Great Social Media Idea: Candy Delivery

One of my favorite things about the wonderful folks who work in higher ed social media is their wonderful embrace - and expert use - of random acts of kindness. I think maybe it's something that is baked into the culture of colleges... for the most part, the students, faculty, and staff all really genuinely like to help one another and go above and beyond the call of duty.

Which is why I really love this great admissions story that was sent in from Eastern Kentucky University.

I'd recommend you read the whole article, but in case you want the tl;dr version: a prospective student tweeted at the EKU admissions off that they needed to step up their game because another school sent him candy. Naturally, the EKU admissions team drove 50 miles to the kid's high school, with a giant basket of candy and the mascot in tow, to show him that they meant business. They even brought candy for his classmates that had also applied to EKU.

They even made a fun video out of it:

More details from the article:

He meant it as a good-natured joke.

But when Chris Butcher, a senior at South Laurel High School, tweeted, “@EKUAdmissions better step up their game because (a rival school) sent me some candy,” he soon found out just how seriously Eastern Kentucky University was taking his interest.

Butcher’s initial tweet was quickly met by a response from EKU Admissions: “What’s your favorite? We will see what we can do.”

Just three days later, with permission from the school’s guidance counselor and Butcher’s teacher at that time, Fe’Lisa Wilson and Beth Brashears from the EKU Admissions staff, along with current EKU student Candace Graves and the Colonel mascot, made the 50-mile trek to London and appeared at his South Laurel classroom door with a surprise treat. A basket was filled with not only his favorite candy but also an EKU banner, some EKU shirts, and other University paraphernalia.

Butcher was not alone in feeling special. For the 86 other South Laurel students who had also applied to the University, Wilson and Brashears brought each a bag full of Starbursts with a note that said, “We are bursting with happiness that you’re a #FutureColonel.”

So great, right? When people talk about engagement and the power of social media to make connections, it's stuff like this that should be a the top of the list. I'm a big fan of Scott Stratten's thoughts on social media and marketing, and one of the things he stresses is the importance of being "awesome" - awesome stuff, and this from EKU definitely qualifies as awesome, is the stuff that sticks with people and that develops a life well beyond your own community or network.

Really love this, EKU, and thanks for sharing it with me!

And the Best St. Patrick's Day Social Media Post Award Goes To...

Great Social Media Idea: A Spin on March Madness