Orange Envelopes Blog

And the Children Shall Lead Them… to Social Media

Loyola All Access

Is it any surprise that university students really getsocial media and understand how to create authentic and compelling content to seed out to multiple social media platforms?

I’m spending a couple of days this week with my elder son visiting Loyola and DePaul Universities in Chicago so he can make his final decision to attend one of the schools this fall.

From the university’s perspective, it’s tough to make an indelible impression on an 18 year old in the space of just a few hours on campus. So, how can they build an ongoing relationship with prospective students and show them what life is really like on their campus? Turn the job over to their students and turn them loose with social media.

The university students understand better than any school administrator how a high school senior thinks, what they want to know, what they’re anxious about and what appeals to their peers.

Take the issue of student housing. For virtually every freshman, their first year will be the first time that they’ve had to live communally with strangers. Most are anxious about dorm life. What are the rooms like? What kind of social life will they have? What can they expect?

Loyola had students submit videos to a Loyola Cribz contest – a takeoff of MTV Cribs – that let the students show how they really live. On campus, off-campus, real students show how they live, share their gorgeous lakefront views and provide a glimpse into the life of a Loyola student.

loyola all accessThe students use video to generate interesting and genuine insight into their daily lives – how they live and how they study. These videos are much more believable than the University produced videos that are well done, but are almost too well produced. Authenticity rules in the SM world, and slick production just doesn’t convey authenticity.

There are a lot of businesses who could take notes from Loyola’s social media campaign. Focused on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, the university understands where their target audience lives and delivers compelling content that is teased and delivered through their Twitter and Facebook channels.

Although it’s apparent that the university’s entire social media program is still new, it shows promise and does a terrific job cross-pollinating positive and authentic messages across Facebook pages, student blogs,  Twitter feeds andYouTube channels. Is your business doing the same?

John Heaney