Five Ways to Use Social Media To Promote School SpiritFebruary 3rd, 2022
As a school leader, you know that effectively communicating with your staff, students, and parents is a great way to build trust, rapport, and a sense of community. Building a sense of community can foster school spirit in your district. And school spirit can lead to student success. Consider the following from a 2014 survey of 1,016 high school students, 315 parents of high school students, and 150 high school principals across the United States:
“Students with school spirit do more than show support for their school. They perform better academically, are more socially and civically engaged, and are happier in general than their less-spirited peers. What’s more, the majority of principals (92%) feel that high school spirit is tied to high student achievement” (Connecticut Association of Schools, 2015).
K-12 schools do a lot of different activities to build school spirit including holding spirit weeks, selling school branded clothing, organizing food drives, holding pep rallies, supporting sports and clubs, etc. Social media can be a great tool to help you build momentum, engagement, and excitement about what your schools are up to — all of which lead to promoting school spirit. Try these ideas to help lead school spirit initiatives in your district.
Use School Themed Hashtags
Does your district have any creative hashtags? In addition to using fun hashtags to engage students and other staff members, you can even encourage your school and community to use them on social media as well. Also, consider including the hashtag in any marketing, pamphlets, or signage at events or on campus.
Not feeling especially creative? Tap into your student body by holding a district-wide contest for the most creative hashtag that is most representative of your school’s mission and vision. Highline Schools located in the state of Washington’s mission: “Our Promise: Every student is known by name, strength & need” is represented by the hashtag #OurHighlineStory (Gribble, 2019). A small school in Wheaton, MN coined the hashtag #LifeAtThe803 to play off of their area code and Oostburg School district out of Wisconsin, played on their school’s name with #BoostTheOost (Gribble, 2019). Looking for some hashtag inspiration, check out this article: 15 Hip #Hashtags for Schools.
As a school, hashtags can come in handy when you are trying to reach a large number of people at once. Parents, students, and staff can sign up to follow your school’s hashtag and will receive updates when posts are made. This will help everyone involved with your institution feel connected.
Encourage Sports Teams and Clubs to Create Their Own Social Accounts
Look for Williamsville Central Schools sports on Instagram, and you’ll see that the district has many different social accounts for all of the teams in its three high schools located in Western New York. From the cross country track and field team, to the football team, swim team, cheer team, and more, each has its own account to provide updates, events, special mentions, news, and member spotlights. It’s a great way to keep parents, fellow students, alumni, and the community in the know about what’s going on in local high school sports.
Individual accounts are not just for sports teams. Chess, yearbook, and student council clubs across the US are using social media to boost their members too.
Host a Giveaway
In addition to announcing competitions, you can also host a giveaway on social media. This can help further engage students, staff, and even parents. The best time to host a giveaway is when your school is having a fundraiser or other event. A giveaway can help motivate people in the community to get involved in one way or the other. Offer free school merch, tickets to a school event, a premade gift basket, school supplies, or whatever you think your school’s community may be interested in. A raffle is a common way for school officials to hold this type of giveaway. When you post about it, be sure to include some of the information above too. Use hashtags, list any rules to be entered into the giveaway, and provide a timeline for when the winner will be announced.
Invite a Little Friendly Competition
Social media can help build camaraderie among your students and staff if it is used properly. You can use it to announce friendly competitions. Post the competition announcement to your school’s page and detail any rules for entry. A great example of how you can use social media to your advantage in this way is during your school’s Spirit Week.
During Spirit Week, encourage your students and staff to submit their outfits and various spirit week-related posts to the school’s page. Once submissions are received, you can open up a poll for the best costume, most spirited locker, etc. This can be a great way to create fun and excitement.
Remember Your Social Media Policy
While social media may be a great tool to help you communicate and build community, it can also have some drawbacks. Be sure that your school has a social media policy which outlines what is acceptable and not acceptable social media use in your district.
Back to school giveaway and contest ideas. Socital. (2021, April 14). Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://socital.com/resources/back-to-school-giveaway-contest-ideas/
Connecticut Association of Schools. (2015). School Spirit: The Connection Between Student Achievement, Involvement and Confidence. http://cas.casciac.org/. Retrieved January 20, 2022, from http://www.casciac.org/pdfs/School_Spirit_White_Paper-FINAL.pdf
Gribble, A. (2021, May 15). 15 hip #hashtags for Schools. #SocialSchool4EDU. Retrieved February 1, 2022, from https://socialschool4edu.com/15-hip-hashtags-for-schools/