Written by Michele Niec, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Davidson Academy

It started with a simple question, how can I be fifteen places at once 365 days a year and still have time to rest? The answer was clear – make more work for me in order to lessen the load, and love every minute of it.

When evaluating how to expand my department of one, I took inspiration from the school yearbook class by proposing a Social Media Marketing (or Social Media 101) class to high school students that would engage them in the day-to-day messaging of our school. What I didn’t want was for the class to be a time of playing on Facebook or Instagram, but rather a place to help students take control of their personal brand from the beginning of their social media experiences, with a side of school promotion to expand my reach.

I developed a curriculum that divides the semester into two parts: Personal Branding and Social Media for Business. There are a number of projects throughout the semester, but the most impactful by far is the student’s Social Media Takeover Day.

The concept is simple, thanks to Class Intercom.

Each student is given “writer” privileges in Class Intercom, In the days leading up to their takeover day, they capture photos and write captions sharing with our followers what their day is like at Davidson Academy. There are a couple of requirements:

  • There are a minimum of seven (7) posts including an introduction and thank you.
  • A post must include a photo or video.
  • All posts must post to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram [via Class Intercom]
  • The post must be prepared and scheduled prior to the actual takeover day

Scheduling all of the posts in advance allows me to edit or offer suggestions to the students so they can understand better the anatomy of an engaging post. Most importantly, it is less intrusive to the student’s day versus trying to post in real-time. I have found the teachers to be more receptive to having photos taken in class by the student, as well, since they are planning ahead and not on social media during class time.

I’ll be trying something new this semester since I have 22 students. In addition to the Takeover Day (typically it’s a Wednesday), I have assigned students to prepare a Week in Review that will post on Saturday. I’m excited to see how this works out.

If you are interested in learning more about this project for my students you can email me at mniec@davidsonacademy.com. I’d love to connect with you!