How to Use Social Media to Engage With Your School's News Channel’s Audience

Social Media can be highly beneficial to any school media program, teaching students valuable skills along the way. Here are some ways to use social media to increase engagement with your audience. Given that we’re talking about social media, most of these examples are best suited for high school and higher ed.

Social Media Contests

Try out a social media contest! Give them a prompt and ask them to post to Twitter or Instagram, tagging your program and using a special hashtag. Then you can either have the student media team vote on their favorite or simply pick the winner with a raffle. Not only are you engaging with your audience, but you’re also leveraging your audience for exposure since they’ll be tagging you. The ‘prize’ can be anything from an appearance on the show to a free t-shirt.

  • Ask students and faculty to post their favorite school tradition. The winner can be brought on the show for an interview about this tradition.
  • Have students post photos from an event like a school dance or homecoming football game. With permission, you can display these photos on the show, giving a crowd-sourced recap of the event.
  • Towards the end of the year, have students and faculty share advice to incoming freshmen. This is a fun one to recap on the show the first week of the new school year.

Live Tweets

Cover important events on twitter through ‘live tweeting’ - tweeting about an event in real-time. People who might not be able to actually watch the event can refer to twitter for key updates. If one doesn’t already exist, create a hashtag for the event. 

  • Live Tweet sporting events. Highlight key plans and scoring updates. Add in photos when you can.
  • Cover school board meetings when open to the public. This is especially useful if you have a large following of parents.
  • You don’t have to stick with only school events! For example cover a political debate, teaching students how to be objective and professional in the process.

Live Streaming

Similar to live-tweeting, live streaming events helps engage people that might not be at the event, and social media is a great platform for that. Stream events live to facebook or use Instagram Live! When you’re streaming something outside of school hours, viewers have the option to post comments or questions, further increasing engagement. The same examples as above apply to this.

Instagram polls

A new Instagram feature allows you to ask questions and get feedback from your followers. The question can either ask for a choice between two options or simply a text box. While increasing engagement, these questions also might result in a fun segment for the show or even help give you feedback to optimize the show for your viewers! You can also re-post people’s responses anonymously (like below).

  • What would you like to see covered more on the show? Take what you learn and act on it! Not only will you get ideas, but students will also feel that their voices are heard.
  • What’s your favorite item on the lunch menu? A simple question like this can turn into a fun segment about commonly loved menu items!
  • Did you attend ___? This is an example where you can use the data you find on the show. When recapping the event, you can reference this statistic. “Out of __ students surveyed, X% attended the event.”

Follow & Retweet

A simple yet effective way to engage with your audience is to follow them on Twitter or Instagram. When you follow someone you’re sending a notification directly to that person, who may or may not have known you even had a twitter or Instagram, and will likely choose to follow you back. Retweeting also helps to increase engagement and make your audience feel heard.

Test some of these ideas out, and let us know what you think! If you tag us on twitter @padcaster, we’ll follow our own advice and happily retweet your posts! 

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Tags: Education