A Strategic Content Overhaul

Scenario

A private Catholic high school relied on other people’s content for its social media strategy, and relied on mostly announcements for its website content.

My impact

Coming into this role, I had created almost all types of content: written stories, videos, photos, graphics, printed products, teasers, content specifically for social media channels, postcards, in-person events, etc. I decided in the job interview to make the interview more like a pitch for my vision, a completely new communications strategy for this school. I got the job, and soon began an organizational cultural change into how we tell our story at Pius X High School.

I am fervent about creating original, organic content (stories, photos and videos) from different voices in our school, stories that detail what the school looks like. Most of our audience hasn’t been in a real-life high school classroom in decades, and we wanted to affirm their choice to send their child to our school. What also changed was our audience itself: students started becoming our largest growing follower base, particularly on Instagram.

Statistically

  • Upon beginning a new job as communications director for a Catholic high school, I started a new approach to content: real stories in written, photo and video form (rather than merely school announcements). This led to a dramatic increase in social media followers (Facebook up 32 percent, Twitter up 82 percent, and Instagram up 666 percent).
  • Now in year two of a new content approach for social media, growth also continues. In this school year, Facebook audience is up 13 percent, Twitter up 28 percent, and Instagram up 45 percent. This had led to more likes, shares and comments than previous months.
  • In my second year at Pius X, I redesigned the website (https://piusx.net) on WordPress platform (hosted by Flywheel) to better feature the many photos, videos and stories that were being told, including our first true mobile-friendly website. Our per-launch surveys told us families and staff wanted our new story content plus the need-to-know dates and times of key events, and they wanted to view all of it on a mobile site, not just a desktop site. For those six-plus months, we have grown users by 75 percent, page views by 94 percent, and decreased bounce rate by 7 percent. Part of this is due to better content, but more of it is because we are mobile-friendly and have better site flow than before.
  • I recently added Pinterest to long-term site growth strategy. In just four months we have exceeded expectations in viewership (up 1,300 percent), while we are still willing to be patient for growth in clicks.
  • I added focus on LinkedIn as part of our content strategy, converting a mostly passive audience (people who followed the page just because they once attended school there, even without much content to consume) to an active audience that has grown 11 percent in eight months.

Anecdotally:

  • Recent alumni became jealous that these stories were not being shared.
  • Teachers are now quick to share what activities are happening in the classroom so it might be featured in our communication channels.
  • Students ask how they can have their class or activity featured on social media.