Theater association uses high school students to boost social media.
What’s the great idea? Enlist high school students to improve Instagram presence
Who’s doing it? Educational Theatre Association’s International Thespian Society
What’s involved? Among Ashley Kruger’s duties as marketing and communications manager for EdTA is running social media for both the association, whose members are school theater teachers, and ITS, the section of EdTA that students can join. Kruger, trying to come up with ways to improve social media engagement, had an idea that would help ITS’s elected student leaders and the organization. “I proposed, as part of their leadership program, that we incorporate a plan to use them as student contributors to the Instagram account,” Kruger says.
Turning over ITS’s official Instagram account to high schoolers was met with some resistance. Kruger assured EdTA’s leaders that the students were committed to doing well because they intended to list the experience on college or job applications. To get the final go-ahead, Kruger promised to train students extensively and start with a three-month trial.
“We had many conversations about the importance of how they represent a brand online,” Kruger says. “And, of course, I monitored it like crazy. After the three months, we reevaluated, and everything they had posted was really quite fabulous.”
EdTA and ITS have multiple regional conferences, which the students attended, posting pictures and even interviews. Student posts appeared on ITS’s Instagram, and Kruger sometimes used those images for EdTA’s account too. “You could get on our Instagram account and see what was going on around the whole country,” Kruger says. “It was really exciting to see what the people were doing.”
What are people saying? “The engagement soared,” Kruger says. “People were eager for more content.” The ITS Instagram page started with 5,000 followers and grew to 16,000.