5 Easy Ways to Use Technology to Connect with Families
This post is being co-hosted by KidAdmit and Kaymbu – be sure to check each post for a special offer from each company.
Today’s parents are an ultra-connected bunch – most spend hours on their smartphone each day – checking social media sites, managing their schedule, and researching options for their family. They’re constantly connected and expect personalized content from the businesses and organizations that are part of their day-to-day lives. If you’re like most school directors we talk to, you’re looking for better ways to use technology to communicate with the families that are part of your school’s community, but could use some tips to get started. With so many options to get your message out, how do you choose? We’re here to help with 5 easy ways to help your school better use technology to connect with families.
1. Create a Website
It’s hard to avoid the need for a website these days. We know that the first place parents go to start their research is often google and it can be important for your school to show up. The good news? There are many free platforms that make it quick and easy to create a basic webpage that will offer all the information a parent will need. Try Wix, Weebly, or Squarespace to get started with your website, and make sure parents can find you when searching online. Making sure your school (and website!) are added to the KidAdmit platform is another great way to make sure interested parents can find you.
2. Use Email and Text Messages
One of the main reasons that parents stay so connected to their smartphones is to manage the near constant flood of emails they receive. With today’s work hours and personal appointments, it can be difficult for a parent to reach your school via phone during school hours. Make sure you’ve set up an email address that parents can use to reach you with non-urgent matters. Gmail is a great way to set up an account that is tailored to your school (and can even use the domain created by your website!) and Google offers a number of other resources that might be valuable when communicating with parents such as calendars, a drive for saved documents and forms, and even templates for your site. Text messages are another great way to communicate with parents throughout the day. Especially useful for urgent matters, text messages can reach parents when phone calls and emails will not.
3. Integrate Social Media
Social media can be a scary thing when you’re considering which platform to use – there are so many options out there and it can be tricky to decide which platforms are going to go the distance and which are just the latest, short-lived craze. Our advice? Go where your parents already are. 84% of today’s parents are using Facebook and 77% are using Twitter so start simple – set up a Facebook page for your school and encourage parents to check-in for updates, events, and more. Be sure to link the page to your website as well to encourage visitors.
4. Tailor Your Communications
You already know that each family has unique needs and that it’s important to tailor your efforts for the families in your school. The same can be said about your communication and social updates. Are your parents looking for constant information? Utilize tools to send regular updates and interactions to keep parents satisfied. Are your families interested in regular, but not constant updates? Try using an email system to send weekly or monthly updates. Tools like Kaymbu make it easy for your teachers to keep parents updated on a regular basis with safe and secure pictures, classroom snapshots, and activity updates.
5. Utilize Tech-Resources
The important thing to know is that there is a wealth of resources available to you and your school to help with this entire process. KidAdmit helps you market your school and streamline your admissions process with a free account and Kaymbu makes it easy to visually capture and share magical moments from the classroom with families – but it doesn’t stop there! Check out applications like SignUpGenius, KangaDo, Doodle, and OneCallNow to help with all aspects of your communication.
And remember – adding technology can be daunting, but the end result should be more time for you to engage with the families and children who are a central part of your school.
Sign up for your free KidAdmit account today to help parents in your area find and apply to your school. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
This guest post was written by Tejal Shah, CEO of KidAdmitPhoto is courtesy of Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications Photography under Creative Commons licensing.