How to get full staff investment in your Instagram account

One of the things that our staff struggled with last year was posting consistently to social media. Now, with the help of an assignment shared by Sarah Nichols (via the Advising Yearbook course from Kent State), our whole staff helps to keep our Instagram account current.

In an attempt to practice photography, caption writing and social media posting, we adopted the Photographer of the Day assignment (linked below).  

At the beginning of the year, students chose a number which becomes their POD day. For each month, based on their chosen number, their role was to find and capture interesting news/feature photos. For example, if their number is 24, Sept. 24 will be their POD, again on Oct. 24 and all year. If their date falls on a weekend, they can shoot/post on on the weekend with out-of-school coverage, but if that’s not possible, a weekend POD can be done during the week.

Students capture images all day, looking for interesting academic, student life and sport opportunities. This supports our need for images for the yearbook. At some point during the day, it’s their job to post on Instagram. They check the feed to make sure nobody from yearbook has posted the same type of photo recently. The caption is written in yearbook caption format and students try to tag anyone in the photo. If appropriate, they include our hashtag for the year #WatchThisLHS and their photo credit (either their name or account).

This means that all of our staffers have the login information for our account. So far, we haven’t encountered any issues, but our social media editors make sure to keep a watch on the posts and comments. They discuss any changes that they make to posts with the original poster.

POD posts have really upped our game in terms of the amount of times that we are posting to Instagram, which has in turn helped us gain followers and traction with our hashtag. We still use the account to post photos with less journalistic captions and self-promotion type photos as well as marketing posts.

The assignment also offers opportunities for the social media editors and photography editors to give feedback. The social media editor’s grade the Instagram post and the photo editors grade the folder of photos on the drive. POD posts are evaluated for the content, the deadline, the caption and tagging. See the rubric linked below.

Attachments:

Follow us on Instagram: @lindberghyearbook

Editor’s Note: This post was written by Autumn Heaton, Katie Hertel and Carrie Rapp.

Carrie Rapp

Carrie Rapp is in her fifth year advising the Spirit yearbook at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis, MO. She also teaches English I Honors and Intro to Journalism. She is a Certified Journalism Educator, a recipient of the JEA Future Journalism Teacher Scholarship and the co-president of the local scholastic journalism organization JournalismSTL. She lives in Webster Groves with her husband and pup named Sherlock.

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