Sadly, summer has come to an end. On the bright side, many excited freshman are starting their college careers! Our university partners came up with very creative events and programs to welcome the Class of 2019. Each college brainstormed clever social media hashtags to go along with these events in order to make them more interactive. Additionally, they aimed to publicize all of the media surrounding these events to their entire university communities. OrcaTV was able to help in this endeavor in the following ways.
OrcaTV is able to have a specific social media initiative run for extended periods of time. In this case, two of our partners, the University of Mary Washington and Pace University, had orientations occurring at various weekends during the summer. Both universities chose hashtags specifically meant to be used during these orientations. Working closely with Michelle Greenblatt, our Director of Content, OrcaTV was able to set up unique backgrounds for each school that advertised the chosen hashtags. OrcaTV published the live, curated feeds for the duration of the summer. We were pleasantly surprised with the amount and quality of social media posts that were submitted. We found, however, that some hashtag choices were more strategic than others.
In this case, both universities chose school-specific hashtags that corresponded with the Class of 2019. Pace University chose #PaceOrientation and the University of Mary Washington chose #UMW19. These were simple, logical and widely used by students. We have found that the more specific the hashtag is to the event it is trying to publicize, the more effective it is. A hashtag like #TakingFlight, which corresponds to the new Eagles (their mascot) of the University of Mary Washington is certainly inventive. Unfortunately, people all over the world use the same hashtag for other purposes. For instance, some used it to mention traveling and taking off in an airplane while others tagged it to reference people making slam-dunks in basketball. In order to ensure that we get the most targeted audience the OrcaTV team suggests that strategic, specific hashtags are used for these custom initiatives.
In addition to orientation, many schools planned welcome weeks for freshmen move-in. The University of Mary Washington chose #WelcomeUMW while the University of New Hampshire hosted a whole day dedicated to student organizations that they deemed “UNH Jukebox”. OrcaTV created live social media feeds with custom backgrounds for each of these events. Finally, Tarleton State University provided a week of activities for their new Texans that included everything from color celebrations to special speakers and talent shows. They asked OrcaTV to compile a custom highlight video of Transition Week and we happily obliged. Check it out here. We made sure to create the video in alignment with the University’s brand so all of the titles were purple and white.
This is important because the Class of 2019 is probably the most well versed in social media yet. It is no secret that technology overall and social media as a communication medium have become increasingly used and relied on by today’s students. Universities are definitely taking steps to connect with them through these lenses as evidenced by the various campaigns mentioned earlier. OrcaTV hopes to act as a facilitator in helping to publicize and document these exciting campaigns. In doing so, we aim to drive student success, build a sense of community on campus and reduce the burden of managing content on a daily basis. We can’t wait to see what the fall semester has in store!