Why not bring the yearbook to platforms that will grab students attention, and make them interested and committed to the yearbook?
Social media is a powerful tool, which is why businesses pour money into building their social media presence as part of their marketing strategy. You also can follow this influential business model to promote your yearbook through social media. This generation of students is invested in social media. Why not bring the yearbook to platforms that will grab their attention, and make them interested and committed to the yearbook?
You may be wondering where to begin. The exciting part about using social media is that it will give your students a chance to lead with the ideas and let their creativity flow. Content creation is heavily influenced by video content. TikTok was the one that really launched this form of media, and it has translated into Instagram reels, Youtube shorts, Facebook Reels, etc. For the purpose of keeping this as concise as possible, I’ll be focusing on the power of TikTok and Instagram Reels.
The first step is to create a TikTok or Instagram handle for your yearbook (I’d advise creating both). For example: @schoolnameyearbook. You may be thinking it is too late in the year to start a social media page from scratch, but you’d be surprised by how these last months of school can launch your presence. Once you have the page created, start posting!
Make it a fun activity for students:
TikTok trends have become a part of students’ culture. Set aside time every Friday for “TikTok Fridays,” and make a few funny TikToks with your staff. They’ll begin to look forward to the end of the week because they’ll get to create fun content with you. See how you can use those trends to your advantage. When certain trends are happening, they become popular personal jokes with all of Gen-z. Get in on those personal jokes, and see how popular your TikToks can become! If your staff enjoys making the content, they’ll put full effort into their creations! So, not only are you promoting the yearbook in a highly accessible way, but you’re also promoting team building and creativity for your staff! The beauty of TikTok content is that you can also upload that same content onto Instagram reels and vice versa! You’re expanding your audience by having more than one social media outlet without having the added pressure of creating different content across platforms.
These examples of staff members who really enjoyed creating and promoting their yearbook will bring a smile to your lips and inspiration to your heart and mind.
Start a hashtag:
Starting a hashtag can be a fun way to share all your yearbook related content. If you create a unique hashtag, your content will be the only one that shows up there. This aspect of content creation is not necessarily about gaining traction but about starting a trend throughout your school. A simple hashtag could be #schoolnameyearbook22-23. At an autograph signing party or senior sunset, you can encourage students to post their photos and use the hashtag you’ve created! You’ll slowly see the content under that hashtag build momentum.
Get the whole school involved:
Encourage your students to reach out to their friends and peers to follow the yearbook social media accounts. Have your staff connect with other students during lunch to be part of a Tiktok video. Students will feel like they are part of the yearbook before the yearbook has even been distributed. This can also attract students to join the yearbook staff by showing them some of the fun you have in yearbook.
Take over the school’s Instagram account:
Share with students and parents what the yearbook means and why it is so important.
Ask whoever is in charge of your school’s Instagram account to take it over for a week. Make a few fun reels with your staff to show your final steps before completing the yearbook. Use it as a space to remind students to buy their yearbooks. Show students the front and back cover. Share with students and parents what the yearbook means and why it is so important. And, don’t forget to use that hashtag you created in every post you launch!
It’s important to note that creating a few fun videos will not ensure you’re going to become TikTok viral (though it’s very possible), but you can gain traction around the school. Students will love seeing their school represented in an online space. You’ll start something now that you can carry on for years to come. Ultimately, when you use social media, you’re bringing the yearbook to students and showing them they are already a significant part of it.
Contributor: Jessica Carrera, Associate Editor at TSE Worldwide Press, holds a B.A. in English with a concentration in writing from Biola University. She aspires to touch the lives of others through her words.