Why Twitter Doesn’t Reach Families

Twitter is great for a lot of things—connecting with your PLN, sharing ideas, participating in the #ILCHAL chat, and more—but there's one thing it's not great for: communicating with families.

Sure, you may have some families following your school account, but the stats aren't encouraging: only a single-digit percentage of your followers will actually see your tweets, because they simply aren't checking Twitter often enough to see them amidst all the other noise.

(You can check your stats at https://analytics.twitter.com/user/username/home, replacing username with your Twitter username, of course.)

And that's only the families that follow you—what about all the others who don't, and those who don't even use Twitter?

It's important to understand a key fact about Twitter: educators use Twitter at vastly higher rates than parents do. This can lead to a false sense of how effective Twitter is for school communication.

The numbers for Facebook are likely a bit better, since more adults are on Facebook, and on it more often. But Facebook doesn't show everything you post to everyone who has liked your page.

Regardless of which networks you use, your social media posts will only reach a tiny fraction of your community.

Should Schools Bother Publishing On Social Media?

So, if very few parents will see what you post on social media, is it worth the effort?

Yes, but not in the typical ways. The valiantly tweeting principal, sharing announcements, reminders, and good news, probably isn't having the impact he or she thinks. But it's still worthwhile.

And with a few key strategy and technology pieces in place, we can do even better. We can effectively communicate good news, share emergency info, and engage families with a mobile-first approach to communication.


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