The use of social networking sites for adults has jumped nearly tenfold within the past decade and it continues to rise, says Pew Research Center in the Social Media Usage: 2005-2015 report.

As journalists, our world has certainly changed since the advent of social networking sites. Our messages can transcend print and extend to devices in the palms of our readers’ hands (perhaps in 140 characters or less). Despite what critics say, the internet is not the end-all of print — rather it is an extension of stories and help further capture interest in telling the moments that matter.

For our students, nearly 90 percent are on social networks (such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat). It’s safe to say that a digital presence for a journalism team is vital to communicating and connecting with your audience. Doing so can help promote and market your product.

Promote your content

Would you buy an idea? In the world of yearbook, that’s exactly what you’re buying and why it might be hard for students to have excitement for it. As a staff, you have to generate buzz for the idea. This could be by showing bits and pieces of what the book might look like (perhaps the cover). You might also be able to share quotes and parts of stories that might generate excitement for the book.

“When a product doesn’t have physicality, it’s hard to add value to it. The goal of any staff is to create that ownership through engagement. Being anonymous and secretive hasn’t helped anyone.”

Use social to generate stories

When I was in the classroom, I had a staff of 20 students. But imagine a staff of 1000 (don’t panic). By using social media, such as Twitter, you can capture ideas or content pieces for your yearbook. In fact, gain relevance in the space by reposting or sharing some else’s content. This interaction can help advertise your social channels and, hopefully, grow in followers.

Pro-tip: Organize follower contests — this not only gives you more reach to these students but can also be a great way to get students talking about the yearbook program.

Social Marketing Campaigns = Success

With each passing year, the number of yearbooks being purchased online continue to rise. With 65 percent of adults now on social channels, it is more imperative to utilize these channels to create a sense of urgency for yearbook sales. Towards the end of your current marketing campaign, share that same urgency with your followers. Having the post come from the yearbook page, and shared by each member of the staff, the message will carry and you might see a surge in sales. Perhaps utilize hashtags like #Sale, #LastChance or #20BooksLeft will convey the same kind of message.

 

// Sources //

Perrin, A. (2015). Social Media Usage: 2005-2015. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/10/08/social-networking-usage-2005-2015/

Smith, A. (2015). U.S. Smartphone Use in 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2016, from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/