Here's What to Expect In This Episode:
You wear a lot of hats as a high school counselor, and ‘social media strategist’ probably isn’t one of them…yet!
Whether you love it or hate it, having a social media strategy can be a powerful addition to your high school counseling program. It’s a great way to get your announcements out to parents, share the latest research, earn credibility with your students, and advocate for your role.
But where do you start? Well, it may be easier than you think!
Just like our students, we are all at different experience levels. Some of you may be social media experts, while others have never even used Instagram. Wherever you fall, I’m here for you, counselor friend.
I have tons of great tips for how you can confidently implement a social media strategy this year. I’ve split them up into beginner, intermediate, and advanced options to cover our bases.
After listening, send me a DM on Instagram @counselorclique and let me know where you fall on the social media strategy experience-meter.
Topics Covered in This Episode:
- Social media strategy options for all experience levels
- Pro-tips for collecting social media content that will save you time
- A way that you can utilize social media content for your advisory council
- How to know which social media platform is best for you and your goals
- Why you’ll want to create a “creator” Instagram account vs. a personal page, and advice on how to choose a handle
- The best kept secret for quickly creating posts that are on brand
- Why I advise against running a Facebook group for your caseload or parents
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Resource: Digital Mega Bundle for 20% off!
- Resource: Digital Citizenship Digital Activity
- Resource: Sign up for my free Advocacy email templates
- Blog: 6 Keys to Holding a Productive School Counseling Department Planning Day
- Follow Kelly on Instagram @IBSCHS
- Leave your review for High School Counseling Conversations on Apple Podcasts
- Sign up for a free Canva for Education account
Other Blog Posts You Might Like:
Read the transcript for this episode:
Welcome back to high school counseling conversations. You’re listening to Episode 49. If you’re listening to this episode live like the week that it comes out, then happy Thanksgiving. I can’t get too much farther into this episode without pausing to say thank you.
Thank you for supporting counselor, click and thank you for supporting this podcast. When podcasting became a tiny little idea that I was considering at about this time last year, I never would have thought that I’d be here a year later, just shy of celebrating 50 episodes.
I want to share a five star podcast review from listener M. Joe Ellot, who I’m pretty sure is Micala T. She says Lauren’s podcast is one of my favorite resources as a practicing high school counselor. Her content is relatable, engaging and easy to implement. Definitely worth a listen.
If you’re a dedicated weekly listener, I hope you feel the same way. Now head over and leave a review on Apple podcasts so that I can give you a shout out on the air next.
Let’s get started. You use this in your personal life. But do you use it in your work life too? I’m talking about social media. You may take a team approach to this or you may already be that tech savvy social media star in your high school counseling department.
Let’s talk about some beginner, intermediate and advanced options for taking your social media advocacy game by storm.
High School Counseling conversations is a podcast where we talk about exactly that a casual popurri of school counseling topics intended to grow us as school counselors, but also give us space to enjoy each other’s company.
I’m Lauren from counselor click and I’m sharing my experiences and perspectives as a high school counselor. No topic is off limits, and I’m certain we’ll cover it all. I’m your high school counseling hype girl here to help you energize your school counseling program and remind you of how much you love your job.
Whether you’re just getting your feet wet as an intern, or you’re nearing retirement, you’ll feel like you’re just popping in to catch up with your school counseling bestie. Let’s go.
If you’re a beginner social media mogul on the rise, start with what already exists at your school. Does your school have a general Facebook page or Instagram?
I want you to make it a habit to take pictures of the things that you’re already doing, and then email a blurb to the staff person who runs this, this is really easy, you do not even have to be the one to post it. No looming responsibilities on your plate.
Every time you take those pictures, I want you to add them to a Google Drive folder. And then here’s another pro tip. If you’re using an iPhone, swipe up when you’re looking at your picture, you can add a caption right there, jot any notes that you might need to or want to remember and then add this photo to a school counseling album in your phone.
When you get to the end of a quarter or a semester or a year, you have an entire bank of pictures, captions, and accomplishments to highlight. You could put those out in a newsletter and an email and an announcement blast. You could also use all of these pieces of information and pictures to summarize your year to your advisory council.
