- Strong communication and the use of social media establishes and strengthens relationships within the community.
- Tips for communicating on social media include building school social capital, activating the administrative team, and giving voice and choice.
Tip #1 for Communicating on Social Media: Build School Social Capital
The purpose of strong communication and the use of social media is to establish and strengthen relationships within the community. Lin (2002) defines the premise of social capital as an “investment in social relations with expected returns in the marketplace” (p. 19). Economics, politics, labor, and the community make up the market.
Capital is the “investment or production of individual actors” (Lin, 2002, p.19). In a larger perspective, capital is an investment of resources intended to generate returns. School social capital is seen as a form of capital. Therefore, it can transform into human capital and financial capital. As a result, school social capital can bind, bond, and bridge resources for schools (Tsang, 2009).The purpose of strong communication and the use of social media is to establish and strengthen relationships within the community. Click To Tweet
Tip #2 for Communicating on Social Media: Activate the Administrative Team
The capital gained or lost through the digital environments is an untapped form of capital and advantages a school. Thus, it brings more resources to the school environment. The role of the school principal has changed from a school manager to an instructional leader who needs to continually stay on message with key initiatives about student learning.
The principal may be the key communicator in the school or district. However, assistant principals, department chairs, and directors also play a key role. The school principal should not be the only voice stakeholders are hearing from.
Moreover, school principals should set a vision, create expectations, and provide a framework for the administrative team to share what is occurring during the school day, upcoming events, and build capacity of understanding for future initiatives.[scroll down to keep reading]
Tip #3 for Communicating on Social Media: Give Voice and Choice
Once the vision is set for communication, the principal should allow for some voice and choice among the administrative team on how the leaders will communicate. For example, the school principal should allow for the members of the team to choose their social media platform and provide choice within the communication framework. Each member of the team may approach communication using social media with a different lens which can lead to creativity and stakeholder engagement.
About Bryan Zwemke
Dr. Bryan Zwemke is a High School Principal in Illinois. He is an active member of multiple educational organizations, including being a guest blogger for the Teach Better Team, sharing his insight on supporting the entire ecosystem that exists in every school building. Bryan completed his qualitative research on building a school system’s social capital through social media. Through his work in this area, Bryan continues to partner with districts to show schools the power of sharing their story through a strategic framework and empowering staff and students to share their voice.