• Facebook in Education: https://www.facebook.com/education• Facebook Family Safety Center: https://www.facebook.com/safety• Socialbrite: http://www.socialbrite.org/pta/• Facebook Page for Non-Profits: https://www.facebook.com/nonprofits
  • 30. Evelyn McCormack914-592-4203 ext. 3412evelyn.mccormack@gmail.comwww.schoolcommunications20.com