Great Social Media Idea: Photographer's Faves

Yes yes, dear readers... I know the title of this post is a bit obvious, but as long as I have a blog and two fingers to peck with, I will consistently give countenance to consonance. (Alliteration with the hard C, consonance with the soft C, and sibilance to boot? Gosh I'm proud of me right now.) Also, should I choose to use it, assonance is cool too. English majors FTW!!! Who's with me?!?

My tortured love-hate relationship (Facebook would classify it as "complicated") with listicles has been well-documented on this blog (too lazy to actually provide you with links... sorry), but I definitely believe that - done tastefully and correctly - they can be an incredibly powerful and fun way to connect with your followers. Listicles can make for horribly useless blog posts (especially ones about social media), but they can also make for some of the best, most engaging content we create. 

An example of the latter? This terrific collection of 13 photos from Colgate University, handpicked by their campus photographer and including extended captions that provide context.  (Oddly enough, the photographer Andy Daddio used to take pictures for UP back in the day. Before my time, but I definitely recognize the name. Small world.)

Photos + Captions = Listicle. Oh my!

Photos + Captions = Listicle. Oh my!

Content like this is the type of stuff that people love to share, and it's very versatile - it can live on as a blog post, but it can also be re-purposed as a Facebook gallery, used on Instagram, and even in print in an alumni magazine or something similar.

I don't write about this enough on here, but versatility is something I always try to look for in my social media work. The very nature of Facebook and (especially) Twitter is temporary, and that often leads to a mentality that the work we do there is temporary and lives only in that moment. And a lot of times, it does. But the endless evanescence (bring me to liiiiiiiiife!; also, alliteration!) of our posts doesn't mean that their lives have to end there.

Unless you have a huge social media team, the artful repurposing of content is a key part of the job. Especially good is when the content we create can have a purpose beyond social media... I am exceedingly happy and proud when photos, blog posts, videos, comments, etc. that come from my social media efforts end up in print brochures for admissions, in the alumni magazine, on the website, and in development materials. Any time you can bridge the social media world with the nuts and bolts work of admissions and fundraising is a good day. It helps prove the value of the work we do, and it brings a freshness to those sometimes staid print pieces. 

But I digress. Back to Colgate's 13 Photos list. They are beautiful photos, of course, but my favorite part is the extended captions that tell stories (in miniature) of the place. This list has a wonderful mix of subjects (not by accident, I would imagine) that showcases the community in a lovely way - from the student battling cancer to the history professor to gorgeous interior and exterior shots of campus. Together, the photos and captions do a wonderful job of telling the story of Colgate.

It reminds me of something my brilliant co-worker Brian Doyle once said in an interview (skip to the 37:40 mark): "A little story has such huge shoulders. Stories are food. Stories are holy. We could not live without them. We would be naked and empty without stories."



Great Social Media Idea: Archival Rivals

Great Social Media Idea: Campus Legends