Great Social Media Idea: Go Long!

Sigh. I'm a bit heart-broken tonight, friends. My beloved Portland Pilots came *this* close to beating the hated Gonzaga Bulldogs for the second time this year, this time on the road in Spokane. They came back from 22 points down to take a four point lead late, but couldn't close it out. Rats.

But not even hearbreak will prevent me from writing something tonight, such is my dedication to the blog. Or... I need something to take my mind off the pain. Either way.

One of the rules of social media that is pretty much taken as a given is that shorter is better. Tweets are 140 characters no matter what, but even beyond that - everything you read about Facebook posts and Instagram captions and everything else says pretty much the same thing: Less is more.

And, typically, it is. Until it's not.

Which is why I want to share this post from Michigan State University. It doesn't just ignore the "less is more" rule... it blows right past it.

I love it. 

This post zigs when everyone else zags. It's almost aggressive about the amount of text - it lays it right out there and pretty much dares you to read it, as well as admire the fact that Michigan State makes its own ice cream. (Sheesh. I'm at the wrong school.) This post far out-performed several recent posts by MSU, so clearly it resonated with its audience.

With branded Facebook pages continuing to proliferate and with Facebook continuing to ratchet down on the reach of pages, the need to stand out in newsfeeds becomes ever more important. This isn't the type of thing you could do every day, but it definitely stands out - how many brands do you see posting a long-form personal story like this? Not many.

One thing that bothers me sometimes is the groupthink that can set in in the social media manager circles. Spend a few weeks reading social media blogs (save this one, natch!) and you'll realize that every day it's "best time of day to post" or "people like blue Instagram photos more than red" or "no posts over 140 characters, period!" and other such tips and tricks populating so many endless click-bait listicles that it makes me want to just down a Big Gulp full of Draino and drift off into a sweet, sweet blackness of no bad social media writing.

Sure, all of that stuff may be true in aggregate, but - newsflash - we are not dealing with homogenous audiences here, people! What works for Coca Cola and the boutique down the road might not (in fact, most likely won't) work for a university. In higher ed, we're communicating with a college-educated demographic that might not mind so much having to read a longer post every now and then, especially if it makes them feel proud and nostalgic of their school.

Kudos, Michigan State, for bucking the social media groupthink and posting a lovely long post that has some nice words from a student, a cool story (ice cream OMG!), and a good photo to accompany it.

Finally... GO PILOTS. Gonzaga, I hope we meet you in the WCC tournament for a rubber match.  :)

Great Social Media Idea: Winter is Coming

Music at Midweek: Cocteau Twins