Yearbook Staff Tips: How To Leverage Social Media

Social media has revolutionized and changed forever how we share information with each other, and because of it, we are now more connected than we’ve ever been before. This is just one of the many reasons why social media can be important to your yearbook committee’s overall process including promoting and selling the yearbooks.

Did you know that, according to Best Masters in Education, approximately 96% of students with internet access report using social media.  So it seems only appropriate that yearbook staffs start using social media to their advantage.

Yearbook Staff Tips_How To Leverage Social MediaPromoting through social media channels is one of the quickest ways to alert the student body about upcoming yearbook events, fundraisers, contests, sales, and more. You can share behind-the-scenes photos of the staff preparing the book, ask the students directly what they would like to see more of in their yearbook, and let them know their opinions matter. You can even use some of the photos that are shared via social media for the yearbook.

Use social media to boost yearbook sales and spread awareness.


There really is no better way to quickly reach the masses than through social channels. Even more convenient, you can push out a single tweet about books being on sale and let the student body spread the word by simply retweeting what your staff has to say. What used be a long and grueling process can now be done in minutes…or in 140 characters or less.


We all know that everyone wants to be in the yearbook, but it’s not always easy for your staff to be everywhere at all times capturing every moment of the school year. Social media is an excellent way to allow the student body to share and suggest content for the book. They can easily share their own photos with the yearbook staff via Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

ATTENTION STUDENTS & YEARBOOK STAFF MEMBERS: Here are some tips for using a smartphone to take photos for your yearbook.


Tracking down a source for a photo or story is much easier with social media. If your publication has a social following, chances are the person you are trying to identify is already a follower or at least a friend of a follower.


Generating story ideas is as easy with social media. It’s a great way to find out what topics students are most interested in hearing about.


Sometimes you may wonder how your audience will react to certain types of stories. With social media, journalists are now able to gauge what their audience wants to hear. You can test the waters by placing short notes or photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about different events happening around the school and see how your peers comment or what they favor through the number of likes a post or photo receives.


Tips for Using a Smartphone to Take Photos for Your Yearbook

As you probably already know, capturing those “special” moments throughout the school year isn’t always easy. We know that your yearbook staff photographers will be at special events, capturing important moments, but what about behind the scenes like the bus trips to the events/games or the students hanging out in the stands?

Tips for Using a Smartphone to Take Photos for Your YearbookStudents Unite!

With nearly everyone owning a smartphone now a days, students themselves can now take pictures of these moments that make up “student life” which can be used for the school yearbook. The most obvious advantage is students almost always have them handy.  Below, we have put together several tips and tricks to help you improve your photography skills using your smartphone.

Tips To Help Students Get Yearbook Quality Photos With A Smartphone:

  • Keep your lens clean. Before snapping a shot, give the lens a quick wipe using a soft cloth – one to clean glasses or made specifically for electronics is ideal. Fingerprints are a big problem, and the oil from our fingers smears easily.
  • Know your phone. There are hundreds of smartphone camera tutorials on YouTube. It’s definitely worth the time to watch videos for your specific phone and operating system.
  • Do not zoom. Get physically closer instead of relying on the digital zoom. On a digital camera, digital zoom works the same as cropping and enlarging a photo in a graphics program. You lose quality and the ability to enlarge it later. If you can’t get closer, get creative with your shots. IDEA: Capture the cheerleaders’ reactions to a great play instead of the player on the field.
  • Use two hands, and turn the camera horizontally for the best control. Just like with other cameras, the steadier your phone, the less blurry or out-of-focus your photos will be. IDEA: Clip two binder clips on one side and set it on the metal “legs” to make an impromptu tripod.
  • Use burst mode for action shots. Most smartphones can take up to 10 photos per second with a feature called “burst mode.” IDEA: This is great for “before & after” photos.
  • Use the grid. The grid is especially helpful for new photographers still learning rule of thirds. Doing it now will keep them from having to crop it later—and possibly losing quality.
  • Always remember, flash = red eye and shadows. It’s always best to shoot without the flash whenever possible. More and more, smartphone cameras are becoming more advanced at shooting in low light, but if it’s too dark to shoot without the flash, position a friend nearby. IDEA: Have them hold up their phone with the flashlight on and pointed toward your subject. The light is more diffused and natural in the photo.
  • Get familiar with your resolution. For the most part, the higher the resolution a.k.a. megapixels, the more detailed the picture will appear – and better it will print. For yearbooks, too small, and the photos will be grainy. Too large, and there may be issues with uploading and storage.


Taking photographs for your yearbook should be fun, and the better you know your phone’s camera capabilities, the better chance you’ll capture the perfect shot. Even though not every picture taken by students who used their smartphone will be able to be used in your yearbook, you certainly can’t use ones that were never taken! So go ahead and start capturing those moments that will live forever in your yearbook.

