Monthly Archives: June 2014

#5Things You Need to Know in Social Ed: 6

  1. ICYMI: Twitter now supports GIFs
    The meme of video, these repetitive clips can help any celebrity snafu, movie line or Internet moment live on for an eternity. They have become the go to quick and easy way to translate a snarky comeback or sarcastic comparison visually. Through a partnership with Giphy, an aggregate GIF site, any user can now upload looping animations. Anxious to get started making a GIF of your own? Follow these easy steps from Gizmodo.
  1. Retweet with Comment
    140 Characters, plus? According to Twitter is experimenting with a new feature that will turn the content you’re retweeting into an image, thus freeing up just shy of 140 of your own to provide additional commentary. This comes in handy now that “quote tweet” has disappeared from the mobile app following Twitter’s most recent update. It should also save a bunch of us from having to translate “to” into “2” and “you are” into “u r,” making grammar teachers everywhere happy!
  1. Slingshot
    Ephemeral may just get my vote for the word of the year to banned by Lake Superior State University. Following Snapchat’s refusal to sell their popular disappearing image application to Facebook, in typical fashion, Facebook decided to create their own. Slingshot varies little from Snapchat with one major exception; users are required to “sling” a video or image to a friend before they’re allowed to open anything that has been received from that individual. The feature, Facebook believes, will encourage more frequent use. Have you “slung” any images your friends way? Tell us about it with #5Things!
  1. Media Habits of the Class of 2014, Facebook Still Reigns Among Teens
    For those of us in higher education, each year we are gifted a new target audience. An incoming class of freshman that are even more tech savvy than those that preceded them. Thanks to the excellent research from organizations like we can discover the best way to connect and engage students and debunk popular myths in social.
  1. The inside scoop on images
    We all know visual is key to all social success. Be it a meme, GIF or viral video, we’re fighting millions of other pieces of content each day for newsfeed space. Make sure that what your social team is working hard to get in front of your consumers face looks its best with the perfect image pixels and dimensions. has created this fantastic resource covering all the major players, including mobile.

My @UmichStudents Experience


Throughout my time as a @umichstudents tweeter I was given the opportunity to interact with and engage 7,460 followers. At first, I was nervous to post content that would reach so many people, but I knew I could use this experience to assist in my journey of becoming a true #SocialMedia pro. Hoping to increase daily engagement I was eager to begin my adventure.

With the #WorldCup beginning the same week that I would be tweeting I knew it would be a large source of content and engagement. I tested this theory by tweeting the new #GameBeforeTheGame @Beatsbydre commercial, but did not receive much feedback – only one retweet and one favorite. Surprising right?! Maybe it was the fact that it was a video or maybe it was the actual content that was the source of the low interaction. Either way, I took this lack of engagement from my audience as a signal to strategically tweet different content. In a sense, I began to use Twitter as a small focus group. I posted different content for the first few days (including crowdsourced material) and found any tweets relating to @umich or Ann Arbor to be the most popular. Now I know this makes sense since these are the two things most followers of @umichstudents have in common, but I thought it would be interesting to try to switch things up a bit. I guess this shows that no matter where a wolverine resides their heart is always in Ann Arbor.

Overall, my week tweeting was a success! Even the notorious Violin Monster agrees since he retweeted and favorited one of my tweets. It did happen to be a picture of him, but regardless any Umich student would agree that it is an honor.


Here are some key metrics from @rachel_collette ‘s @umichstudents experience:

  • 187 favorites
  • 116 new followers
  • 37 mentions
  • 62% of the users engaged were new contacts




Ultimately, I had a great time tweeting for @umichstudents. I think it is something that every student should experience before they graduate. It is extremely rewarding to have the chance to interact with so many dedicated and enthusiastic followers. I am excited that I can now check “tweeting for @umichstudents” off my bucketlist of things to do before I graduate. #ForeverGoBlue

This post was contributed by Rachel Haas, Strategic Development Intern and Communication Major – @rachel_collette

#5Things ED: 5



  1. Twitter-eaucracy

What goes into each tweet? For our personal accounts, a flippant thought usually does the trick. However for some of our favorite brands it could be as much as 45 days worth of time and TLC. Fostering a community of advocates is work, and unlike the one-way megaphone traditional advertising provides, social can only thrive when you take the time to actively engage in conversation.

