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Should a school only have one Twitter account?

Should a school only have one Twitter account?

With the existence of social media, it is easier than ever before to output information to large audiences instantly. It is no surprise that educational institutions around the world have taken to social media platforms to utilise this; reporting school news, posting photos of student activities, and much more. As schools have adapted to sharing content online, the creation of multiple accounts for different subject departments and year groups has become common practice. 

A study from GWI, a leading audience targeting company, reported that there has been a ‘13% rise in the number of consumers reading or watching the news on social media since the start of 2020’ suggesting that everybody should take advantage of social media’s potential to share and spread news. According to another report from GWI, Twitter is more notable than any other platform for its up-to-date news, so schools in particular should be making use of its ability to inform its community of students, current and prospective parents, staff and other stakeholders, this way. 

It is often on Twitter where you will find that schools have created separate accounts for varying classes, subjects and even teachers. Whilst this separation, on one hand, may make it simple for followers to seek content that they are specifically looking for, it can also lead to a feeling of disjointedness between the profiles. For instance, some departments may have a lot happening and thus have a lot of content being posted whereas others not so much. It may also be difficult for those managing the social media accounts to keep up with everything that is going on and in turn, this differentiation in posting frequency may suggest a false inequality between them. It may be worth considering that by using just one account, all year groups or classes can be displayed fairly and at a more consistent rate. 

Managing one account makes it much simpler to monitor the content that is being posted as it is more difficult to keep track of all that is being posted on multiple profiles. Having one, or multiple people, dedicated to just one account means that errors such as spelling mistakes or misinformation are less likely to occur. On a related note, it is usually the case that on the individual accounts, a variety of approaches are taken due to the different teachers managing them. This can sometimes lead to conflicting representations of the school itself as some tweets may appear more informal or some content that is not in line with the views of the school could be shared. It may be suitable to have a group of staff running the main account together with an agreed ‘social’ voice and strategy for content to ensure that there is still content from all subject departments being shared. On its social media, it is important that a school is able to show the same professionalism that it displays elsewhere. There is always the possibility that prospective students and their parents’ first impressions may be based on how the school presents itself online. 

When running multiple Twitter accounts for a school, it is very likely that users will not follow all accounts and instead just follow a select few of the ones that interest or relate to them. As a result, user traffic is incredibly split and people will only be seeing a handful of content. Perhaps the most important tweets, which may be emerging from the main account for example, are barely seen due to a lack of followers and this then means that many are not being kept up-to-date with useful information or seeing great news that the school wants to spread. The existence of only one account will encourage everyone who is interested in keeping up with the school to follow it, leading to an increased follower count and more engagement. It is also likely that social links on a school’s website will take visitors to the main school account, rather than any sub accounts, so the main school account should be the most up-to-date and representative of the whole school as it possibly can be. If members of the senior leadership team or teachers still decide to run their own accounts and wish to advocate for the school, they could be encouraged to interact with and share tweets from the institution’s main account as to help gain the widest reach in audience possible. 

For Multi-Academy Trusts, it is important that each academy within the trust still possesses separate accounts as this allows each school to demonstrate their own news and personalities in general. Though, in order to encourage traffic between the schools and the trust itself, it may be ideal for tweets to regularly tag the trust. Some posts could even link to and highlight the values of the trust as a whole. An individual account for the trust itself can comment on and retweet applicable tweets from its academies as well as important trust news. 

Closing a Twitter account is an easy process. Simply navigate to the settings, open the ‘your account’ tab and select ‘deactivate account’. After clicking the deactivate button, the account will then have a 30-day reactivation period where if a user changes their mind, they are able to reactivate the account within that time and continue to use it as normal. Once that 30-day period is over with no reactivation, the account will be permanently deleted. If deleting an additional school profile with the intention of using solely the main account, a concern may be the redirection of the existing followers. Rather than deactivating the account immediately, be sure to notify followers about the change via tweets, providing the username of the other account and leaving enough time for people to see this. For more information on deactivating a Twitter account, click here.

In summary, it is not entirely necessary to have a number of Twitter profiles for one school. Having one sole account allows for much easier management, organisation and monitoring as everything is in one central location. However, if a school is intending to continue running multiple accounts, it may be best to establish some guidelines that are in line with the school’s vision and values in order to maintain a desired public image. As a social media platform, Twitter provides plenty of opportunity for a school in regards to outreach and reputation, so it is important that it is managed to the best that it can be. 

If you require social media support, training or advice for your school, college or trust, contact Ellie Adshead at CPMM Media Group via email ellie@cpmmmedia.com or call on 0151 709 7567.