50 Great Social Media Ideas for Higher Ed (Part 1)

Since March I've been writing about the trends in social media use in higher ed, and I recently highlighted great idea #50. So, I decided what better way to celebrate reaching that milestone than put all those ideas together in one place! 

Below is Part 1 (click here for Part 2!) of a list of 50 awesome ways higher ed is utilizing social media to engage with prospective students, current students, alumni, and parents; promote important news and research; and help bring campus stories to a wider audience.

If you enjoy this list and the ideas on it, please bookmark the blog, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and use the form on the right to submit a great idea that I haven't featured yet!


1. School Pride Pets – University of Michigan 

What happens when you ask your fans to take pictures of pets dressed up in school colors and share them on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook? Magic. Original post


2. Disposable Cameras Viral Video – Ithaca College

Put some disposable cameras around campus + judicious use of a few hidden video cameras = an incredible viral video. Click here to see me completely rip this idea off for the University of Portland. Original post


3. Fashion Photos – University of Portland 

Yes, I'm write about myself sometimes. So sue me! Wandering around and capturing campus fashion is a guaranteed way to get off-the-charts engagement. Original post.


4. Perls of Knowledge – University of Nebraska

Doubtless the funniest video series starring a school chancellor ever. Original post.


5. Mason Nation Project – George Mason University

A brilliant example of building community by allowing a new person to take over the school's official Twitter account every week. Original post.  


6. Viral Listicles – Marquette University

A really fun list of reasons to love Marquette. Buzzfeed gets outrageous traffic for a reason, and colleges are perfect for listicles like this. Original post


7. Sharing User Pics on Instagram – Princeton University

Make managing a higher ed Instagram page much easier by sharing your followers' Instagram pics with a re-posting app. Original post


8. O-H-I-O Pictures – Ohio State University

Four people spelling out "OHIO" with their bodies. (Or three people and the Eiffel Tower!) Easily the best example of massive participation with user-generated content in all of higher ed. Original post.


9. March Madness for Dorms – Taylor University

Conducting a bracket-style contest between dorms is a great way to capture March Madness excitement even if you're team isn't in the tournament. Original post


10. Using Alumni/Students Abroad –  Universities of Tennessee and Oregon 

Want African school kids to sing your fight song or soldiers across the world to show off their school pride? Leveraging sudents and alumni abroad is a great way to get engagement. Original post


11. A Day in the Life – Portland State University

What happens when you circle a date on a calendar and ask your community share video of what they did during that day? This type of awesomeness! Original post

12. Best Class Photo Ever - Carnegie Mellon University

Class photo in the shape of the school mascot!!! Original post

13. International Student Map – Colgate

Show off the global impact of your school with an awesome map that shows the home countries of all your international students. Original post.


14. Coffee with Carlson – University of Minnesota

Terrific video series that features a variety of people from the Carlson school of business in an informal, comfortable setting. Original post.


15. Fan Photos – University of Portland

UP (i.e. me) again! Instill pride and drive up engagement by making your community the centerpiece of your next marketing campaign. Original post.

16. Spreading Hometown Love – Heidelberg University

Great example of showing appreciate for your college's home town and connecting with the community. Original post.


17. Engaging Admitted Students – Morehouse College, Williams College 

Using Facebook events and Twitter chats to connect with admitted students, one of the most excited - and important - constituencies for higher ed social media managers. Original post.


18. Making Research a Resource – UC Berkeley

Making research news interesting and engaging is one of the best ways to bring fresh eyes to your content. Original post.


19. Incoming Class Infographic – Johns Hopkins University

Everyone loves learning about the incoming freshman class, and a snazzy infographic is a great way to spread the word about the newest members of a school family. Original post.


20. Pinterest Dorm Decoration Ideas - Marist College

A brilliant use of Pinterest to give ideas and inspiration to students getting ready to move into the dorms. Original post.

21. Graduation Timelapse Video – North Carolina, Georgetown, Portland State, Notre Dame

No matter how you do a graduation timelapse video, it's always really cool! Original post


22. Athletics Access – University of Florida  

Terrific use of behind-the-scenes access in a locker room after a big win! Original post.


23. User-Generated Top 10 List – University of the Pacific


Crowd-sourcing at its finest, creating a campus Top 10 list. Original post.


24. Bridging the Summer Content Gap - West Virginia University

The perfect solution to the problem of finding content to post during the long, slow summer months. Original post.

25. Launching an Instagram Page in 13 Easy Steps – University of Portland 

I can't help it... I write about myself a lot. But if you're thinking about launching an Instagram page or are trying take the one you have to the next level, this is a helpful step-by-step guide. Original post

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Again, if you enjoyed this list and the ideas on it, please bookmark the blog, follow me on Twitter and Facebook, and use the form on the right to submit a great idea that I haven't featured yet!

50 Great Social Media Ideas for Higher Ed (Part 2)

Great Social Media Idea: Incoming Class Infographic