The Socially Savvy Superintendent of Schools

Socially Savvy superintendents are the face and voice of the school district. Whether focused on internal audiences like teachers, staff and students or external audiences such as parents and the general public, the social superintendent is the most capable communicator of the school district's narrative.

Benefits of being a Socially Savvy Superintendent:

  • You can share news quickly. The advent of modern technology enables school leaders to share time sensitive announcements within minutes.

  • You can shape the perception of the school district. News outlets sometimes report on district events, but they don’t always tell the entire story. When you are personally sharing information, you can craft the message, as you would like it to be seen.

  • You can build trust (and your personal brand) by letting people get to know you. Sharing what you are doing on a daily or weekly basis via social media creates a sense of transparency and openness.

  • You can advocate for your district. Share your thoughts on how funding initiatives will affect educational programs, staff, and facilities within your district. Generate attention and suggest solutions to the issues that your schools are facing.

Seven ways to get started on social:

  1. Optimize your social media profiles. Seek the needed expertise internally or externally to ensure that your profile is the best representation of you.

  2. Connect with and/or follow your leadership team, employees, and partners. Growing your network demonstrates your digital currency and makes you more approachable.

  3. Become proficient in social communication skills. Learn the "science of social media" to sharpen your digital skill set and give your team a good example to follow.

  4. Make social communications part of your regular routine. Find a cadence that works best for you. Start with 5 minutes in the morning, midday and at the end of your workday to get started.

  5. Like and share content. Amplifying district content is critical, but also make sure you are engaging with the content of partners and other relations to foster relationships and community.

  6. Amplify the brands of your employees. Lean in and get to know the social media leaders in your district. Make an effort to assist them in building their brands and voice and give rise to their reputation and influence through your own.

  7. Become an original content creator. Write a blog or record a video in your own voice and with personal experiences to invoke engagement and demonstrate emotion.

As the district’s senior administrator, your transparency will result in a surprising level of internal and external followership, advocacy and goodwill.

Disruption in communication is a reality and social media will change, but it is here to stay. Make the effort to learn, share your successes and follies with your team and your network, and show the way forward.