Social media clicks for school clubs

Ellie Prober and Nora Smith, Lifestyle Editor and Opinions Editor

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Senior Abby Koss, Juggling and Magic Club president, demonstrates her juggling skills. Following the club’s first meeting of the school year, she created an Instagram account in order to promote the club and increase attendance at meetings and events. Photo by Chloe Carroll

Instagram is flooded. The app is swamped by usernames starting with the same three letters, “GBN,” and posts overflowing with green and gold. Sophomore Charlie Weissman noticed this flood when Glenbrook North’s Feminism Club requested to follow him on Instagram.

“I remember clicking on the profile just to see … what they were posting because I was curious,” said Weissman. “… That’s the only club I’ve noticed, but … it seems like there’d be more [accounts].”

Weissman was right: there are many more. With a search of “GBN” on Instagram, over 50 GBN-related accounts appear.

Mike Tarjan, assistant principal of student activities, said he strongly suggested that club sponsors begin a “social media push” within their clubs.However, he did not impose a formal, written policy requiring social media for all clubs.

“My goal this year, in general, is to get more students engaged in what we’re doing as a school, and [social media] is just one avenue to … push that,” said Tarjan. “There’s no … ramifications if a club doesn’t do it.”

To provide clubs with the necessary resources, Tarjan said he asked the Public Relations and Communications Department of District 225, also known as the PR Department, to put together a social media presentation. Clubs received this presentation on Sept. 18, 2017.

Tarah O’Connell and Karen Geddeis, PR and Communications specialists, said in an e-mail that the meeting gave “tips for managing an engaging social media account in a professional way.”

While several clubs already had social media, about 20 clubs have registered at least one official social media account since the school year began.

Senior Abby Koss, Juggling and Magic Club president, said she believes the increased use of social media in school clubs will be beneficial for the groups.

“I think it’s a good choice  [to create a profile] because [social media is] more relatable to teenagers,” Koss said.

According to Hellenic Club Sponsor Dina Houmpavlis, having an Instagram account is helpful for meeting reminders and generating excitement over the club.

“I think it gets [students] excited, knowing that they might take pictures that are gonna go on Instagram because I know a lot of kids really like to go online and use those social media sites,” Houmpavlis said.

Weissman said increasing presence in social media is a good approach for clubs to earn recognition.

“I think [social media is] a really good way to get the word out about school events,” said Weissman. “People are checking [Instagram] and they’re more inclined to go, especially because they see how many people liked [a post] and how many people might be going.”

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Social media clicks for school clubs