Great Social Media Idea: #ThinkAndDo

Long day... gonna keep this post quick.

Today's great #hesm idea comes from North Carolina State, with their successful #thinkanddo Instagram contest.

Done in conjunction with a fully integrated institutional marketing campaign, this Instagram contest has been going on for quite some time now. 

It invites students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends to tag photos that creatively show how they live out the "Think and Do" message in their lives. Not surprisingly, many of the entries showcase academic work and research, but there are a lot of photos of people doing things in the community, participating in school-related activities, etc.

Every month, a winner is selected for a prize... it looks like this month the prize is a GoPro - not too shabby!

I like this photo contest more than a lot of other ones I've seen because it encourages photos that show people being actively involved rather than just beauty/scenic/artistic shots. As nice as beautiful sunset pics are, pics of kids building something in a lab is a lot more useful as crowd-sourced marketing collateral and also gives access to photos that are often very difficult to get - kids working late at nigh in labs, students volunteering, clubs taking part in competitions, students studying abroad, etc.

Well done, Wolfpack!

I Haven't Forsaken Thee!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update - just returned from a vacation to lovely Central Oregon (seriously - pretty much everywhere looks like this), and I'm planning on returning to the blog very soon.

I'll likely be dialing down the post volume over the next few weeks - I've got some fun things cooking and I'll still post at least once or twice a week, but I'm swinging into a very busy season at work (we start very early at UP - new students move in August 21... yikes) and it's definitely the summer doldrums in terms of higher ed social media, so I hope you all will forgive me if I give myself a bit of a break from the blog.

Thanks everyone! Catch ya'll on the flipside.

Great Social Media Idea: Course Trailers

I'm back from an impromptu weekend with my brothers in the Bay Area, which means it's time to feature more great ideas that have come to me via the suggestion box!

Today, I'm highlighting these really neat and unique course trailers from Southwestern University (I can't embed the videos, so just click on the link!). 

I love the idea of creating something like this to highlight a course. Not only is it - I'm sure - a great way to promote particular courses to current students and very much appreciated by faculty, it's also a cool way to highlight what classes are like at your particular university to prospective students and their parents.

These trailers are accurate and straight-forward, but I could also see experimenting with some over-the-top drama/music/voiceover as well. This idea has a lot of potential and versatility.

Many thanks to Danielle Stapleton from Southwestern for sending this idea along... pasted below is her email to me sharing this idea. Take it away, Danielle!

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Thanks for being willing to hear this possible blog post out. Southwestern (at the urging of our new president, Ed Burger) recently started filming course trailers. Several faculty members have jumped on this opportunity to showcase some of the more unique classes offered. While we are by no means done producing these (I'm sure this will be a continuous effort), you can see the finished trailers here: southwestern.edu/academics/trailers.php 

We are also creating playlist on our YouTube channel with the same information and will link each one to the course description pages within each academic department website. 

In addition to promoting our regular courses, we are also filming trailers for our Paideia clusters. Paideia is at the root of SU's curriculum and encourages students to make connections between their classes/disciplines over their four years on campus. During their final years they take a Paideia seminar, which is the capstone of this experience. As we roll this program out to all students (formerly Paideia was an option), we hope to highlight the ways these cluster themes will work and the connections students can make. 

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Have a cool higher ed social media idea to share? Submit it via the suggestion box (upper-right-corner of the site)!