Social Media for Student Leaders!

 As the new academic year rolled around in August of 2021, the College Volunteer Facilitator Corp (CVFC) met to brainstorm different social media tactics that aim to engage MASC/MAHS students with the organization. The main social media platforms that are used by the organization are Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Due to the global pandemic, consistency within these platforms began to decline back in 2020. Because there were not as many major MASC/MAHS events at that time, informational posts were not as necessary as they were in the past. However, now that in-person events have started to pick back up over the past year, these social media efforts have been renewed and are now one of the main areas of focus for CVFC. In search of consistency within the organization’s social media presence, CVFC has created themed days that students can look out for each week. This new structure has been led by chairs Dea Taipi and Jules Payne, who are in charge of creating the graphics and content for each day.

CVFC collaborated with Mads Rzeppa from the Board of Delegates (BoD) at the beginning of each week. “Mental Health Monday” is a day where a member of CVFC or BoD shares their personal tips and tricks on how they take care of their own mental health. Rzeppa found that after the past two years, sharing mental health stories and tips and tricks can help better the community by creating connections with MASC/MAHS followers on a deeper level. These posts have made such a tremendous impact and have allowed CVFC and BoD to connect with hundreds of student leaders throughout the state of Michigan! 

Tuesday was used as a direct way to get followers engaged with the Instagram account. “Template Tuesday” is a day where students, advisors, alum, and even staff can participate by reposting that day’s template onto their story while adding their own personal touch. These templates prompt followers to reflect on their own leadership journey, or even their time at MASC/MAHS events. For example, the template used on the last Monday of 2021 prompted students to share ways they wish to grow in the upcoming year. Another template that seemed to engage many was used the Monday before the 2022 States Conference. This one asked students to add one of their favorite pictures from a past States Conference while sharing a quick explanation of why it is their favorite picture. After people repost the template, the chairs repost their edited version onto the story for everyone else to see, encouraging more people to participate.

While CVFC and BoD both love using the social media platforms to have fun and engage with students, it is extremely important that followers are updated on upcoming events. “Whats Up Wednesdays” are used to provide necessary information and links to any upcoming MASC/MAHS event followers need to know about. Any big promotional videos or graphics are typically released on this day and then reposted throughout the week for anyone who might have missed it. The chairs do their best to keep the type of content released on Wednesdays different. A simple graphic can be what is necessary at that moment, but sometimes promotional videos can be more helpful, especially when they provide specifics about an event or group. For example, when BoD applications were opened this year, a promotional video helped inform followers about what it means to be a part of this group. But as the deadline to apply approaches, Wednesdays have consisted of simple graphics that remind the followers to apply.

“Thoughtful Thursdays” have also brought something new to the MASC/MAHS social media presence. CVFC wanted the social media to reflect core values of the organization with their new efforts. Because service is something this organization emphasizes, CVFC wanted a day dedicated to providing followers with resources that offer community service opportunities to anyone who might be interested. While this process has started with opportunities from CVFC members themselves, the social media chairs wish to create a process where followers can fill out a form to get their own community service opportunities opened to the large number of followers MASC/MAHS has. Payne explains, “We have direct links to student councils all around Michigan, and most of the councils have a charity week each school year. My vision is that when a school is doing their charity week, they can fill out a form to get the information of whatever organization they are working with on our social media so that others outside of just that school’s community can also contribute. The MASC community is so closely knit, so I think other member schools would love the opportunity to help each other out however they can.”

The last day of the week has been one of the mutual favorites so far. “Feature Friday” is a day dedicated to showcasing the hard work of MASC/MAHS member schools to others. In order to be featured, a representative from that school must fill out a google form that provides the school name, project/event, description, and pictures of that project/event. Each Friday, one more school gets a shoutout from not just CVFC, but other students around the state of Michigan. The engagement with these posts have shown how supportive school councils are of each other. It also gives students some ideas on new events or projects they might want to try out with their own school. As more and more requests are sent in, the chairs are looking to have two or three spotlights a week moving forward.

Within the past few months, CVFC and BoD have found how much of an impact staying consistent with our activity has on followers. The past States Conference was a direct example of this. Months, weeks, and even days leading up to the event, consistent posts helped get students excited about the conference. Instagram allowed Payne, Rzeppa, and Taipi to start countdowns, polls, hashtags, and “add yours” trends that engaged everyone with the event. This energy carried on into the event as well. Rzeppa and BoD continued to post fun videos and pictures of the event as it was happening, while the chairs from CVFC focused on reposting pictures that other students and advisers were tagging MASC/MAHS in. For the first time, there was an effort to comment on all of those posts as well, which seemed to be greatly appreciated. This was HUGE for our social media team. The account received an overwhelming amount of positive comments on the conference and everyone involved. It was so amazing seeing the community come together and spread the love for this amazing association. While the engagement with followers is at an all-time high, CVFC wishes to continue to improve. Now that it is almost that time to start preparing for summer events, like Student Leadership Camp, it is a goal to have the Twitter and Facebook accounts be just as impactful as Instagram was during the States Conference.