How to Social Media Market Air Academy

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A screenshot of the Jetstream Journal Instagram with some pointers to keep in mind.

Joining the staff of the Jetstream Journal in my junior year was a step towards a completely new experience.

Despite the long road I had ahead in order to become a decent journalist and reporter, I decided to add on to the new experience list by applying to be the Jetstream’s marketing manager. I was quite familiar with popular social media platforms and teenage aesthetics; therefore, the role of using those skills to market our writing truly excited me.

Ending my senior year, I have held the position of marketing manager for the past two years, as well as taking on managing Air Academy’s general social media.

I have gathered numerous experiences in leadership, communication, and teamwork through working on these positions and I hope whoever steps up to take them after me enjoys them just as well; that person might be you, and if that is the case, I hope this article finds and helps you in some way.

Unfortunately in our progressive world, journalism is a dying field, which is why proper marketing for a newspaper is a huge part of the success of each issue. One of the greatest advantages of being the marketing manager for the Jetstream Journal is that as a student, I was familiar with what caught the attention of other students.

The first step of launching my marketing plan was finding a relevant and widely used social media platform, which in the case of 2018 was Instagram. A larger number of Air Academy high school students used the platform of Instagram compared to Facebook or even Snapchat. The second step was creating a feed that was both aesthetically pleasing and informative. The information had to be presented efficiently, but it was important to dress it up by editing the photos and even photoshopping.

Some apps that helped me for editing and creating interesting pictures and even videos include: VSCO, Instasize, iMovie, 1SE, PicPlayPost, Phhhoto, and Huji.

For example, if the post was going to be about the new Jetstream Journal flyers that were going to be posted around the school, the picture would be of the flyers in a unique arrangement on a solid color background with filter editing that brought out the features of the posters. The picture is very important because it is what grasps the attention and forces the audience to stop scrolling.

The caption is the second most important thing, as it contains all the information and purpose of the post. The language of the caption is very important; it must mimic the casual and upbeat jargon of teenagers while still remaining respectful and of course, school appropriate.

I started most of my captions with “Hey Kadets!!” or by setting the scene of what was occurring in the picture. This technique delivers the message that needs to be heard in an easy and understandable way, whether the news is big or small.

Liz Walhof is an AAHS assistant principal and the main staff in charge of the school’s social media accounts who offered the opportunity to the Jetstream Journal to help run these accounts and bring a fresh student perspective into the posts.

“Social media is a great way to push information to the students, instead of expecting them to come to find it,” said Walhof.

Though I was one of the first students to work directly with Walhof on social media, she looks forward to taking three to four student social media interns each year if possible. There is a very fair exchange of knowledge between the staff and student when working on social media, as the student gains a sense of responsibility and time management, while the staff is learning new materials about social media and tapping into student perspectives.

“There are a few important things: first, remembering that what we post and write represents AAHS and we need to be professional and yet approachable. Second, reporting/deleting inappropriate comments and remembering that students can be snarky or silly without being bad. Finding the balance is hard sometimes,” continued Walhof.

Alongside Instagram, AAHS also has a Facebook and Twitter page whose majority following is the older population such as staff and parents. When marketing on these two platforms, it is very important to take into consideration your audience and elevate the formality of your language as well as context.

Walhof refers to the AAHS Twitter as an outlet for “mini journalism” where we share important news and announcements with a more sophisticated population. I attempted to keep each twitter post brief but informative, and instead of greeting the audience, I would dive straight into giving the information. This keeps a more ethical format to the news, much like you would see in a paper.

Alongside social media, there other tools of marketing such as: creating contests where students enter photos of events around the school, making goodie bags for the students with a Jetstream Journal inside, and even making verbal announcements about publication during Kadet Time. While being the marketing manager, it is important to be creative and think of marketing ideas that you, a student, would find engaging.

If taking charge of marketing our amazing high school and its newspaper is something that interests you, reach out to the Jetstream Journal Adviser Mary Anderson for more information about joining the class.

I have had an amazing two years working on this paper, and it is finally time to hand down the baton. If you are the next marketing manager or social media intern at AAHS and have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to me through email: [email protected], and if I am not drowning in college homework, I will make sure to get back to you and help keep the spirits of AAHS alive.

Cheers to our last issue 2020 seniors. Thank you, Jetstream Journal.