Great Social Media Idea: #BridgeFace

As a native Portlander, I'm sort of a weather weenie. Yeah, the wet springs are sort of a drag, but other than that I'm used to perfect summers (seriously! - ranked #2 in the US behind those jerks to the north Seattle), warm falls, and mild winters. As such, I became pretty much worthless when it snowed on Friday and reached record low temperatures today... 10 degrees!?! I'm not equipped to deal with such things.

So when this email popped up in my inbox over the weekend, detailing University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's #BridgeFace contest - which awarded a lucky student with a giftcard to the bookstore for taking a frozen selfie on a campus bridge - the sympathy shivers started immediately. But once those subsided, I realized how hot (get it?!?) this is as a social media promotion.

She's so cold, cold cold... like an ice cream cone.

She's so cold, cold cold... like an ice cream cone.

You can see some of the photo highlights on Facebook. At this point, I'm going to let the lovely person who submitted this idea add some context:

Our campus is divided by the beautiful Chippewa River and students access the other half of campus via an uncovered footbridge. This bridge is one of the coldest places in the United States (as mentioned by David Lettermen in one of his Top Ten's). We struggle to walk across this bridge during the winter, and wanted to show everyone on campus that we are all in this together. We asked students to share their #BridgeFace for a chance to win a Bookstore Gift Card to purchase some warm weather gear. 

Awesome. And it's worth noting that when a Facebook campaign can get people to tag photos of themselves and their friends, that is the single-best way to help it spread and get a lot of views. 

The very best social media initiatives in higher ed are ones that involve campus traditions or things that are truly unique to a school. Any school can do a selfie photo contest, but only one school can do a selfie contest on an ice cold campus bridge that unites current students and alumni alike in fond (albeit frozen) memories.

Colleges are at their best when they invoke their traditions - we saw another incredible example of this earlier in the week at Taylor University's "Silent Night" game - and when a social media campaign can tap into those traditions, all the better.

So props for a really fun idea, Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and thanks so much for sharing it!

Great Social Media Idea: Before I Die...

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