Happy Monday, dear friends! A bit of housekeeping before I dive into today's faaaaaabulous example of expert use of social media in higher ed: I am going to be insanely busy at work this week, and it's very likely I won't be able to post much over the next few days. It's not because I don't love you (really!)... it's me, not you. New students move in on Thursday and I am woefully unprepared, with a half-dozen unfinished projects bouncing around in the air and plenty more I haven't even started yet. Wish me luck. I am definitely going to need it. Or send me a drink. Preferably both.
I've been posting all sorts of things over the past few weeks about Orientation and welcoming new students through social media, and I'm going to keep on trend today by sharing this fun idea from the University of the Pacific - the newest member of the West Coast Conference... which means that I'm going to have to learn to hate the Tigers as much as I hate those jerks from Gonzaga and Santa Clara. GO PILOTS!!!!!!!!!! (What, your school mascot isn't a fearsome riverboat pilot, akin to Popeye? Well, that's your misfortune.)
But before I begin a new blood feud, I'm going to send some props down south to Stockton for the fun Pacific Top Ten promotion that began running a few days ago on the University of Pacific Facebook page. (Side note: really love that covr photo!)
For the 10 days prior to class starting, they are soliciting their community to help put together a top ten list about the school. So far, they have asked things like what people's favorite meals on campus are and what their favorite places to eat off campus are. We'll have to wait and see what the future questions are, but I'm assuming they will include things like favorite class, favorite teacher, favorite place on campus, etc etc.
This is a good idea for a few reasons. Any time you ask people nostalgic questions about their college days, they generally respond in droves. And we all know engagement is key. More importantly, though, it's the right type of engagement - not simply getting likes or shares by posting a silly meme or celebrating national pancake day or some such nonsense, but actually getting your community to think fondly about your school and want to share their experience with new students.
I also love the potential it has to have a life beyond the initial promotion. Once the top ten list is compiled, it can be packaged together and shared on social media, which will definitely get some great conversation and engagement going. It's also something that can be used in print for an alumni magazine or admissions materials, and you can even make a Buzzfeed-style listicle on Tumblr or some other blog site that would be perfect for sharing on social media and vial email to alumni and students and all that. Heck, if more than a few questions involve off-campus things in the community, you could even send out a special certificate or sticker or whatever to the local businesses/restaurants that have been named in the Top Ten. Who wouldn't want to put that up in their main entrance or in their window? I love, love, love any opportunity to take things generated in social media off the digital space and into the real world.
You can follow along on this project with the hashtag #pacifictopten ... I'm definitely excited to see what comes of this. Props, Pacific!
OK... time for Joe to get some rest for the looooooong week ahead. As always, thanks for stopping by!