I have more thoughts on how to incorporate this into advisory councils that I think I’ll do in a future episode. Using some of these beginner social media tips will get you dipping your toes in the water without having the responsibility of running any accounts.
Parents, students and other staff will see your announcement and your promotions but you’re not the one doing the heavy lifting to get it out there. This will be a great place to start if you want to get into the world of social media, but you’re not ready for all that responsibility.
Ready to kick your social media up a notch from here? It’s time to create your own Instagram page for your high school counseling program. Welcome to the intermediate level!
At the beginning of the year when you’re divvying up responsibilities, this may be the one that you always love doing. So hang on to it.
If it’s not your cup of tea tag team with someone else or pass it off to someone else if you’ve done it before, and you realize, hey, I don’t love doing this. I have a blog post about how to structure a planning day before the school year starts where you talk about dividing up responsibilities in case you need to go back and read that.
I’m thinking a lot of you will be comfortable starting an account because you’re already on Instagram with your own personal page. When you set this one up, however, I want you to choose the Creator option instead of just the personal page.
The statistics and the metrics that it’ll give you will be helpful if you’re into data or if you’re thinking that you really want to grow this page to engage with your students.
Create your Instagram handle, you know the @ whatever your name is to be simple and make it make sense like @ FIHS counselors or @ CCHS counseling something identifiable yet simple.
By the way, I didn’t check if those were real Instagram accounts or anything. So a little shout out if those are real.
If you’re going to create it, stay active. This does not mean that you have to post every day, but don’t start an Instagram account and then post for a week and then disappear for the next eight months.
It’s just like a school counseling website. If you don’t keep it up to date, stakeholders are not going to come here for relevant and up to date information. If you’re creating this, it’s because this is where you want them to come to engage with your school counseling announcements, right?
Then you gotta keep up that work. Maybe you’re sitting here wondering, well, what should I post?
Here is your secret weapon I’m about to let you in on the best kept secret, if you haven’t heard of it already. Canva. If you don’t already have a Canva for education account, it’s free. Go create an account now.
I’ll link that in the show notes. Because you absolutely need this. It’s gonna make your social media life so much easier. Like I’m talking so easy. You don’t even need to use brain cells to create things to post.
Tthey have templates that you can work with. And you can add your school colors and school logo in the brand kit. So it’s always easy to make things look uniform and on brand for your school.
And since your job a lot of times as a glorified PR manager or just a general information manager, I know that I don’t need to give you ideas for what to talk about on your social media channels, you will have plenty of announcements to make.
In the clique collaborative membership this year, we actually had a Canva for program promotion training that members really enjoyed. It was kind of like a step by step tutorial about some of the features on Canva.
But I think that you can play around with it and get a lot out of it on your own if you’re just open to learning and exploring.
I want to share a win from a follower and listener named Kelly. She’s a school counselor for the IB students at her high school and she created an Instagram account just for announcements and connections with her students.
I was already following her on Instagram. And I just thought she does this really well. If you want to check it out her Instagram for her school is @IBSCHS.
I had noticed her doing a really good job. And she made a comment somewhere like on my social media that her students were just on it this year, like they were on top of deadlines.
They were doing the things that she asked they were applying for the thing she was telling them about. And I asked her if she felt like social media played a part in that. And here’s what she said.
“I think it helps. But mostly because any little bit helps. I think my social media presence has been influential in helping me build relationships with the students in general. It’s allowed me to establish some kind of gentle accountability. They know I’m kind, funny and approachable. But they also know that I mean business.”
And let me tell you, I can see all of those things from Kelly school counselor, Instagram, like I totally get how her students see that and respond to that.
Remember, if you’re in this intermediate phase, you could also start a Facebook page. If you’re feeling daring, I’d say start one first to see how you can manage it. But if you create one, you may as well create the other, you can link them together so that you only post once, but it puts them in both places.
I would advise against running any sort of Facebook group for your caseload or parents, you don’t need to be that connected or managing something on that level. A page is more than enough.
That’s kind of like the front yard. If you were going to like invite them in your house, you might be having a Facebook group like a conversation around the dinner table, but you’re just like promoting something out front. So I would keep it with a public page and stay away from the group’s on a public page.
