The Coding@Schools Social Media Journey-Challenges

This post needs to be read in conjunction with the earlier post to provide some background information.

coding at schoolscoding at schools website

Our Challenge

Our challenge is centred around increasing the active participation in the post program activities in the form of competitions and continued learning that we want to encourage among the participants. While we would have trained nearly 3,000 students by the end of 2016, the FB likes remain at close to 1700 participants only. Twitter take up is even lower. We would like this to be as close to the number of students trained or at least the teachers and parents, if not more.

For the purposes of this blog entry, I will be looking at it from the context of a ‘Social Media and PR Campaign’.

One of the scholarly research articles I looked at in studying this further was a research article titled Engagement across 3 social media platforms : An exploratory study of a cause related PR campaign by Hye-Jin Paek, Thomas Hove, Yumi Jung and Richard T. Cole. This study analysed a social media campaign across 3 different platforms in promoting child welfare.


The study (although it was across a small population) yielded 2 important findings :

  1. People’s use of different social media platforms such as blog, Facebook and Twitter was for the most part related to the campaign’s behavioural goals-ie the more people used each platform, the more they carried out each desired behaviour.
  2. Engagement played a mediating role between social media platform use and the campaign’s behavioural goals-that is for offline communication and helping behaviours but not social media behaviour.

Reference : Hye-Jin Paek, Thomas Hove, Yumi Jung, Richard T. Cole, Engagement across three social media platforms: An exploratory study of a cause-related PR campaign, Public Relations Review, Volume 39, Issue 5, 2013, Pages 526-533, ISSN 0363-8111,

Having said this, our challenge is still on how to get the engagement in the first place-meaning how do we get the participants into the loop?

Which now brings me to the second scholarly article that was looked at which is “Social Media : The new hybrid element of the promotion mix” by W. Glynn Mangold and David J. Faulds from the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University.

This article discusses the perspective of Integrated Marketing Communications which attempts to coordinate and control the various elements of the promotional mix to produce a unified customer focused message. This article is more in the context of marketing in a commercial sense but I believe that the principles from here can be equally applied in a non-profit/campaign situation with some minor adjustments. The article also examines social media’s hybrid role in this mix.

We have attempted to apply one of the learning from this article in the coming weeks by “Utilising the Power of Stories” to create more vivid memories and we will need to see if this has any impact in increasing engagement.

I don’t think we can come to a conclusion per se in overcoming our challenges by only looking at the above 2 articles. Further research is needed to look at this in further depth to see how we can improve the takeup rate.

In the meantime, I also found this interesting read which is directly applicable to our situation which I shared in my profile today 20 Amazing ways for Teachers to use Social Media in the Classroom (Ref :

Here is another article that I found interesting and relevant Making the Case for Social Media in Schools (Ref :

So the journey will continue in the coming weeks as we hopefully get a better understanding of how we can do this better!


  1. Hye-Jin Paek, Thomas Hove, Yumi Jung, Richard T. Cole, Engagement across three social media platforms: An exploratory study of a cause-related PR campaign, Public Relations Review, Volume 39, Issue 5, 2013, Pages 526-533, ISSN 0363-8111,
  2. W. Glynn Mangold, David J. Faulds, Social media: The new hybrid element of the promotion mix, Business Horizons, Volume 52, Issue 4, 2009, Pages 357-365, ISSN 0007-6813,
    Keywords: Integrated marketing communications; Social media; Consumer-generated media; Promotion mix









Author: Vani Mahadevan

I am a Wife, Mother, Student, Accountant, Entrepreneur, Traveller, Reader and Young at heart 50 year old (not necessarily in any particular order!)

2 thoughts on “The Coding@Schools Social Media Journey-Challenges”

  1. Hey Vani,
    Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on having trained over 3000 students. I really liked the fact that you picked a topic close to your heart and passionately work towards.
    There are quite a few changes which you might need to make in order to better the blog I feel. There were multiple occasions where the hyperlinking wasn’t done effectively, especially around the tweets. Also, there was one referencing written in between the blog post which I believe should appear at the end of the post.
    I do believe if you sort the minor issues, you could even add some more content and strengthen your argument. Hope to read further posts about your Social Media journey.


  2. Hi Vani,

    Your blog topic really resonated with me as my job also involves trying to get facebook likes and followers to our business (within the education sector also). Whilst ‘Likes’ and ‘Followers’ don’t always reflect true engagement with your community, it is a way for your business to create short and long term goals/KPIs and to ascertain what relevant interactions are occurring online between your social media presence and students.

    Do you follow other large organisations online who are leaders of best practice in social media PR Campaigns? I have found that by following much larger organisations in a similar field, they offer the best examples of engagement online. There is no point reinventing the wheel when you have other companies with much larger PR budgets to do the grunt work on what does and doesn’t work. You may wish to include in your blog some examples of companies that get it right and more importantly those that have gotten it wrong.

    In the blog itself, my only suggestions would be that you try and break up the large body of text with some sub headings or catchy one liners, especially the area of the two important finding from the study. I feel like these two points could be visually emphasised for a greater impact. You may also wish to look at your paragraphs as there was a lot of sentences that could have stayed in one larger paragraph rather than many smaller ones.

    Overall fantastic job and a topic that we all struggle with – how to become and remain popular and relevant to our community.




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