How Groups at M-A Are Expanding Their Social Media Presence

3 mins read

M-A clubs, classes, and sports teams have a strong presence on social media, particularly Instagram, where they publicize events and share pictures and videos. Recently, some of these groups have taken to short-form video content on platforms like Instagram Reels and TikTok to increase their outreach and switch up their content, and the results have been very successful.

In 2020, Instagram introduced Reels, short videos with a TikTok-like layout. The M-A Dance Team uses Instagram to advertise their performances, posting reels and photos of their dancers. The dancers introduced themselves as their costume for the “rhyme-without-reason” themed dance team practice over the summer, with pairs of dancers posing in creative and colorful outfits. The reel quickly shot up in views, currently standing at 78,700 views. “We normally get around 1,000 views on our videos and around 100 likes, so this was very exciting for us to see,” said senior and captain Alice Ingelsson. She added, “We’ve gained a lot more followers and have been getting more engagement on our posts since we uploaded the Reel.” On their posts following the Reel, view counts have tripled. “We are definitely going to start posting more Reels to switch up what content we have on the account and hopefully increase our like and follower count,” said Ingelsson.

The dance team is not the only M-A sports team that has used Reels. M-A football uploaded two “Q&A” style Reels, asking the varsity players to answer questions such as, “What is your favorite Taylor Swift song?” and to give their best impression of their head coach, Chris Saunders. These Reels help their followers learn more about the players and show a different side of the team. The football team’s Reels consistently receive hundreds of views.

Other clubs and classes have recently created accounts on TikTok, where they are uploading more casual and personable posts. M-A Leadership joined the app this August due to many requests from M-A students. The account is run by junior Paulina Cisneros, who is in her second year of Leadership. “We have really enjoyed being on TikTok because we get to post funny videos and advertise in a more laid-back way,” said Cisneros. “It’s much less stressful than posting on Instagram because it is more informal.” Leadership’s TikTok page has been following all the humorous and popular trends while putting their own personal spin on them. “When I see a new trend, I show it to other students, and we think of a way to relate it to Leadership,” said Cisneros. To promote the homecoming spirit days, Leadership participated in the “put these glasses on and pose” trend, which showed pink flamingo sunglasses followed by a fast-moving photo montage of M-A students wearing the glasses, all decked out in pink for Barbie day. 

M-A Drama has been advertising its program on TikTok since March. Their entertaining content is produced by junior Ben Siegel*, who has been a part of the program since freshman year. “We typically post fun theater-related content, random funny backstage videos, stuff related to our shows, and sometimes more professional videos of our shows to promote them,” said Siegel. Drama had its big break on March 19th, when its video promoting the spring musical, Newsies, gained an audience of 1.6 million viewers. “It was a random funny TikTok we posted during the production, and suddenly my phone started blowing up with likes and comments,” said Siegel. “It’s interesting how unpredictable going viral is. A video we all think is really funny may get 100 views, and then another random video might blow up.” Drama’s TikToks are generally spur-of-the-moment ideas casually created during rehearsal, contrasting the more formal approach they take to Instagram, where they promote their shows like a professional theater company. 

Despite the numerous positive results, the account managers have different opinions on the effectiveness of social media content. The leadership and dance team both encourage other groups at M-A to start uploading content on social media. “TikTok is a very good idea for groups that want to get more attention; the videos definitely draw more people in,” said Cisneros. However, while he agrees, Siegel also sees the uncertainty of positive results. “TikTok is really fun, can help promote your program, and can get you a viral moment, which is all great. But, going viral on TikTok is unlikely to actually get people to come see our shows since the people liking the video are random TikTok users from around the globe,” he said. “I think Instagram helps promote the shows, and TikTok is more of a fun thing.” Reels and TikToks are taking the internet by storm, and no matter the results, they provide an opportunity for groups to show a lighthearted and humorous aspect of their program. 

*Ben Siegel is also a journalist for the M-A Chronicle.

Tessa is a junior at M-A and in her first year of journalism. She hopes to write about school events and athletics. When not in school, she enjoys dancing and is Captain of the M-A dance team.

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