If used properly, reaching your students via social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and YouTube can boost your lessons. Kids are connected 24/7, and for most, social media is their preferred mode of contact. Follow these 8 rules of engagement to optimize your (and their) online communication:

1. Find out school policy first
School districts and administrations usually have policies in place. Find out what they are before putting your energy into any social networking initiatives.
2. Set your boundaries
As an educator, you’ll want to make sure that any personal profile your students see reflects the same guitar master they see in class. That is to say, be sure your sharing settings keep too-personal pictures and posts to out of their view. If this proves too tricky to juggle, consider multiple profiles to keep boundaries clear.
3. Create a class page on Facebook
A great way to get the message out to students and parents is through a dedicated class page. You can use it to upload lesson reminders, schedule changes, performance pictures and more.
4. Share media that matters…to them!
You might geek out about seeing Neil Young in concert, but the name might not land with all of your students. Keep an eye out for pictures, videos and other media of current performers doing their thing and doing it with good technique. Another idea: check out your students’ iPod and see what their favorite tunes are.
5. Star in your own media
Set an example to students and show off your skills. Record a lesson, a gig or recording session and post a video that will inspire your class.
6. Start a dedicated YouTube account for class
YouTube is a boundless repository of great music, performances and quick and easy how-to’s. You can use a dedicated class account to share helpful videos and upload your students’ best stuff as well.
7. Use social for support
If you’re in the market for instruments and gear, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can be a great place find advice. It can also be a great place to get ideas from fellow guitar teachers and musicians. Join groups, pages, networks and otherwise friend anyone who might be of help.

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