Great Social Media Idea: Location Hashtag

Slowly but surely, I'm sifting my way through all of the (wonderful!) submissions I have received to this site. While I do enjoy doing my own research and browsing through the posts of the (gulp) thousands of colleges I follow across social media, I love it when people send ideas in to me. ***Hint, hint, the suggestion box is to the right!***

If you manage an Instagram account for your college (and if you don't, you should probably immediately stop reading and launch one) and search on your general institutional hashtags, you've probably noticed that there are one or two locations on campus that, invariably, students are drawn to as the location for their pics. And you may even notice that kids have created their own special hashtag for that particular location.

If that's the case, why not jump on the trend and adopt that hashtag for your own marketing purposes! That's what Union College did with its fun, interactive, and creative #NottShot page:

I'll let Union College's Christen Gowen give some context about this project:

Union College started a page featuring the Nott Memorial, which students love to take Instagram pictures of and they started the hashtag #NottShot So our Communications Office jumped on board, found a way to aggregate all the Nott shots and give people one place online to see all the fun photos!

What I like about something like this is that it's not a top-down approach of creating a hashtag and trying to push people to use it. Instead, it piggybacks on something that bubbled up organically from the students and takes it to the next level - giving it the oomph of institutional backing and a professional presentation, but sticking with the student-created wording.

Be sure to click through to the website, because Union is doing a lot of cool things with it. Not only does it have a fun graphic layout that uses Instagram's API to pull photos using that hashtag, it also has some historical trivia about the location, a space to highlight individual students (which then links to a more in-depth profile about that student, which is really neat and starts doing some admissions work), and integration with Union's other social media accounts.

All in all, this is a really neat way to leverage an organically created hashtag and turn it into something really cool for your community.

Props, Union College!

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