Tara is the in-house content lead at Digistorm, tending to all content needs, big or small! When she’s not writing copy or managing the Insights editorial calendar, Tara is passionate about supporting theatre and live music.
Every school holiday period, there’s a good chance you’ll see a dip in your social media engagement. It makes sense — your school is no longer abuzz with students, activities and excitement, and your posts will reflect that. Without regular school activities happening, it can be hard to find content that helps you stay connected with your community.
Even though less is going on at your school, families still check social media throughout this period. In fact, they are probably checking in more than usual with their extra free time! This gives your school a competitive edge: you have an interested audience and other schools in your area may not be posting. If you’re looking to keep posting engaging content over the school break, we’ve put together some quick, easy and interesting ideas to get you started.
But first, let’s take a look at some easy strategies that you can put into place to keep engagement high during the holiday period.
If you have a solid social media strategy in place (and, let’s face it — you should!), you’re likely tracking each interaction with your channels and aiming to increase engagement year on year. To capitalise on holiday posting, you’re going to need to pivot your strategy to account for a change in social media behaviour from your community during this time. Here’s how you do it.
If you have an Instagram or Facebook business account, you will be receiving reports that detail the hours and days that your audience is active and checking your page. These hours will probably stay fairly constant — except during holiday periods. Your audience might be checking their social media at completely different times because their routine has changed.
Check back over the past few school holiday periods to see when your audience is engaged, and plan to post your content at times when they are most active. If you don’t have this historical data to draw from yet, a good tip is to check your audience’s weekend usage statistics because they are probably the most similar.
Building a pre-planned social media calendar is one of the best ways that you can grow your channel, regardless of when you are posting, however, it’s even more important that you do so over the school break. This means that when your team is taking a well-deserved break, you’re still able to keep posting regular updates.
Now, let’s take a look at some ideas for posts that you can pre-plan to keep up your engagement during this time.
Holidays are a prime time for renovations because when there's no one around, there's less of a chance that construction work will get in the way of school operations. Updates to your grounds and facilities are always appreciated by current and prospective families alike — so why not share them?
Are you redoing your school landscaping? Post some before and after snaps of your beautiful new grounds. Putting up a new building? Post weekly updates to keep families engaged with its progress. Having a mural painted on a school wall? Share a time-lapse video of the work. Your community will appreciate being in the know about these improvements, and as a bonus, they might even share the work on their personal channels. It’s a win-win!
At the beginning of the new school term, teachers will often get together for some planning days. If you pay attention, this day can be a goldmine for extracting interesting content that will get families excited for the term ahead.
It's rare to see a glimpse of the inner workings of your school, so snap a few photos of staff enjoying themselves on the planning day. Are any teachers preparing an interesting unit in the upcoming year? If they're comfortable speaking on camera, film a quick teaser of what students in their class can expect. It doesn’t need to be a time-consuming production — you can easily record, edit and share the teaser directly from your smartphone.
Your current students are taking a break, but your past students aren't! Showing off your accomplished alumni positions your school as a destination for successful people, and will also give alums a little exposure in return.
Throughout the year, ask your alumni and their parents to share details about what they are up to and what they're doing. You can also connect with past students on LinkedIn to stay informed about their professional and academic achievements.
Throwback Thursday (#tbt) and Flashback Friday (#fbf) are two very popular social trends — and for good reason! Digging into your archives and sharing school history can encourage your wider community to share their memories, and can also provide you with a wealth of interesting content during slow seasons.
Enjoying the hashtags dedicated to days of the week? You can create new themes that suit your school, such as #MotivationMonday or #WednesdayWisdom to share relatable quotes from your school leadership. To keep your posts on-brand, make sure you ask your graphic designer to create a branded template for your content.
Over the holidays (and particularly at Christmas), there's a good chance that staff, parents and students from your school will be looking to put their free time to use with some volunteering efforts. Why not post opportunities for them to give back to their community? You can find a list of charities and volunteering organisations in your area by checking your local government website.
At holiday periods, your school leaders, including your principal, chaplain or even your future school captains may have a special message that you can share with your school community. Whether the message is recorded in a video, published on your blog or written out in your post caption, make sure you share it across all of your social profiles. At times such as Christmas, it's not unusual for these posts to be shared a couple of times — first, at the close of the school year, and again closer to Christmas Day.
Whether it focuses on the religious elements of the holiday, school achievements over the past year or is simply a 'stay safe' salutation to parents and students, a message from school leaders gives your community a solid look into your school's incredible leadership and values.
We’ve written an entire post on user-generated content (UGC) before, but we’ll say it again — there is no better place to get content than from your community! Ask your social media followers for photo highlights from the past year, and you’ll find that you’ll have a range of new and interesting images to share — all from different points of view and from different community members.
A popular strategy for social media managers each year is to share some of their top posts from the year in a countdown format. For example, you might let your followers know that you’ll be posting the Top 10 best blog posts, the most-liked photos or the top school highlights from the year.
If you’re not sure which photos or posts to share, you can also set up polls a few weeks in advance so students and their parents can vote on their top moments from the year.
Hopefully, we’ve given you plenty of inspiration to start scheduling your posts for your next holiday period. We’ve linked to some helpful resources throughout this article.