Beachwood High School Seniors Tap Tweeting Skills for Cedar Point
Facebook isn't just for fun anymore for senior marketing class
Ask any high school senior what they think a marketing job might entail, and they will probably give a short list: advertising expertise, writing skills and a bit of schmoozing.
But ask the seniors in Jean Getz’s marketing class at Beachwood High School, and they will add one more skill to that list: tweeting.
While social networking started as a hobby — one more way for people, mostly younger ones, to get in touch with each other — it has become an integral part of millions of people’s lives, and an even more integral part of running a successful marketing campaign.
Local businesses like Sushi Rock, the city schools and The Agnon School, the Beachwood Library, news outlets (including, of course, Beachwood Patch) use Facebook and Twitter to connect to the customers, parents and readers they want to market to.
Getz’s class is given one major marketing research project each year: one for a real company with a real budget. This year the class has been tasked with recommending a social media strategy to Cedar Point amusement park.
“I feel like this is obviously a new field of study coming and I feel like it’s going be a lot bigger in the future. I feel like our generation is one of the first to really be a part of that,” said Beachwood High School senior Haley Marbleston.
Joon Kim, also a BHS senior, added, “The people [companies] hire from the social media generation know more about their actual positions than their bosses do. We just use it every day and we know what people want to see and what gets people engaged.”
In fact, Getz said that this has presented a challenge for her, too. The class had to find a way around the fact that they cannot access social media on the school’s internal network.
Plus, Getz is taking two social media courses online because “I like to bring the information to them — instead of finding out about it from them.”
Roller coasters and Facebook: where’s the “work” part of this equation for the students?
“Social media is something we take very seriously and we’re very good at,” said Cedar Point Vice President of Marketing Clark Culbertson.
But, he added, the company has not lent social media the same discipline and planning that TV, radio and newspaper advertising gets.
“Social media is more organic,” said Culbertson. “So the question is, can we take some of that discipline that we apply to traditional advertising and apply it to something as organic as social media?”
The students and Culbertson hope they are in the best place to tell Cedar Point how to entice their target audience — their own peers — to reach into their pockets.
Carly Schlessinger, a BHS senior, said, “We can help promote things that our age group would like and it would be easier to get more people to come in.”
“These people are our target audience. They are in the crosshairs of our market,” said Culbertson.
Of course, he said, the quality of the curriculum was a major selling point.
“It was easy to go ahead because I was very impressed with the way Jean [Getz] presented what they do, how she uses the advertising materials. With three decades of advertising experience, in my opinion, this class is state-of-the-art.”