How to use social media to engage Gen Z in class and beyond

From assignments to student engagement, there's a right and a wrong way to use social media

Colleges need to have a savvy social-media presence to attract and hold Generation Z’s attention as well as to address their academic, personal, and career needs. To reach students, colleges must develop effective digital tactics both inside and outside the classroom.

And to reach Gen Z where they live, you need to use their favorite platforms—Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, says Nicole Kraft, who teaches journalism at Ohio State University, which ranks sixth in’s Stars of Social Media Colleges 2018.

Using social media in class
According to Kraft, professors need to teach students how to use platforms properly before giving assignments. “Just because students have been using social media for much of their lives doesn’t mean they know the right way to use it,” she says.

She recommends using Slack, a cloud-based collaboration hub that has similar features to other social-media platforms. With Slack, students can learn appropriate use of social media without their content being visible to the public and possibly damaging a future career. Kraft suggests walking them through the entire process, including setting up accounts and profiles. “Take the time to build into the course structure how they will use these tools,” she says.

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