Great Social Media Idea: Instagram campus directions

Happy Tuesday, friends!

In my continuing effort to clear out my inbox of all the wonderful suggestions of great social media ideas that users have submitted, I am going to feature this really fun idea from St. John's University, from... oh... four months ago or so. (Jiminy Christmas... I really am the worst blogger ever.) But what are we if not the sum of our failures, right? Right! So though I'm four months late on it, this is still a really great idea worth featuring.

It's important to remember that this is really best suited for orientation and freshman move-in time, but an idea like this can work any time you've got a large number of people coming to campus who might need a little help finding their way (a big game, a large conference, graduation, etc.). There is a series of them on the St. John's Instagram page, but I've embedded a few examples here:

I mean really... how charming and cute is that? If you were new to campus, wouldn't you live seeing some fresh-faced chipper students telling you how to get where you're looking to go?

I especially love that this is on Instagram, since it's a mobile app that is native to the target demographic of 18 year olds. A lot of colleges use a custom app specifically for orientation, which is all well and good, but as a selfish social media person I love anything that drives incoming students to existing social media accounts. This is a fun feature to promote in both print pieces and emails leading up to orientation weekend, and it's a really great way to raise awareness about the university Instagram account, which isn't always the easiest thing to do.

These also fulfill an actual need, which is something that is unfortunately often lost when it comes to higher ed social media. So much of what we do is trying to get people to do something for us - click this, like that, comment here, share it, watch it, retweet it, etc. - that sometimes we lose sight of what we can do for other people.

Are these the type of videos that will go viral or get thousands of likes? No. But do they provide real value and utility for the user? Do they offer a wonderful and kind welcome to new students and their parents? Do they showcase the helpful spirit and attitude of orientation student volunteers? Absolutely! 

So major kudos to St. Johns for the idea and for putting these together. I have no doubt they had a really positive impact on the new Johnnies who saw them during move-in time.

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