Platforms

Facebook

Associations use “pages” on Facebook, rather than personal profiles. You can create a page from your personal Facebook account, grant other PTA leaders editorial access to the page and post on behalf of your PTA. On a page, you can post content on a central wall, including photos, questions and surveys, news bulletins, tips and videos, all while interacting directly with commenters. Facebook users have the option to “like” your page, which means that the content you post on your page wall can show up in their news feeds. If you do not already have a page for your unit, here is how you can get started.

Access Facebook’s Getting Started Checklist

Post Frequency:
The frequency of your posts is a delicate balancing act. Post too little and your posts are unlikely to end up in your fans’ news feeds, but post too much and your fans are likely to “unlike” you. Once your page is up, try to post once or twice a day if possible. It is often beneficial to create a content line-up and slot them in advance using the “Schedule Post” function.

National PTA on Facebook:
Check out and “like” National PTA’s Facebook Page to receive content ideas that you can share and repost for your unit.

Twitter

Twitter allows users to share short messages up to 140 characters in length. Due to the brevity of its messages, Twitter is an ideal channel to share straightforward information, including news coverage, advocacy efforts, event promotion, statistics and member recognition. Users can post video footage, images and links to refer Twitter followers to external sites. Twitter is also the preferred channel for sharing live information, for example, participants can tweet throughout a PTA function to give followers updates and quick tidbits of information about the event.

Follow National PTA on Twitter

Twitter Terminology

  • Tweet – a 140-character message sent via Twitter
  • Follower – any Twitter user that subscribes to another user’s tweets
  • Handle – the username
  • Hashtag – characterized by a “#” symbol, the hashtag is a way to assign a topic/keyword/phrase to your tweet (i,e,. #HealthAndSafety, #TodaysPTA)
  • Mentions – characterized by the inclusion of “@handle” symbol, a mention is a way to refer to another user and have your tweet show up in their timeline (i.e., @NationalPTA just released its new report)
  • RT – standing for “retweet,” RT at the start of a tweet indicates that the user is sending another user’s content.

Other Social Media Channels

While Facebook and Twitter are considered the two dominant social media channels, many other channels exist that serve various functions:

  • Blogs – short for web log, a blog is a website where the author(s) shares experiences, observations, images and other multimedia in an open forum. A wide variety of companies offer free blogs including WordPress and Blogger
  • YouTube – video-sharing website. Currently, the third most visited website in the world
  • Flickr – photo-sharing website that allows users to upload images, share and download others’ pictures
  • Pinterest – a virtual pin board where users are able to find images and links across the Internet, categorize the subject materials and “pin” to a collection of bulletin boards
  • Instagram – photo and video-sharing website that enables users to take pictures and videos and share them on other social media platforms
  • LinkedIn – a professional networking site that allows users to create professional profiles and connect with other users and companies to create a professional network of contacts