  1. Censoring Your Social

There are some things and some places we just shouldn’t post from. This includes the jurors box. The saying used to be “if you wouldn’t say it to your grandma, don’t say it on social.” Well, you’re grandma is now on Facebook, as is your neighbor, employer, and the CIA.

  1. Gram that, later.

Joy and rapture it’s finally here! Last week Latergram.Me debuted their new platform designed to assist social managers with scheduling content. While the tool is still in beta, it is promising. For now you can essentially place your content in a queue via its’ mobile application or web interface, and when your desired posting time arrives it will send a notification prompting you to hit the final “post” button. Have you given it a try? Let us know what you think with #5Things.

  1. Here we go again…

It’s no secret Facebook actively collects your web and application browsing history to tailor advertisements, and it’s openly admitting they’re about to get even more accurate (i.e. invasive). The transparency is most likely intended to prevent the privacy uproar that has become the norm following each new update. Additionally, they’ve provided an opt out feature.

  1. ROI

With $2.45 trillion in worldwide purchasing power and a passion for social media, unlocking the minds of Millenial’s is increasingly important for brands. Can Universities draw comparisons regarding social commerce? University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research explored the attraction of social media content consumption and their study revealed the following highlights:

  • Facebook is the most popular platform among Millennials when looking to interact with companies/brands online.
  • Unlike any other generation, Millennials are able to pick and choose not only which information they will be exposed to but also how the information is delivered. Liking/following and pinning a particular brand lets them customize their exposure to advertising.
  • Coupons, exclusives or incentives top sales motivation when liking a brand.
  • Relative to users of larger platforms, Pinterest has the highest sales conversion rate.   The user-friendly highly visual design of the website facilitates information search and evaluation of alternatives.

Campus Day Tours Get Social on North Campus


In the past, the Campus Day tour guides would take group pictures of the incoming freshmen. Then, they would email the pics to the college’s communications & marketing team to be placed in a Facebook photo album where the freshmen were encouraged to go tag themselves.

This year the College of Engineering is using Instagram (IG) to take the social sharing aspect of Campus Tours to the next level. It’s known that IG is a great way to engage with a student demographic. In a nutshell, the tour guides post group shots to their IG account with #UmichEngin18. Then, the students with IG accounts often go and like the pics. It has been an awesome way for the College of Engineering to find out which freshmen are using IG and engage with them. It also exposes them to commonly used CoE hashtags. Finally, these pics can be easily curated in chunks via Statigram and added to a Facebook album.

Campus Tours have only been going for a couple months, but so far so good. This is just one example of how we’re trying to make social sharing part of the culture within the College of Engineering – starting with the first time students see campus.

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This post was contributed by Ben Logan, Social Media Specialist, College of Engineering

#5Things: Why we can’t all be red Skittles ED4

Let’s shake things up.

A couple of months ago I used a perhaps bizarre analogy to explain brand social presences, “we can’t all be red skittles.” Let me explain.


In my previous life we created our Facebook pages by department, in the University environment many do so by school or program. We identify ourselves online from our own point of view, rather than that of the target demographic we aim to engage . Furthermore, for years we have embraced social media in all facets of our organizations because we thought it was the cool thing to do. At the University of Michigan we have a multitude of social presences, some are extremely popular and therefore, delicious red skittles. Others appeal to specific audiences who have organic advocates for their cause, we’ll call them purple, orange or even green. Lastly, there are the yellow skittles. The ones, let’s be honest, some people pick out of the bag for the “circular file” or pass off on friends. These “yellow skittles” lack viable content of interest to many outside of their own organization, or may be associated with a short term project or event. These accounts need the name recognition of a larger brand to help promote their resources and information to a broader demographic. Simply put, they are a hashtag.

Are you a yellow skittle?

Here are #5Things to Ask Yourself BEFORE, or while pursuing social media for your business, institution or organization:

  1. Why do I want to explore social media?
  2. What are my primary objectives; outreach, education, transparency, customer service?
  3. How will I stand out? With billions of people logging into platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram each day, what added value do I have to proved?
  4. Who is my target demographic and where is their social presence strongest?
  5. Where is my competition? Are other organizations like mine actively engaged in social media? What are they doing right…or wrong?

