College students and their parents are increasingly taking to social media to share their excitement at the graduation of their classmates.
The new wave of engagement comes as colleges and universities begin to consider social media as a new tool to connect with their student bodies and to gauge student interest.
“There is an element of that [new engagement] being the idea that they want to be engaged in the process of choosing who is going to graduate,” said Michael G. Raskin, a professor of education and psychology at the University of Minnesota and author of The Social Network.
While students and parents are encouraged to use social media in a variety of ways, the most effective way to engage with their peers is by posting a formal invitation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media platforms.
The invitation should include details about the student’s graduating date, a short bio, a contact email address, a phone number and more.
It should also mention that the student has a right to attend the commencement of another person.
The invitation must be signed by the student and posted on social media, so that other students can read it.
If the invitation is not signed, students should ask their parent or other trusted person to sign it for them, as it is not the student who will actually attend the graduation ceremony, according to Raskins.
“It is the parent who is the person that is supposed to sign the invitation and be the conduit for it to get out to the people in the audience, who are the actual graduating participants, and so they have a role in making sure that the invitations are done right,” he said.
The most effective engagement tactic is to use the official website of the institution, Raskis said.
“That will get the most engagement, so use that,” he added.
But for those looking to create their own social media invitation, there are plenty of ways to do so.
A post on Facebook or Instagram can include links to other events and the commencement speaker.
A tweet can be sent with a link to a story about the event or a photo of the event, and a text message with a message that includes the person’s name, email address and phone number.
“The way we do that is to go back to your Facebook and Instagram account and look at the events that you’re interested in and see if there are a few that are relevant to your event,” said G.M. Cupp, a former professor of psychology at Vanderbilt University and author a book called “The Social Network.”
“If you’re not seeing that in your profile picture, then you might be missing a lot of opportunities,” he continued.
“So try to make sure that you have something in your account that is related to the event.”
A student should also try to get as many invitations posted as possible, as they can help create a buzz for the event.
Some schools have started using the hashtag #graduationinvitation, which encourages students to tweet and post photos and events in the hopes that the posts will generate interest and encourage students to attend.
The number of people posting on the hashtag is trending upward.
“You can get people to do something really important by doing that, so it’s a good way to get people interested in something,” Raski said.
He added that it is important to try to spread the word.
And don’t forget to post an event on social.
There are several ways to post a formal event invitation on social networking sites, Rans said.
First, people should try to do one or two things.
“Make it as long as it takes to make the most out of the time they have,” he advised.
The first step is to get the event idea off the ground.
That means setting up a Twitter account and posting your idea on that, he said, and then posting that.
Then use the hashtag to post the event and make sure to include a link in the tweet.
“And you can always put a link on Facebook so people can see it and see what’s going on,” he noted.
“If people want to share it, then they should do it.
They should also share it on Instagram or Snapchat, which are great platforms for people to share the event on.”
Another way to generate interest is by creating a Facebook event page.
Many colleges have created Facebook pages, which offer an opportunity for students to post their own events and to ask questions about the ceremony.
The pages are created with the same guidelines that they would use on social networks, but students should create their pages using their own names and photos.
“When you’re creating an event page, there’s a few guidelines that you need to be aware of,” Rans advised.
“You have to make it as authentic as possible.”
Raskin advises students to avoid using their official names, which can cause a