The temporary school closures are certainly impacting students, staff, and parents across the country, but there is one group that we’re all thinking about…
Our senior class of 2020.
These students were looking forward to so many big events and traditions this spring.
Prom. Musical performances. Spring sports. Senior trips. Graduation.
These experiences add up to memories that will last forever… but now, they may never happen.
Holly Henderson, Marketing and Communications Specialist from the School District of Baraboo in Wisconsin, recognized this situation and voiced this support:
“Hey seniors, this sucks. We see you and we see what you’re going through and even though your senior year looks different, you are still seniors and this is still a time to celebrate that!”
While we remain hopeful, schools across the country are wondering how they can honor this special group of students.
There are many ways to do this, and not all will be done on social media, but my goal today is to give you a few options that you may want to try!
- Simple Senior Shout-Out with Graphic
Holly decided to take the senior photos from all 195 seniors and put them each into a nice graphic with their names. She is sharing them – four at a time – on Baraboo’s social media. The engagement is through the roof! Holly has added 350 new page likes since these features began. She feels that this feature is great because:
- It fosters community-building and shows support for students.
- It is bringing people to their social media pages.
- It is a positive communication with families amidst all of the COVID-19 school closure and remote learning posts.
Here is the text from the posts:
We support our Baraboo High School Class of 2020 Seniors! Today we are giving a Senior Shoutout to (four names).
While the school closure is affecting everyone differently, we want to take a moment to recognize our Baraboo High School Seniors.
For seniors, the last few months of school is a celebration of the culmination of 12 years of hard work. Seniors look forward to hearing their name on Senior Night at sporting events, taking the stage for their final Spring Showcase at music events, being student leaders in clubs and co-curriculars, and spending these last few months with friends before graduation.
With school closures and social distancing, these next few weeks will look a little different for our 2020 Seniors. Let’s show them we are proud of them and we support them! #AlwaysOnwardBSD
If you have a larger group of seniors and want to group several together in one graphic, here is an example from another district. You could also create a photo album on Facebook and add a few photos to it, every day. That will show up as a separate post on your feed. You could even just use their senior photo instead of creating customized graphics. Senior photos make great posts!!
- Detailed Post Highlighting Accomplishments
Starkville High School in Mississippi is taking the simple shout-out idea and combining it with the senior’s accomplishments. To collect the details, they have a landing page on their website. They also made an announcement on their Facebook page.
The information collected includes:
- Email address
- Senior photo upload
- What are your plans after graduation?
- If college, where?
- If the workforce, where?
- If the Military, which branch?
- Please list any/all scholarship offers you’ve received – include the dollar amount of each scholarship.
- Please list any scholarships you’ve accepted.
- Please list your awards & honors.
- Please list your activities & extra-curricular involvement.
- Share a quote and/or highlight about your high school experience. Ideas: What you love about SHS, why you love your Jacket family, how your teachers impacted you, what excites you about your future plans, what is your passion, purpose, etc.
They chose to set up a dedicated Instagram page just for their seniors – of course, anyone can follow it. I love this idea because Instagram is where students are at! If you are a smaller district, you may not need to start an entirely new Instagram page, but you certainly could share the posts on your district page.
If you want to include fewer details, you could also choose one of these options:
- Instagram Story Videos
Another way to highlight seniors is through Instagram Stories. These are simply 15-second (or less), vertically shot videos. Superior, Nebraska started doing this earlier in the school year.
If you want to start this now, just ask seniors to submit videos. They could send their videos through email. Another option is to ask seniors to share videos on their own Instagram accounts and tag the district. You are then able to share that story to your school’s page! (Please note, this does involve sharing student account usernames on your school’s story. You may not wish to use this option for that reason.)
- Involve the parents
Our parents are passionate about their seniors. We’ve seen a lot of great examples from across the country. At one school, parents decorated their home doors in honor of their seniors! If you wanted to share these on your social media pages, you would have to ask parents to submit the photos to you.
You could also ask parents to share their best wishes for their son or daughter and then post an image of the senior as a child, along with a senior photo. This would be a touching way to show how much they’ve grown!
- Video compilation
I’ve seen fun videos where seniors give advice to younger students, or vice versa. Here is just one example of how that could work. This example didn’t include messages from every senior in the class. It was just a small sample. So, this feature could be used in addition to one of the previous ideas we shared.
And maybe you want to use those great senior photos to create a video slideshow to music. Go for it! Here is an example I did for seniors back in 2018. Still, standalone images and separate posts that highlight each student are going to reach more people, drive more engagement overall, and ultimately grow the fanbase of your page. Here’s why:
If you have a class of 100 students and you created a video that is seven minutes long, showing each photo. Are grandparents really going to watch a 7-minute video for a 4-second view of their grandchild? Probably not.
But if they saw a photo of their grandchild on Facebook, they are going to share and comment and say “how they remember the day that they were born like it was yesterday…” It’s powerful!
There you have it! Five ideas from across the country for how to celebrate your seniors on social media. Which one are you going to do? I’d love to hear from you, below! And if you have other ideas that are working well, post a link so that all of us can see.
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