Why Social Media is Good for Your Program
Hi there CAJazzers! I have recently taken over the roll of "Social Media Coordinator" for CAJ. I am a millennial that pretty much grew up with a cell phone attached to my hand and the internet at my fingertips. While social media may come naturally to us millenials that have a 20-second attention span for nothing but 140-character rants on Twitter and photos of what we ate for breakfast on Instagram, sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google Plus may not be as intuitive for the technologically impaired.
So why use social media in your program?
Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have to promote your program. There is a reason Fortune 500 companies have entire divisions of their marketing department devoted to social media. Social media can reach thousands of people that want to see what you are doing. If you teach college, social media campaigns for your programs can be a powerful recruiting tool (all of the students you are recruiting these days are social media addicts- might as well get their attention!). Do you teach middle school or high school? Social media is a great way to keep your students and parents up to date on current events. I also find they take a lot of pride in knowing they are part of your online presence- they like to show their friends, parents, grandmas, siblings, etc., that they are a part of this super cool online community.
Worried about interacting with your students online? You should be! There is a lot of content on social media you probably never want to see. BUT, that doesn't mean you should not use it. I am a big fan of teaching digital citizenship- no matter how old the student. I am not going to go into it in this article, but there are many resources online to help with this. Check out www.commonsensemedia.org for some great resources on how to interact with students online.
So how do you get set up on social media? What are the best things to post?
If you are savvy with social media yourself, set up a Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook page for your program. Post what you are doing (concerts, auditions, photos of your students doing cool things, etc.). Connect and follow organizations, musicians, and educators that interest you. Social media grows exponentially- it may be slow at first, but the more people you follow, the more people you have the potential to come in contact with. YOU DON'T HAVE TO FOLLOW YOUR STUDENTS (I don't- I only follow fellow professionals. I prefer to maintain the boundary between student and teacher online as well as in the classroom).
If you are not comfortable setting up these accounts online (or you don't have the time...), just try setting up one at a time until you are comfortable with it OR have a parent or a trustworthy student do it for you! There are already many people in your program that are comfortable with social media- put them to use! The only thing I would suggest is that you closely monitor what they are posting. You do not want them misrepresenting what you are about.
While you are at it, follow CAJ on social media! You can find us here:
Questions? Feel free to contact me anytime! I am also on Twitter (@mrsowenmusic) and maintain social media for my band program (Instagram: @ramonaband).
Social Media Coordinator/Newsletter Editor