“Social Media Presence”
Greater Atlanta Christian School
GAC Fine Arts uses social media, specifically Instagram, to promote excellence in the arts in education. Our school encourages students to explore their interests and develop their talents in the arts. The GAC Fine Arts Instagram showcases the artistic achievements of our students and our school through engaging social media content. Ensuring that students are celebrated for their work encourages them to continue pursuing the arts and strive for excellence in their field.
The objective of our social media presence is to advocate for our students and for the importance of arts education.
Two target audiences were identified during the process of developing our social media strategy. The first audience is the internal GAC community. This audience wants to be informed of happenings in the Fine Arts on campus, learn how to become engaged in the Fine Arts department, and celebrate the achievements of the school. The second audience is the external community that is uninformed about GAC as a whole. This audience is made up of families considering school options for their family, residents of the Atlanta area, and members of other Fine Arts institutions. These two audiences were selected because of their proximity and common interest in the content posted by GAC Fine Arts.
The revamp of our social media presence took place over the 2022-2023 school year. The process began with a creative meeting between the Director of Fine Arts and myself, followed by a meeting with the teachers and program directors within the Fine Arts department. Next, featured students and events were identified and content was planned to post for these items. Finally, we used Instagram Analytics to quantify our growth and engagement on social media.
Overview of Planning and Execution
The GAC Fine Arts Instagram account is managed by myself and Regan Burnett, Director of Fine Arts. We are the major contributors to the initiative and have the greatest time commitment. Also included in the execution of our social media presence were photographer Ginny Starling and videographer Kelley Hammock, as well as the GAC Marketing and Communications department. Finally, the GAC Fine Arts directors and students were integral in creating the artistic expressions of music education that are showcased on the account.
Tools and Resources
In order to execute our social media content, I used Canva and Photoshop for graphic design. We also had professional photographers and videographers that created eye-catching content for the Instagram account. Additionally, I used Instagram Analytics to track the effectiveness of our social media strategy.
Marketing and Promotion
We implemented several strategies to showcase the GAC Fine Arts programs through our Instagram account. To increase the engagement of users on our posts, I began posting Student Spotlights that showcased outstanding students and their achievements in arts education. In order to increase attendance and awareness of Fine Arts events on campus, I posted “sneak peaks” of upcoming performances including the ticketing information, location of the performance, and description of the event. Following performances, I would post highlight reels of the performances or photos taken at the event. I also used Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels to highlight performance using the same strategies. Another strategy that increased awareness of our initiative was using Instagram’s feature to add a collaborator to a post. I would often collaborate with Greater Atlanta Christian’s main account, the GAC Student Life account, or the account of one of our Fine Arts departments (e.g. the band department’s Instagram).
We used a Canva for Educators account that was free. The photographers and videographers are paid by the school so I am unable to disclose that amount.
One challenge we faced was encouraging students to engage with our content. The most effective strategy I used to encourage students to engage with our account was to feature individuals on the page that they have a connection to, whether that be a fellow student or teacher that they learn from. Ensuring that students feel celebrated and continue to pursue arts at GAC and into college is a priority of our initiative.
Yes – our advocacy initiative was effective. Only in the last 90 days from today, July 18, we reached 3,504 users. Throughout the 2022-2023 school year, we always had a greater number of new followers than unfollows. We also had over 50% of our engagement come from non-followers which means our initiative is reaching those outside the immediate GAC community. Our top post of the year reached 1,161 accounts and engaged 245 accounts.
Our music programs were effectively showcased to the GAC community and beyond. Our Admissions team was able to direct prospective families to the GAC Fine Arts Instagram to encourage them to learn more about our arts education. Additionally, our winter musical sold out at every performance which is unprecedented in recent school history. Ticket sales directly support GAC’s theatre department. Local news institutions including the Gwinnett Daily Post, Southwest Gwinnett Magazine, the ArtsBridge Foundation, and Peachtree Corners Life Magazine used content from our social media on their own accounts and broadened our reach to the greater Atlanta area.
Advice for others?
I would encourage every school to use social media to showcase their program’s excellence. Through this initiative, our school has created meaningful community connections and spread the word about the music education successes at our school.
– This Instagram Reel showcased the successes of our programs in 2022 and encouraged students and families to participate in the arts in the new year.
– This post is the Spring Calendar of Events which kept our audience informed of Fine Arts events on campus.
– This is the link to view the GAC Fine Arts Instagram page. I have selected some featured posts below.
– This is a Student Spotlight post. GAC Fine Arts posted 8 Student Spotlights on Instagram during the Fall 2022 semester.
– This is a performance excerpt from a Lower School production.
– This is a post from Black History Month showcasing the achievements of Black students in Fine Arts at GAC.