Have you ever considered adding student contributors to your social media team? Wondering how to get started or how other districts are utilizing students? Read on to learn more about how three districts are making this opportunity for student engagement work!
For a free guide to walk you through adding student contributors, check out our Student Contributor Game Plan. Download the guide at this link.
Senior Jaimey Bryant and sophomore Teghan Sullivan are students in the small district of Superior, NE. They are regular contributors to Superior’s social media efforts and really excel at Instagram Stories. Their English teacher and supervisor Sara Fuller was a bit nervous but with a little training session with #SS4EDU CIO Heidi Feller, Jaimey, and Teghan, she quickly saw the benefits of enlisting students. Sara has since become a huge fan of students celebrating students on social media.
Students will be more themselves around other students which makes for more genuine posts. It’s important to trust the students you’ve made part of your social media team.”
She suggests finding students who have a passion for telling the school’s story. Naturally, journalism students are great at this. Student Council members, class presidents, and communications students all fit the bill. Try to involve students who participate in a variety of activities!
Once you’ve identified your contributors, make sure to train them. Have them follow other schools’ social media accounts to get ideas. Discover their specific talents, such as photography, storytelling, and even those “extras” like emojis, filters, and GIFs.
Sara’s tip for involving other students is spot on: “We’ve done several day-in-the-life features for a volleyball player, football player, 1st grader, etc. and these Instagram Stories have been really popular.” The fact that this school’s Instagram account has 430+ followers (with about as many students K-12) is proof!
New Auburn School District has a new job for its class presidents. In addition to their other duties as leaders, each of these students has now become a Twitter contributor on the district’s account. These tweeters spread good news, updates in real time, and even staff shoutouts. These tweeters spread good news, updates in real time, and even staff shoutouts.
After a short training session that included tips and tricks, these contributors were on their way. Accountability is key: students add their initials to each tweet so supervisors can keep track of posts.
Ashley Mason, PreK-12 principal, is a big fan of these #NewAuburn Tweeters. “As the principal of New Auburn, I truly believe that our school is the heartbeat of our community, and our community is eager to see what is happening within our school. The story we all are wanting to tell is about our students. What better way to have the story told, than by the people living it each and every day!
Building up our students to be positive influences and leaders in our school is extremely important to me. I also believe that giving them this responsibility helps to foster that leadership they are all so capable of. I love having those moments in order to see our school day and what is going on in our school through their eyes.”
Student school board representative Ingrid Lyberg, a senior at Chippewa Falls High School, is an Instagram Stories contributor for this strong social media district. She is logged into the account and can share posts from a student’s perspective. After adding Ingrid as a contributor, the district’s Instagram account instantly added 50 new followers!
While being trained, the ideas for stories just started flowing from Ingrid’s beaming face. “What about wishing students good luck on their semester finals. Could I do that? Can I go live from a pep rally? Could I interview people?”
Her excitement is palpable and the administrative team is supportive in trusting her to be a storyteller on behalf of the student body.
Ingrid sees the value of her contribution:
Instagram stories provide an amazing opportunity to reach more students and the community our district serves every year. It’s also so fun to be able to keep everyone up-to-date on what is happening in the school and to see kids get excited about our social media pages and wanting to be involved! I’ve honestly seen an impact from the stories as far as student involvement goes, and kids are saying they know what’s going on because of the updates they get!”
The bottom line? Student contributors can be integral members of your social media team. Some tips to keep in mind:
- Identify the right students
- Spend time training – show them how to log in, how to use a hashtag, what to do if they see something negative, and so forth. Here is just one example of a slide deck for training from Lewis Central Community School District.
- TRUST these students – see this example from Klein ISD for a formal agreement example
- Give regular feedback
Good luck! Share your successful student contributor stories below.
A guest post from Heidi Feller, our Chief Inspirational Officer. She is a former teacher and district website/social media coordinator, but now she spends her days inspiring the #SocialSchool4EDU school partners with the encouragement they need to tell their story. In her own words, “Our teachers and students knock their socks off learning and growing each school day and the world needs to know about it!”