Parting thoughts: don’t be afraid to say no to social, or to partner with a collaborative organization to expand your potential audience and available content. Consider being thematic, rather than branding yourself with a vague acronym. Do you homework, this is college after all!

#AskUmich on Snapchat

Summer Orientation is here and we’ve got a lot on our hands with 175 new students in each 3-day session with each session overlapping with another 1 or 2, for the next 2 months! Plenty of fresh faces to engage and make a connection with via social media. This spring we launched our Snapchat and we now boast over 1,750 followers. With this platform we are able to connect with our followers using snaps, chats, and stories. With disappearing photos (snaps) and messages (chats), Snapchat allows a connection between two users to exist for up to 10 seconds- that is unless they manage to take a screenshot. In addition, a user can add photos to their story which can be viewed for 24 hours by all of the user’s followers. On the platform we’ve experimented with t-shirt giveaways, crowdsourcing to create a fun story , and #selfie contests with much success. By taking a look at our followers’ snaps and stories we have gathered that the majority consists of current Umich students and high school students. We wanted to utilize Snapchat in a creative way that made a lasting impression on our new students that keep them as loyal fans throughout their four years here and after graduation.

The problem with brands using social media is that sometimes it feels more impersonal than engaging with a real person. Yes, it’s cool and exciting to get a retweet from your favorite brand or university, but it can still feel anonymous and detached. As far as social media platforms go, Snapchat is definitely the most intimate and we didn’t want the importance of a personal connection lost through anonymity. In order to to solve this problem and humanize a brand on a platform that operates under the importance of personalization I, Alex, will be taking over the University Snapchat account. I will be the “face” of the university as I answer questions and concerns and offer a casual fun way to engage with incoming students via social media. I will be using the uofmichigan Snapchat in a similar way that I would use my personal account- sending snaps of campus, sending the occasional selfie, and showing everyone a “snap” inside my world — more specifically, my life as a University of Michigan student. IMG_0240 With Snapchat’s new “chat” feature I will be able to quickly answer questions and provide advice. This will be an extension of our pre existing #askumich campaign where orientation students can ask questions using the hashtag on Twitter. In addition to having a student Snapchatter, we will utilize snapchat, Instagram and Twitter to host scavenger hunts and t-shirt giveaways. Student orientation starts today, so follow uofmichigan and be on the lookout for my snaps! snapstory Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 7.18.32 PMScreen Shot 2014-06-02 at 7.18.43 PM














“Snap” to the Victors

Last week, the #UMSocial team came up with the idea to create an interactive Snapchat story. This 5 piece creative story crowdsourced user generated content by encouraging followers to respond with the words of “Hail to the Victors.”  Before we unveiled the story, we had no idea what to expect. We have never created a story as interactive as this one so the possibilities were endless. The instructions were rather ambiguous, but the idea was clear. After we snapped our followers the word “hail”, we expected them to send us the rest of the words to the fight song. Our favorites would be posted to keep the story going. Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 6.11.58 PM When we received a submission 30 seconds after sending out the story, we were happy that our followers were interested and understood their task.  Our “Hail to the Victors” Snapchat story was a complete success! We were quickly getting views, and each word to our story. Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 6.14.59 PM Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 6.15.55 PM   Unfortunately, two hours into the story, Snapchat crashed. We would like to think that the story was so popular that it shut down Snapchat. At first, we were disappointed that this interruption was happening in the middle of our story. However, we soon realized that it would give all of our followers who were not caught up with where we were in the song (he/she is obviously not a true Michigan fan) a chance to catch up and submit more content. After being shut down for an hour, Snapchat revived itself and flooded our inbox with snaps. We had a very high level of activity once it started back up. Again, this validated the success of our story. Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 6.16.37 PM

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A few quick stats from our 5 hour campaign:

  • Over 150 total submissions
  • Gained close to 100 new followers
  • Most snaps in the story had over 1000 views, all had over 700 views.

The #UMSocial team is excited to take this experience and learn from it. The success of this story opens up a variety of new ways to interact with followers. This “Hail to the Victors” Snapchat story shows that wherever they are, Michigan fans really do, always Go Blue!