Great Social Media Idea: Promoting Events with User-Generated Content

I've been remiss these past few weeks in not dipping into the suggestion box very often (hint: you can submit idea using the form thingy to the right!), but I'm going to try to rectify this situation in the best way I'm able... meaning slowly, sporadically, and inadequately. Because, well... because I'm pretty lazy.

First up: the fun and clever This Week at Lehigh. Many thanks to Lindsay Lebresco of Lehigh University for passing along this idea.

I'll let Lindsay explain what this initiative is all about:

We encourage students to tag their Instagram pics with #Lehigh and then we use our favorite post from that week for our weekly Facebook post called "This Week at Lehigh." Our idea had a few objectives - we wanted to engage with our users on Instagram, get our students to "brand" their Instagram pictures with #Lehigh and to cross-pollinate platforms by driving people from Instagram to Facebook to see the weekly featured pic. Anecdotally it's been successful as we know our students love to see their pictures featured by the University... we think it brings a fresh element to a bit of content we share every week.

Super awesome idea! And such a neat way to 1) promote the hashtag you want students to use, 2) make people aware of your Instagram presence, 3) creatively promote upcoming events, and 4) share user-generated content.

Those are four very big birds to hit with one little stone.

I particularly like this idea because promoting events is always the great black hole of engagement for higher ed social media. You have to do it, but it is nigh on impossible to come up with a way to let people know about an upcoming study abroad session without causing at least four of five students to spontaneously fall asleep.

Yet the brilliant Lindsay and Lehigh managed to do exactly that. (I don't know Lindsay, of course, but she said nice things to me about this blog while submitting her suggestion, which makes her brilliant in my book. If you think I'm immune to flattery... well, you'd be wrong. Vainglory is next to godliness when it comes to Millennials and bloggers, right? Right!)

I love ideas that work as great content and also actually accomplish a task (in this case, promoting events), something I can occasionally overlook in my rush to make something "cool" and memorable. I definitely think there's a place for creating awesome content for its own sake, but there's also very much a place for doing the weekly tasks you have to do with a fresh and creative approach.

Thanks again to Lindsay for sharing this idea, and props to you and your team at Lehigh!


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