Author tips: 9 steps to using social media
Katie, of Teachers Resource Force, has been a secondary teacher for 10 years and is an Author on TES with over 40 published resources.
In this post, she describes the different ways you can use social media to collaborate with other teachers, to engage with educators around the world and to raise your own profile as a resources author.
Tips for collaborating and sharing resources on social media
Don’t feel like you need to join all the social media platforms at once and use them all every day – that’s not easily sustainable with a full time teaching job! The key is to just start somewhere, then over time as that becomes second nature, you can try different social media accounts.
Pick the one you are most comfortable with. It might be starting a Facebook page because if you are already an avid Facebook user, this should be relatively straightforward. If you prefer taking photos then you might want to try Instagram, or if you would rather write short snippets and updates then maybe Twitter is best for you?
In order to make yourself easily identifiable online, aim to have the same name, photo or logo on all your social media accounts to make it easier for people to find you.
Build content first
Build up content on your social media page before following others. If you want people to return the favour, you need to have something there that they can look at before deciding whether to follow you back.
Use your social media account to discuss hot topics in education, share links, views, ideas and resources that might be of interest to fellow teachers.
When you are posting images of your resources, try and take some photos of them printed out or on display. It really helps people to envisage using your resources and to see a resource’s full potential. Real-life photos of resources are also generally ‘repinned’ more often on Pinterest.
Aim for loyalty
It can be tempting to focus on the number of followers you have, but that is less important than the loyalty and quality of your followers. You want people who are genuinely interested and engaged in what you have to say and show, so take the time to interact with people and share stimulating content on a regular basis.
Consider when to post
Social media accounts often have their own analytics that show you when the most active times of the day are for your followers. Check out when most people are active and aim to post during those times.
It’s not called social media for nothing! A very important aspect is actually communicating with people. So comment on peoples’ posts, start conversations, retweet, repin and repost others’ media. I am very fortunate to have made new teacher friends and learned fresh ideas from people in different countries thanks to my social media accounts. That is collaboration at its best!
Show the world who you are: your hobbies, interests, classroom, adorable pets, a beautiful sunset… anything that helps your followers connect with you as a person. People want to know who they are buying from, we’re not big companies; we are all hard-working teachers – so stand out, be unique and be proud to tell your followers that you're a teacher just like them.
Questions? Contact our TES Authors Team for guidance and advice on promoting your resources through social media. If you're feeling lost, see this post for an introduction to social media and resources.