They can also share things with others. So you know, when you see at the bottom, like, share, and they posted on their page, I see parents doing that a lot with important announcements or events.
So what you create on Facebook could end up getting shared and pushed out to more people than you even thought that you’d be able to.
When people share this with others. They’re doing that lifting and promotion for you again, whoo hoo!
Are you looking for some resources to send your students home with over the upcoming Thanksgiving and winter breaks? Check out all of my digital resources. I send them all together in one big digital mega bundle.
Inside you’ll find 20 Digital check ins, activities and interactive resources for your secondary students. Topics are comprehensive. They cover academic topics social emotional wellness, and college and career readiness.
Get ready to reach all of your learners with these lessons. From the high achievers to your most disengaged students use these activities to teach skills and check in with your students growth and mental health.
When you buy all 20 together, you’ll receive a 20% discount. So head over to counselorclique.com/digitalmega to see all 20 digital resources. Now back to the show.
Okay, do you know what I’m going to talk about for our advanced strategy session for social media? You got it reels and tick tock. I think it’s important that we established that you’ve got to have a backbone here.
What do I mean by that? I think you’re opening yourself up to the most criticism with this one. Let’s just say teenagers can probably be the harshest critics when it comes to this kind of stuff.
They’re all over tick tock and you know how they can act behind the screen. If you start posting reels and tiktoks and the responses make you realize that you need to do a lesson on digital citizenship with your students, don’t worry, I’ve got two there’s one in my TPT store.
You have to have a sense of humor or at least a forgiving, carefree attitude going into this one I know you’re a competent adult I am too. But sometimes I can get self conscious on social media, especially over on Tik Tok.
I shared this somewhere else before, but maybe it was my instagram or email I forget where. But I spent a total of about three minutes over on Tik Tok as Counselor Clique and then I just had to skedaddle out of there. I did not love it.
But I’m here to encourage you, maybe you can do it better than me, maybe you can have a stronger backbone than me to withstand some of the teen critics just not my cup of tea.
I do think it’s a great way to earn credibility with your students kind of like what Kelly said. One thing is for sure, you will know about the trends as they’re happening. You’ll definitely know what’s cool when you spend some time scrolling over there.
I think it’s really funny when students don’t expect you to know about something that’s cool. And you surprise them by joining right into what they thought was an inside joke with their classmates like wait, they pause.
What? How did you know that?
If you feel like rails and Tiktok are not you completely opposite of your personality, and remove you from your comfort zone. Don’t be something that you’re not, you do not have to be a comedian to use these. You can use them and still cater them to your own personality.
You can create informational reels and tiktoks. You don’t have to dance or boy, you can do voiceovers, you can provide inspirational content, educate and inspire your students.
Your face doesn’t even have to be on the screen if you don’t want. I know that if you play around with this, you can create some amazing things.
How are you feeling now that I threw you into the depths of the social media world for advertising, sharing and promoting your high school counseling program?
Hopefully more confident than when you started this episode. Are you going to take steps in the beginner intermediate or advanced levels?
Send me a DM and let me know where you’re at.
If all of this social media stuff just still doesn’t feel like your cup of tea, I’m not giving you a way out. But let me still give you a done for you and still free alternative. And that’s my advocacy email templates.
I always use these for National School Counseling Week. So this is not the last time you’ll hear me talk about them. Get these free email templates straight to your email inbox by going to counselorclique.com/advocacy.
As we’re wrapping up. Remember when I gave Mikayla a shout out at the beginning of the episode, I want you to be like Makayla and go leave a five star review on Apple podcasts and let me know what you love or what you’ve gained from high school counseling conversations.
Your support of the podcast means the world to me and I’m thankful beyond thankful that you’re tuning in. Happy Thanksgiving, and I’ll see you next week for a very special 50th episode celebration.
Thanks for listening to today’s episode of high school counseling conversations. All of the links I talked about today can be found in the show notes and also at counselorclique.com/podcast.
Be sure to hit follow or subscribe wherever you listen to your podcast so that you never miss a new episode. Connect with me over on Instagram, send me a DM @counselorclique. That’s C-L-I-Q-U-E.
Thanks so much for hanging out with me. I’ll see you next time.
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