Spending particularly extended periods of time on social media has always been seen as a distraction from schoolwork. According to Truelist, more than 210 million people throughout the world are heavily involved in social media, with roughly half of them being teenagers.

Social media's post-pandemic metamorphosis may be more than just an addiction. For students and educational institutions, it might be a career booster, skill tutor, or business developer.

Here are five ways to use social media to engage with students:

1. Lectures and events can be streamed.

Live video sessions with industry experts, faculty recorded lectures, group streaming of videos, and other features available on platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and others work as a catalyst for effective student involvement.

These platforms can also be used to webcast events related to the sector, such as workshops and exhibitions.

Institutions can interact with more potential students by holding webinars, online seminars, and other events, in addition to providing a learning environment for present students.

2. Putting together interactive clubs

Free discussion forums can be formed by forming interest-based chat groups and study groups.

These kinds of organisations guarantee an unrestricted flow of ideas, bridging the gap between students and instructors.

Connecting future students with current students and alumni using platforms like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Clubhouse will expand the field of learning for students while also improving the college's reputation.

The clubs can even build beneficial relationships with those that operate outside of campus, broadening the scope of activities to include the rest of the world.

3. Career-oriented platforms

Some social media platforms like LinkedIn, Quora, etc., are entirely dedicated to learning, skill, and career enhancement.

Other applications like D2C or Dare2Compete can also be used to keep the students updated and also to enhance the reach for the institute.

Other platforms like Facebook have equipped the feature of job search, which the students can freely share and even interact with the right guidance offered by faculties.

By providing such valuable information through their official pages, the institutes can enlighten the students' minds and get better reach.

4. Global reach-out

According to the MOOC statistics, nearly 60% of the netizens have used and are satisfied with e-learning platforms. The role of social media platforms in popularising online learning is simply pivotal.

Under the guidance of global industry experts, the news and promotions of different webinars and courses are flooding these platforms.

The institutes can popularise the events by sharing the details via their social media handles. This will increase the scope of event reach and student participation.\

5. Conducting events and platforms

Besides college or university-level events and competitions, the students now have a wider scope to participate even in international-level encounters.

Events like the business plan, coding wars, etc., are witnessing huge participation and matchups.

Such events are proving grounds for the students to apply their knowledge, chisel their skills, and even build strong connections.

Social media has attained a necessary transformation to adapt to changing circumstances which makes these platforms offer enough features and content that makes even a day spent on these non-addictive and productive in concert.

Social media has been viewed as a space to communicate and interact non-hesitantly. Simply put, educational institutions actively engaging in social media could be a huge pathbreaker that encourages active communication and results in mutual benefits.

(This is a slightly modified version of an article originally published in India Today. The original article can be found at https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/featurephilia/story/5-ways-for-teachers-and-institutions-to-engage-with-students-through-social-media-1900451-2022-01-15