English or Communications? Social Media Use in an English Class

Guest Blogger Micaela Soucy

Technology has created an environment in which we are able to do new things and connect with even more people than before. In CUPID Studio we used this idea to revamp the English department’s newsletter. By pursuing a digital rendition of the newsletter, we have made it more accessible and appealing to our audience. The new newsletter, now titled The Scroll, is a social media based directive delivered on a platform that continues to be favored by millennials. The specific platforms associated with The Scroll are as follows: WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.24.01 AMWordPress: This blog site is an archive of all the material and content used for the newsletter. Our class decided that we needed a platform in which we could post longer content that people will actually read, so WordPress fit that ideal. Twitter only allows 140 characters and Facebook and Instagram only post a certain number of characters before cutting off the post and adding a “Read More” option. It was determined that the WordPress blog would be something to refer to to “Read More” within social media posts so that the accounts wouldn’t be cluttered with long content. This stemmed from the idea that social media users don’t read lengthy texts. Most users scroll through dashboards and only stop when something catches their eye. Therefore, we decided to use the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts to post short eye-catching snippets of the full content that we post on the WordPress blog.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.24.09 AMFacebook: This site is the most used social networking site by adults according to Pew Research Center. It’s a place where people share articles and photos that have meaning to them, and so for The Scroll this is a great place to put content. People can easily share it with friends and family, which provides a much wider audience than we ever intended. Shares can be used to deem what people find important or like more than other content.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.24.17 AMTwitter: This site features the option to retweet, which is similar to sharing on Facebook. Hashtags are also a big feature of Twitter that get used often. For the newsletter we decided to use this feature to 1) identify the types of posts and 2) make it more fun and interactive. These hashtags can also be used on Facebook and Instagram, but Twitter was the one to popularize them. Some examples of the hashtags we’re using are, #PageTurnerTuesday, #FacultyFriday, #ScrollCall, and #HowWeScroll.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 9.24.39 AMInstagram: This site allows users to post photos and videos for their followers to see. For every social media platform we will be including images with the content but this platform caters exclusively to pictures and video. Therefore, the picture is the main focus and the text follows it. This means we had to create templates that were eye-catching but also followed a theme relevant to the English department and to Elon.

The great thing about social media is that posts from each platform can be shared on the other platforms as well. This is important because followers on one platform might not be following The Scroll on a different platform, but if, for example, a post from Instagram is shared on Twitter, those Twitter followers could be inspired to now follow the Instagram account. Social media is just a great way to reach a large audience.

This entry was posted in Student Perspective. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.