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How to Use Facebook for a Parent Teacher Organization
Facebook is a powerful tool to connect with people, arrange events, fundraise, and so much more! Long gone are the days where it’s effective to send papers home in the child’s backpack and expect mom and dad will remember to do something with it.
Here are the results of this old-school way of PTO communication-
- The Parent Teacher Organization is faced with sending several reminders for events, fundraisers, etc.
- Turn-out is often lower than anticipated
- Parents forget to take action disappointing their kids (I can NOT tell you how many times my kids have jumped in the car after school and asked me if we’re going to whatever super awesome school event I forgot to put on the calendar… again!)
Why is it important for a parent-teacher organization to use Facebook to connect with parents?
- People are busier than ever, connecting with them where their attention is already will help foster a better bond and two-way communication.
- Paper flyers usually require some type of action. Maybe it’s adding a date to the calendar or planner, or remembering to hand the child money for a fundraiser. Whatever it is, it’s too easy to disregard yet another piece of paper our kids bring home from school.
- Parents are already overwhelmed with the other things that we have to look at like homework and notes from teachers. One extra piece of paper is likely to get set aside for more important after-school activities.
- Facebook makes it super easy to set-up events with calendar alerts, fundraisers, and even surveys/polls for parents.
The PTA does so many great things for our schools and making parents aware of their efforts is a great way to connect directly with those people.
On Facebook, there are two ways that you can set up as an organization.
A Facebook page is a public page that anyone can follow or “like”. You can post updates, videos, photos, create events and run ads in addition to many other features.
- Go to facebook.com/pages/create.
- Click to choose a Page type.
- Fill out the required information.
- Click Get Started and follow the on-screen instructions.
The benefit to having a group is the privacy settings and intimacy of communication. You have several options for the privacy of your group, including Closed (you have to approve all requests to join the group) or Private (only people you add to the group can join). Group members can also add friends and family members. You cannot run ads from a group which could be important to you if you are going to run fundraising campaigns.
- Click in the top right of Facebook and select Create Group.
- Enter your group name, add group members and then choose the privacy setting for your group.
- Click Create.
You can also have both a page and a group if you have someone available to actively manage these assets. Your Facebook group can be linked to a page.
- From your News Feed, click Pages in the left menu and select your Page.
- Click the Groups tab in the left column, if it’s visible. If it’s not visible, manage your Page’s tab and sections and then go back to your Page and click the Groups tab.
- Click Link Your Group.
- Click Link next to the group you want to link your Page to.
- Click Link Group to confirm.
Note: You can’t link groups that are about your Page but are managed by other people. You can only link groups that you admin. Pages with age restrictions can’t be linked to a group.
Your Parent-Teacher Organization can use Facebook for:
Sharing School Info- Conferences, Assemblies, Photos, and more!
Connecting with Parents
Don’t Forget to use images or videos that show the work the PTO is doing. This will help to stregthen the connection between the school and the parents and help with your group’s mission.
Mandy Davis is the author of The Social Sell: Your DIY Guide to Utilizing Social Media for Branding, Marketing and Sales, and a social media native with a passion for helping people take the mystery out of social media marketing.