Best Ways To Market & Sell Your School Yearbook

You and your team spent months on the layout and design of your yearbook. Now it’s time to sell them! Marketing your yearbook is one of the most important activities for your staff members and a great way for them to learn all aspects of the business.

Here are some great marketing ideas that have been proven to be successful over the years:

  • Display posters in school with photos from the yearbook! Use bright colors so they are noticeable. Hang your posters in interesting and populated places at school, such as restrooms, locker rooms, the media center, cafeteria and office. Place them out in the community in high traffic places such as grocery stores, retail stores, the mall and fast food hangouts.
  • Offer a payment plan so students who cannot afford a one time charge can have an opportunity to purchase one.
  • If your school sends home a mailer, ask to include a flier for yearbook sales. If necessary, send home flyers in multiple languages.
  • Create ads in the school newspaper, or in football or basketball program, and use school radio or TV announcements.
  • Place advertising stickers on items in the school snack machine.
  • Pass around “Yearbooks on Sale” balloons in between periods and after school.
  • Hang “Yearbooks on Sale” banners on the front or main entrance to the school and in the car drop off loop.
  • Encourage Pre-sales by offering a discounted price early in the year that increases as the school year moves on.
  • Create a sense of urgency to buy a yearbook. Have a one-week sales event. During the event, advertise through posters, T-shirts for yearbook staff members, fliers on car windows or in lockers. You could even use chalk to draw advertisements on the concrete. Be as enthusiastic about the book as you can.
  • Organize a giveaway for your sales campaign. For example, you might draw one name of a student who purchased a book in a given week to receive a free iPad two tickets to the school dance.
  • Have your students use social media to promote sales. If they have a Facebook, or Twitter account, have them post about the yearbook.
  • Place a link on your school website that connects to the online store to purchase yearbooks.
  • Have students man a table at PTA Meetings and Parent Nights selling books. Have samples of books from previous years on display. Anytime parents are on campus, you should take advantage of the sales opportunity.
  • If your school has a database of parent email addresses, send out reminder emails prior to sales events. You could also use a robo-calling system to send a phone message home.
  • Send every student who has not yet purchased a book a reminder. Include reasons why they should purchase a book.

A well developed marketing plan will give all students in your school the opportunity to buy a book and have those special moments to look back on years down the road. For more information, contact YearbookLife today!

3D School Yearbooks Now Available

boy-with-3d-glasses3Everyone wants a unique yearbook to share with friends and family. How about one in 3D?

YearbookLife is one of the few yearbook publishers to offer 3D yearbooks. Let us help you create a unique yearbook for your school!

All 3D yearbooks include:

  • FREE 3D glasses
  • FREE online design software
  • 10 day delivery
  • FREE shipping
  • No money required to get started
  • FREE marketing materials


Want more information? Contact YearbookLife today to learn more about 3D yearbooks and how you can get started.

Yearbook Tips: The 411 on Copyright Images

Wouldn’t it be great to have Mickey Mouse with a cap and gown on the cover of your yearbook? What about having Family Guy characters in-between graduates portraits?  While these maybe creative and fun ideas, have you stopped and considered whether you have the legal right to include these images in your yearbook? More than likely, you don’t.

Since no one on your committee is likely a copyright lawyer, it is important that every team member be familiar with basic copyright and trademark laws.

According to 1976 Copyright Act, only the creator of a copyrighted work or the owner of a copyright is legally allowed to reproduce, perform, display, distribute of or create variations of a work. Any unauthorized use of that material is considered Yearbook Tips: The 411 on Copyright Imagescopyright infringement. If you use that image without obtaining permission from the copyright owner, there is the potential for legal action as well as a cease and desist to occur. For more details on copyright law, visit

So how do you know if an image is copyrighted?  For one, a watermark symbol may appear over the image or the copyright © symbol may appear next to the image. If you don’t see any of these, you may want to utilize Google and do a reverse-search on the image. This will allow you to view where the images have been posted, and possibly even tell you who the primary owner is.

Once you identify the owner,  you will want to contact them to get written permission to allow you to utilize the photo or image in your yearbook. This can be a challenge as it can take a long time to get a reply from the owner and there is a chance that the owner will want to be compensated for your use of that image.

To avoid delays and any other challenges, you should consider using royalty free, stock photography images from websites such as Deposit Photos, ShutterStock and ThinkStock. Through these sites you can purchase great photos that you can use in your yearbook and not have to worry about any legal implications.

It is always recommended that before you submit your yearbook for printing that the book is reviewed by a  high-ranking school official such as a Principal or Superintendent.