Get your PTA on Facebook
The key to a strong PTA is support, and that
is only possible if you put your PTA out there and let people know
about your work. This applies both to your school and the wider
community. Social media is a fantastic free resource which can be
utilised for reminders, to advertise events and even increase your
supporter base. As one of the largest social media platforms, we've
found Facebook is the favourite of our PTA+ community. But how can
you make it work for your PTA?
Facebook has over two billion monthly active users,
meaning chances are most people at your school have it. With no
character limits and different types of pages and groups available,
it's one of the most diverse social media platforms out
Gill Haynes told us of her success of using
Facebook to promote events: 'We have a public PTA
page where all our events are posted, and I also ask our members to
post on their own timelines. We post on the local Facebook
community and business pages to promote it to a wider audience. Our
local newspapers have Facebook pages too, so they promote our
events on social media and in their newspapers at no cost.'
Group or page?
Within Facebook, there are multiple ways to set up
your PTA presence. These come under two headings 'groups' and
A group can be set up with varying levels of privacy.
A secret group can't be found in a search, meaning people who don't
know about it won't be able to see it. A closed group is visible to
all, but its content can't be seen until a member has joined. An
open group and its content can be seen by anyone, whether they're a
member or not.
Visitors to the group must put in a request to join.
This can be approved automatically, or you can set it up so that
anyone who asks to join has to answer questions before an admin
approves or denies their request.
Many PTAs are concerned about social media being
turned into a place for parents to voice complaints about the
school. With a group, anyone can post, but there's an option where
posts must be approved by an admin before they go live. You can set
it so only admins can post, there's the ability to block and mute
members, and there's also a 'rules' section where you can share any
requirements - we recommend 'this is not a place to air
You can also have 'announcements' on a group and pin
posts to the top to make sure visitors see the most important thing
first - don't forget to unpin them once they're no longer
There's a files section where you can upload agendas
and minutes, meaning everything is conveniently in one place.
Be aware that with a group you will be visible as an
admin and, if your personal account settings allow it, this means
you can be messaged directly by members of your group. There's
nothing wrong with being visible in the school community, but do
bear this in mind.
With a public page, anyone can see it, meaning
potential sponsors and additions to your donor base, which
is fantastic for fulfilling a school's target to involve the
You can easily share posts to other pages and promote
events, making advertising simple (and free). Any messages
sent to the page will go to the page's own inbox, meaning you can
You can set a profanity filter and ban certain words
from the page, so Facebook can take care of some moderator for you,
and posts by members can be disabled or set it so they need to
be approved before being published.
Some may see it as a con to have school information so
freely available, but this shouldn't be a concern as long as you're
aware of what your posting, for example, ensuring you have
permission for any photos you post and not putting up personal
details such as phone numbers.
Facebook is a free resource, so there's nothing to
stop you, bar manpower, mixing and matching and having multiple
pages and groups. For example, you could have a secret group for
your main committee where meetings are discussed, a private group
for parents to keep them updated safely and a public page to reach
out to the community.
What should I post?
If you're not sure how to use your page or what to
post, research current pages by searching 'school PTA' on social
media. Some things they're great for are:
Reminders - e.g. non-uniform days or bringing in
Sharing thanks and success after events
Information about PTA purchases and advertising your
General information about the PTA
Create digital posters to share on
Who will run it?
It's always wise to have multiple admins so it's not
just one person's responsibility to post and approve. Ensure these
are trusted committee members, or allocate a social media sub-team.
It makes sense to ensure someone who's familiar with Facebook and
uses it a lot is an admin, as they'll be more likely to maintain
There are different page roles on a group and page. In
a group, there are moderators and admins. Admin is the highest
level and can do everything, whereas a moderator cannot make other
people admins or change the group settings. Pages have these
roles as well as editor, analyst and advertiser, which generally
Remember, even though the PTA is a separate
organisation, you're still linked to and representing the school,
so they need to be consulted about any social media presence you
plan to create. Also, consider whether the school has its own page
- this could be used in addition to the PTA's, and will also be a
great way to promote a new page or group to the school
Taking photos at your events may seem like just
another thing to do, but it's so beneficial - it means you'll have
images to share on social media directly after the event to promote
its success. You can use them throughout the year to promote the
PTA and again next year if you hold the event again. Ensure photos
are good quality - if you have an eager photographer at your
school, ask if they can do the honours.
When taking photographs or video of people for social
media, you should get their consent, explaining what you intend to
do with the photograph/footage. For younger children, consent must
be given by a parent or guardian on their behalf. This must be done
in writing prior to the event. Consent should not be necessary when
photographing or videoing a crowd where the individuals remain
For more information visit the Facebook help
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