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Kind of a Big Dill: Social Media Marketing in School Nutrition, 1st Edition

Whether you just created an Instagram for the first time, are experiencing your first spike in new followers on Facebook, or have been building your online audience for years, it’s always inspiring to see how other school nutrition programs are marketing their program on social media.

That’s why I’m so excited to kick off what I know will be my favorite blog series – a who’s who of school nutrition professionals that also happen to be social media marketing rockstars.

If you’re looking for inspiration using professionally produced video (that quite honestly may even make you wonder, “Who’s cutting onions in here?”) look no further than Charleston County School District. Nutrition Administrator Joe Pettit provided the voiceover for a special video showing how the CCSD Nutrition Team went above and beyond to serve their community during Hurricane Dorian. The video had everything – team member shout-outs, special mention of the locally grown produce served, and an emotional element to truly illustrate the impact school nutrition professionals have on their students.

And speaking of video, if you haven’t seen Amanda Venezia and Londonderry Dining Servicesviral back-to-school video, where have you been?! Their rendition of the Git Up Challenge garnered more views, likes, comments and shares than any other school nutrition video I’ve ever seen. And a little behind-the-scenes cherry on top? Learning the dance was completely optional for Amanda’s staff and it was all done after hours. Kudos to Amanda and her team for putting in the extra time to welcome back their students in a fun way and in turn, showing that lunchladies can have fun while serving up nutritious meals!

In “Wait, are you a graphic designer or school nutrition director?” news, Christine Clarahan at School City of Hammond has been crushing the Canva game lately. I asked her if she was using Piktochart or PosterMyWall for some of the amazing graphics she’s been putting out lately, but no find out more here. It was Canva – a tool I’ve used for at least five years and nothing I created looked like that! Definitely hop over to @SCHLunch’s Facebook or Twitter pages to see what Christine’s been cooking up on Canva.

If you’re not afraid to be a little silly and use humor to engage your audience, Kelley Crider at Washington County Schools has been a long time favorite of mine. Her approach is also great if you’re simply stuck wondering, “What do I post?” Kelley does a great job of using popular memes and gifs to promote her program actionsolar.net. This includes my personal favorite – memes with food puns. She also uses apps to cover students’ faces that don’t have a media release. (Snapchat is a great one for this, as you can download the picture to your phone’s camera roll, then publish to other social media platforms.)

There are so many more school nutrition departments that are crushing it in social media marketing! If you want to see who to follow, check out who we are following on Sea Level Social’s Facebook or Instagram accounts. We only follow school nutrition professionals, programs and resources – no Kardashians, thankyouverymuch. 🙂

If you’d like to nominate yours or a colleague’s program to be featured in our next Kind of a Big Dill list, contact me directly. And stay tuned next month for who else is using social media to creatively and effectively market their program!

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