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Facebook Groups VS Pages for Schools and P&Cs

organising P&C Social Media

Facebook for schools and P&Cs, P&Fs | Facebook logo | School Ponytails

What is a Facebook PAGE?

Facebook Pages are the official profiles for entities, like celebrities, brands, businesses, or other organizations. Unlike your personal profile, you can't control the privacy settings. They are visible to everyone on the internet. Usually, schools have "Pages".
  • You can "Pin a Post" to the top of the Page, which should be your most relevant content for the moment, or a post that addresses your purpose.
  • Posts are seen on the "News Feed" of likers and followers, and in some instances, comments/likes/shares can be seen on the News Feeds of friends of friends.
  • You can tag a business page by putting "@" at the start of the name, e.g. @PonytailsAndFairytales is the "handle" of our business page.
  • You can create a specific handle by editting the tail end of the page name in the page settings.
  • Sometimes, it's easier to share your Page like this: www.facebook.com/PonytailsAndFairytales

What is a Facebook GROUP?

Facebook Groups are populated with people who have a common interest, and are used to organise, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.

Benefits of Facebook Groups vs Pages

When you create a group, you have 3 choices of privacy.
  1. Publicly available for anyone to join
  2. Requires administrator approval for members to join
  3. Kept private and invitation-only.
New posts are included in the News Feeds of its members and members can interact and share with one another from the group.
Groups also have special features, depending on what their purpose is. Common features include:
  • Adding events is a great way for parents to be prompted to "add to calendar" (e.g. school disco, P&C meeting) and organising people/keeping conversations related to the topic together. (Events are also available on Pages and personal profiles).
  • You can add Notes (e.g. Mother's Day Market Info for Volunteers).
  • You can add Documents (e.g. Functions of our P&C)
  • You can make Announcements (the same as a Pinned Post on your Page). These are great for the most recent updates, or page and group rules.

Best set-up for your P&C Pages and Groups:

  • A PAGE for your school.
  • From the school PAGE settings, set up your groups. Suggested GROUPS include:
    • Main P&C Communications Page (this can be a Page or a Group; just be mindful of the privacy settings that your Page would have re: image sharing to the wider public, and consider the extra features that Groups have)
    • P&C Exec (and Financial Members) Group (Closed Group)
    • Groups for each Year Group (e.g. Year 1 *school name* *Year* [Closed Group])
    • Buy and Sell - Second Hand Uniforms.

By using the school's Page as the "owner" of all of the groups, the school can keep control over what's happening and who's watching. 'Spin-off' (or unofficial) groups are often the cause of the majority of the angst Leadership feel over social media.

How to create a great Announcement / Welcome Post for your Group

Define the top 4 topics that relate to your group. For P&C's they may include:
  1. What does our P&C do?
  2. Meetings (Dates & Minutes)
  3. Get Involved
  4. Contact Us
Here's an example from our School Uniform Shop and P&C: Resources and Community Group:
    School Ponytails group "School Uniform Shop and P&C: Resources and Community"
    • Create a post with 4 images that will relate to these topics. We like plain coloured graphics with text, so that users are inclined to click to see more, and make them on Canva.com (they have a free version!).
    • Add a post caption that welcomes new members to the group, and encourages users to click to see more on the topic.
    • Publish.

    From here, click on the first image, and "add a description" to the image. This is what will show up when users click on the graphic. You can link to Files or Notes from here too! Here's an example from our School Uniform Shop and P&C: Resources and Community Group:

    School Ponytails | School Uniform Shop and P&C: Resources and Community group

    To Share a Post

    Of course, you can click "share" which will open up a variety of options, including share to your personal profile, share to a page, and share to a group.

    To copy the link quickly, try this:

    How to share a facebook post | School Ponytails

    Page and Group Cover Sizes

    Page Cover, Group Cover, Profile Picture, and news feed graphic sizes are always changing. They also display differently on mobile and desktop! For best results, do a quick google for the most up-to-date sizes, and work towards a great mobile presence. 

    Facebook Rules

    • School Leadership and/or your state P&C Body may have guidelines that you must follow in regards to using social media in a school setting. Always consult these groups prior to beginning or taking over your school's social media presence. Check out these resources by the Department of Education in Western Australia and WACSSO.
    • Facebook promotions aren't as simple as they may first appear, so before you jump in with a competition post, read the official Facebook rules, and consult with the Department of Gaming in your state. This resource by Digital Mums Directory is brilliant at summarising how it all works!
    • The "official" Facebook rules and layouts are forever changing too. We'll endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible for you!

     - Nicola @ School Ponytails

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