Great Social Media Idea: Graduation Video... about Shoes!

If you read this blog from time to time, you might have recognized that I love things that are unexpected and a bit off-the-wall. Blandness is anathema to good social media management, and creativity is benediction. (Hmm... in the immortal words of Inigo Montoya, I don't think that word means what I think it means. Oh well.)

In a world (yes, read in the Movie Trailer Voice) where the fight for attention and eyeballs is fierce, you need to try to stand out somehow. But not in a crafted, phony way... we all know how horrible it is when brands desperately try to be edgy. No, to stand out in a good way you need to have some genuine inspiration and creativity behind whatever you are doing.

Even something as seemingly rote as a video from graduation - students saying thank you, a walk across a stage and a handshake, hats being tossed, proud parents - can have life breathed into it by, as dear old Dickinson would say, telling all the truth but telling it slant.

Which is exactly what Bates College did with this fun and unique idea to make a graduation video about the shoes the students were wearing. Even if you don't know a lick about fashion (your humble author = guilty as charged), the odds of you watching a graduation video from a college you didn't attend just shot up about 5,000%, which is so often the secret sauce of good social media - creating content that even people who have no connection to your brand might be interested in. Because heaven knows you wouldn't be interested in a "Highlights from Bates College Graduation!" video unless you went there, amirite?

Fun, right? And so fitting for a graduation... with everyone wearing the same caps and gowns, shoes really are the only way to show off a little bit of your own style.

And not only is it interesting and breezy on its own merits, it's a really neat means by which to showcase some of the personality and diversity of the campus... a kid from the West Coast (Bates is in Maine), an international student, ethnic diversity in students and faculty, a student with a Fulbright Scholarship, etc. 

I love stuff like this. Of course there are plenty of competent and quality traditional graduation recap videos being produced - I don't mean to cast aspersions on anyone who is making one of those... parents and students will eat them up - but I've got to be honest... I follow hundreds of colleges on social media, and this is one of the only graduation videos that made me actually want to click on it and watch it. That means something, right? And while creating content hyper-specific for your audience absolutely has its time and place, it's also important to keep the "third circle" in mind sometimes. (In a very brief nutshell - Scott Stratten coined the term third circle to mean the friends of your friends' friends.)

Kudos, Bates! And to answer the question I'm sure you're all dying to ask... I'm pretty sure I wore Cons at my graduation. West Coast casual all the way.


Great Social Media Idea: Graduation Whiteboard

Great Social Media Idea: Live Commencement "Tweet to Screen"