By: Sarah Danley
Whether it be from following favorite artists or friends, everyone has felt the effects of social media. While many people focus on the negative effects social media has had on society today, many benefits come from its use, especially in the school setting.
“Social media has a bad reputation,” senior Mini-THON leader Kylee Dahm said. “I think the way we use it for Mini-THON is one of the positive things that comes out of social media, because we get to share all the things we accomplish.”
SCA Community Chairperson senior Hannah Visnick agreed that there are negative aspects to everything, but the use of social media for GS organizations is one way it is put to good use.
“I’ve found that by forming a good relationship with the student body and taking fun photos of them has helped to increase engagement,” Visnick said. “[Students] are always looking to see if they were posted.”
Student social media directors also attempt to use current trends to get more of the student body engaged. Visnick noted that a TikTok including Drake’s song “Knife Talk” was one of SCA’s most popular posts. Despite these efforts, some people do not believe social media is the main factor driving students to get engaged in school activities.
“I personally believe word of mouth is still the best method,” SCA advisor Mr. Christopher Gazze said. “Friends encouraging each other to participate is really what drives involvement, in my opinion.”
While for some students this may be the case, student leaders continue to enlist the help of social media to advertise events in a more relatable manner.
“We get students more engaged by using more interactive things like polls, questions, stories or TikToks with students,” Dahm said. “Also, our ‘Why We THON,’ where we got students to share why they THON – that really helped get more student involvement with social media.”
Using platforms that are popular among teenagers allows student leaders to connect better with the student body online.
“TikToks do very well since it’s extremely popular with high school students,” Dahm said.
Though the goal of advertising with social media is to increase student engagement, using different platforms allows student leaders to engage many different audiences, spanning from adults to teenagers.
“Facebook has been our most successful platform surprisingly,” Visnick said. “I think that has a lot to do with moms, grandmas, etc. A lot of our events were geared toward families, not just high schoolers, so we focused our efforts on Facebook.”
Showcasing kid friendly events, not only through Instagram to high schoolers, but also on Facebook allowed SCA to engage their target audience for select events.
“There seems to be a growing presence on Facebook and that is occasionally used to publicize the positive events going on at the school,” Mr. Gazze said.
The Mini-THON Facebook account has seen the same trend, while still finding the most engagement through Instagram.
“Instagram has the most outreach, but I would say it’s also most effective for reaching students, and Facebook is more for adults,” Dahm said.
Growing up around social media themselves, Dahm and Visnick understand what media platforms students are most likely to interact with in order to encourage them to get involved in school sponsored events.
“I think I have a better understanding of what grabs people’s attention better than others do,” Visnick said. “I know which subjects should have posts, stories and videos. I think making my strategy unique is what has helped our account.”
While growing up in the age of social media often has its flaws, many advantages come from it as well, especially in getting teenagers engaged in events.
“Growing up with social media has definitely given me an advantage,” Dahm said. “The only thing that was different was the advertising aspect.”
The use of social media had the same goals of advertising school events, just like posters or announcements that were primarily used before social media, although still in use today.
“The goal was to communicate information and publicize events and activities sponsored by SCA to the student body,” Gazze said. “This included advertising for upcoming events as well as sharing pictures from events. Twitter and Instagram posts were the methods used initially.”
Social media, while often the cause of many problems, is a useful tool to get students and the GS community involved in school sponsored events
“I think [social media]’s a great tool,” Dahm said. “Students and the community will always be able to find information on our social media, and it allows us to connect with more people we might not be able to reach without it.”