PTAs and Social Media


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Presentation on Aug. 27, 2013 to the Westchester-East Putnam PTA conference, White Plains, NY.

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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.
  • The National PTA. 23,463 fans at last count
  • As about whether Joplin increase dramatically since the tornado. White Plains has been successful when it comes to using social 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.
  • 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.
  • Here is the NYS PTA Facebook page. Please note the number of fans of the page, up by 1,000 since this time last year. Also, please note the email sign-up page, which we’ll see next.
  • $9.95 per month for up to 600 email addresses.
  • Find out how much this costs.
  • Photo album from the 2011 state PTA conference. More than 200 photos posted here. Suggestion: Use a simple flip video camera and post videos.
  • Sample questions from the New York Times about the most recent Common Core tests. This is a big deal – why not weigh in without taking a particular stand?
  • ----- 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.
  • Is this page going to be easy for users to remember, or find? That might explain the 8 likes the page has so far. Group pages cannot get vanity URLs of their choice.
  • 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: 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. It helps to explain in the “About” section that this is the OFFICIAL page of the XYZ school PTA.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • PTAs and Social Media

    1. 1. PTAs and Social Media Evelyn McCormack Westchester-East Putnam PTA August 2013
    2. 2. This slideshow can be found at:
    3. 3. What We’ll Cover… • The Power of Social Media • Your Tools: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest
    4. 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. 5. Facebook 1.1.15 billion active users; 50% log on daily 2.901 million monthly active users 3.3.2 billion likes/comments per day 4.50 million FB fan/business pages, including thousands of school districts 5.300 million photos uploaded each day 6.125 billion friendships
    6. 6. Why 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 multiple sources of district “news.” 4. It’s a two-way conversation. Photo credit: The Telegraph
    7. 7. School Districts Joplin, MO 5,000 followers White Plains, NY 2,100 followers
    8. 8. Dobbs Ferry Schools 401 likes PTO Today 15,000+ likes
    9. 9. Use Your Photos Page!
    10. 10. Use Your Events Page!
    11. 11. Sign-up for enewsletters from your PTA is strictly voluntary, but can eventually cut down on the costs of paper newsletters.
    12. 12. Benchmark Emails
    13. 13. Miami-Dade PTA 305 Workshop For PTA Leaders. Posted on Facebook and Marketed via email using Constant Contact.
    14. 14. Mailing List App on Facebook Constant Contact
    15. 15. Use multimedia (photos and video) as much as possible. It works.
    16. 16. Create photo albums for your PTA based on events.
    17. 17. Library of photo albums – California State PTA Page
    18. 18. Library of California State PTA Videos
    19. 19. What to Post on Your Facebook Page: 1. Help out the District by publicizing meetings, pulling news from district website.
    20. 20. 2. Provide advice and assistance from third-party sources. Make sure they’re trusted, reliable sources.
    21. 21. 3. “Curate” information of interest to parents.
    22. 22. Crisis communications. What happens if the power goes out again?
    23. 23. Group Pages or Fan Pages?
    24. 24. 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 (a major negative)
    25. 25.
    26. 26. • 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: oces Fan/Business Pages 34 million fans
    27. 27. Fan Page How-To
    28. 28. Dress It Up
    29. 29. Background, Mission Statement, etc. on your “About” page
    30. 30. Disclaimers and Use Policies
    31. 31. Facebook Insights Number of page impressions
    32. 32. Great Facebook Resources Facebook in Education
    33. 33. Fundraising on Facebook
    34. 34. Third-Party Fundraising Opportunities
    35. 35. Facebook Guide to Best Practices in Education
    36. 36. 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
    37. 37. Why Use Twitter? • Drive traffic to your website/blog • Provides you with contacts, who will often Retweet your news • 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.
    38. 38. School Districts Park Hill, MO Duval County Schools, FL
    39. 39. PTAs/PTOs
    40. 40. Twerminology Twitter Help Center can assist you with terminology like #hashtags, @symbols, and how Twitter works in general.
    41. 41. • More than 25 million people in the U.S. use Pinterest • 28.1% of Pinterest users have an annual household income of at least $100,000 • The third most popular social network in the U.S. in terms of traffic • 68% of Pinterest users are women • 50% of Pinterest users have children • 1.36 million visitors a day
    42. 42. It’s Fun and Useful! This is Huntington Seacliff Elementary School’s Pinterest page.
    43. 43. This is part of Huntington’s PTA “bulletin board
    44. 44. This is a “pin” on Orange County Council PTA’s Pinterest page. You can “repin” items to your page, “follow” other bulletin boards, choose certain pins as favorites, or “pin” from anywhere on the web.
    45. 45. Once you’ve created a Pinterest account, you will be prompted to drag the “Pin It” button into your browser toolbar. You simply click on “Pin It” whenever you see something on the web that you would like on your page. Every visual item on Pinterest links to the website from where it originated.
    46. 46. Mobile Apps • By 2015, 85% of all adults in the U.S. will have a smartphone. • Mobile apps use “push technology” to push out only the news you want. • Remember Hurricane Sandy? When the power was out but your mobile phone was working? • Three companies Districts are looking at in this region right now: ParentLink, School Messenger, K12-Alerts.
    47. 47. Great Resources • PTA Great Idea Bank: facebook • Facebook in Education: • Facebook Family Safety Center: • Socialbrite: • Facebook Page for Non-Profits: • Step by Step directions for setting up FB pages: school-districts-set-up.html • Socialbrite’s social media glossary: center/glossary/ • National School Public Relations Association blog on social media:
    48. 48. Evelyn McCormack 914-592-4203 ext. 3412