Level Up Your YBK Social Media

Social media is a great tool for your staff to connect with your school and increase book sales! It is essential in growing awareness around your yearbook since it’s the place students (and even teachers!) spend most of their time. Think about it. How often do you catch yourself scrolling on TikTok at midnight? You’re probably not the only one. Since your school community is the audience you are trying to reach to buy your yearbook, it is important to meet them where they are at – socials! Here are eight social media best practices we have picked up along the way that you can use to build your own social media following.

1. Identify your audience

Once you know who you’re talking to, it will be much easier to relate to them with the content you put out. You can find the age range, geographic location and other demographics on your “insights” tab. (We know, a little creepy right?) It is important to remember you might have a different audience on each platform, and the content you put out on each should be customized to their values. Let’s say your staff only wants to use Instagram and Facebook. If you go to your insights tab and see that students are more active on Instagram and parents are more active on Facebook, you can frame your content and copy to relate to those specific audiences.

2. Engage with them

We all want the same thing – book sales! But, there are so many other ways you can use socials to connect with your school and indirectly promote sales too. If every post has the same “Get your book now!” messaging, you aren’t engaging with your audience in a way that relates to their values and problems. Use your comment section to ask and respond to questions, use polls on Instagram stories to gather infographic information, make it EASY for them to interact with you, and we promise sales will come. 

3. Be consistent 

The best way to grow and keep a following is to be consistent. Are you going to post twice a week? Twice a day? Whatever a realistic schedule looks like for your staff, dedicate the time to make a plan, delegate responsibility and commit to it. There is no better way to lose interest than to post 15 times in one day and nothing for the 15 days following that. When you have a plan in place, it makes social media so much more enjoyable and takes the pressure off finding content last minute.

4. Find your role models

Look for people who are doing what you want to do, and follow their lead. A great way to find yearbook accounts who are killing it on social media is by following @hjyearbook. We constantly share amazing sales graphics, design inspo and creative video content from our yearbook staffs around the country. You can also search for inspo and accounts to follow using relevant hashtags like #hjyearbook, #YBKAllDay, #JustWatchUsYBK, #YBKSelloutChallenge or #BookSalesBlitz. Build relationships with accounts who share your goals by interacting with their content or even sending them a DM.

5. Optimize your posts and profile

The best way for potential followers to find your posts is by using hashtags and keywords in your captions and bio. When you make a search on social media platforms, the search feed will pull every piece of content and every profile that uses that word/hashtag. That’s why it is important to put thought into your bio and every caption you write for a post. 

Extra Tips:

  • Always use hashtags that are relevant to your content so you’re reaching the right people. 
  • Use your school’s full name in your profile bio. It is much easier to search and find “Herff Jones High School Yearbook” rather than HJHS YBK. 
  • Put your order link and school code in your bio! You want that to be the first thing someone sees when they click on your profile. 

6. Try Out Video Content

Now is the time to hop on the TikTok train! Even if your staff isn’t ready to create a TikTok account, it is to your benefit to follow TikTok’s lead and use video content on every platform. Videos are proven to get higher engagement than any other content. Why? They are put in the best position to go viral since video feeds reach way beyond your current following. Video feed algorithms are formatted to each person uniquely rather than only showing videos from people you follow. Plus, video content is simply more interesting than a static image. When movement and sound is involved, eyes are drawn, ears are perked and people will stay for more. 

7. Do your Research

Now that you know your audience and how to interact with them, it is time to do your research. Use your insights tab on each post to see how people are interacting. If video content gets the most likes and comments, then make more video content. If an Instagram story with a question button gets a lot of responses, then do it again! And, for the equal and opposite reaction, if a single, static image post gets two likes from your own staff members, maybe think of ways to add movement or more engaging imagery next time. You ultimately just want to configure posts that encourage your desired outcome. Mimic and recreate posts that do well, and avoid and reinvent those that don’t.


Share the links to your socials everywhere! All this work does no good if your school doesn’t know your yearbook has a dedicated social media. Put the @handles on posters, sales handouts, sidewalks, bathrooms, order forms, EVERYWHERE! Once you have your strategy and consistency in order, they are going to be happy to follow you and they might tell their friends to do the same.

Sondra Vernengo Robison, Content Marketing Manager at Herff Jones

Ready for more?

For even more sales and marketing tips, check out our virtual workshop sessions with videos dedicated to social media best practices just like these! And don’t forget about our extra social media support! Find ready-made graphics and Canva templates here.