Friday, October 24, 2014

Behind the LewisCentralCSD Social Media Curtain

This week, I helped launch my new school district into the social media world. The key, for me, was automation. If you've ever scrolled through this blog, you know that means IFTTT
We set up a Facebook Page, Instagram account and Twitter account for Lewis Central. We created a generic email address within our domain that was used to create all of the accounts. There were many ideas for what the username for the social media accounts would be. Ideally, you want them to be the same so people can look for the same thing across all platforms. @LewisCentral was already taken on Twitter. Another thought was LCCSD (Lewis Central Community School District), which would be nice and short for Twitter, but already taken on Instagram. So my attention turned to LewisCentralCSD. While it's a little longer than the "preferred" Twitter username, other users will just have to be creative to get their mentions under 140 characters!
The header images for Facebook and Twitter, as well as the profile picture for all three accounts, were created with Canva. I grabbed a picture I had and one from a teacher librarian to make the header images. I tried to match the district website header text with the text in the Canva images.
On to the automation - after one day, I've already had to do some tweaking. Anytime a picture is posted to Instagram, it gets posted to Twitter and Facebook. But I had also set up a recipe that anytime I put a link on Twitter (like to a news article), it would post to our Facebook Page. That was causing duplication in those pictures. So I've instead added a new recipe that anytime I use the hashtag #fb on Twitter, that tweet will be posted to the Facebook page. I've already forgot that tidbit once this morning, but hopefully it will become habit.
Below are the recipes that we are currently using to automate the posting process:
IFTTT Recipe: Instagram to Facebook Page connects instagram to facebook-pages IFTTT Recipe: Instagram to Twitter connects instagram to twitter IFTTT Recipe: Twitter hashtag makes FB Page text post connects twitter to facebook-pages
I will be using Tweetdeck in Chrome to do most of the monitoring. I've also used it to schedule a tweet or two every now and then. For instance, I emailed our staff a link to a post on our district website about the new accounts. I wanted to give them a chance to read the article prior to sending it out via Twitter and Facebook, so I scheduled a tweet to go out after school gets out. That way I won't forget AND I get to begin my weekend on time!
In 36 hours, we have 87 "likes" on Facebook and 46 followers on Twitter. Instagram only has 14 followers, which I'm less concerned with because I'm thinking of it more as a tool to provide content for the other two sites. Honestly, I'm not concerned with numbers anyway. That will come with time. It's exciting to have the district in the social media/networking world and I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves in the future.

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