Monthly Archives: September 2015

September #UMichChat Recap

This month, we had the privilege of conducting not one, but two #UMichChats. The theme for both chats was “Welcome HoMe: Resources and Advice for a new semester.”

First up was an in-depth conversation with President Schlissel (@DrMarkSchlissel) about his goals for the upcoming school year. We then hosted a panel of back-to-school specialists who offered advice and suggestions for resources to start the new semester off on the right foot. Our participants were:academic advisor Michael-Joiner Hill (@MikeJK_316) ; Lindsay Haas(@MichiganDining), registered dietitian with Michigan Dining; and Kyle Stefek (@kyle_smyles), a resident advisor at East Quadrangle.

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 During our first chat, President Schlissel offered reflections from his first year at U-M, and discussed institutional goals and initiatives for the upcoming school year:



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Many of our twitter followers chimed in with their own acute insights and questions for the president, making the chat truly interactive. We included many of their inquiries in our live conversation, which resulted in an objective, transparent dialogue about the future of the university under the President’s Schlissel’s leadership:



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We enjoyed another informative conversation in the second chat. Panelists Michael Joiner-Hill, Lindsay Haas (who tweeted using the @MichiganDining account), and Kyle Stefek provided constructive advice for students. The varied areas of expertise of our panelists made a dynamic and multifaceted chat that covered a lot of ground.

The transition to a new school year can be overwhelming, not to mention exhausting. However, it becomes infinitely easier if you know what resources are available to them and where to find them.


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A15Read the full transcript of our conversation with the president here and the back-to-school panel here.

The content of these fascinating chats speaks volumes about their success. But the real proof of whether a social media event is successful is the numbers that follow. #UMichChat generated 7,490,641 total impressions, reaching an audience of 302, 585 people on the day of the chat and 4 days prior. Additionally, #UMichChat was a trending topic on Twitter in the Detroit area for the third month in a row.

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We’ll continue using #UMichChat to explore important topics of interest within the U-M community. We hope you’ll join us next month! #GoBlue and #StaySocial.

New Semester, New Geofilters!

UMSocial launched our first Snapchat Geofilter Campaign in January of this year as students were returning to campus for winter semester, and it was a huge success. To capitalize on the popularity of the campaign, we have decided to expand it for this upcoming semester! We are thrilled to announce that we created seven new custom geofilters and brought them to campus for the upcoming school year!
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Our new filters are accessible in brand new locations such as North Campus, Michigan Stadium, and university residence halls. There is also a geofilter exclusive to Welcome Week 2015. The varied location availability of these filters creates excitement within the community to find the exact location and time where each filter can be used. Geofilters add an interactive element to the visual storytelling that Snapchat affords; allowing users to not only share what they are doing, but where they are doing it. By expanding the Geofilter options on campus, we are broadening our account’s capacity to showcase exciting campus narratives in real time.

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We have recently begun a weekly feature in which we create a story covering a noteworthy arts or cultural event every Thursday. These stories provide a behind-the-scenes look at these events and spaces, highlighting many diverse intellectual perspectives around campus. In addition to this standing feature, we create several other stories throughout the week, documenting significant events and initiatives across campus.

Presently, our ‘UofMichigan’ Snapchat account has 8850 followers. In the first half of 2015, our follower growth rate was 50.8%. Moreover, our weekly stories consistently receive over 4.5K views apiece. We believe that our account’s combination of dynamic event coverage and interactive, user-generated content creates optimal opportunities for engagement. By working with multiple student organizations and university departments, we hope to showcase the breadth of excellence and innovation in our community.

The growth and evolution of our Snapchat is a wonderful success story. Our innovation on the platform has positioned us as a leader in Higher Education Social Media and we will continue to refine our strategy and utilize Snapchat in new, exciting ways. We hope you enjoy the new Geofilters and continue to snap along with ‘UofMichigan!’

August 2015 Recap


            This month, we saw the launch of “Wolverines of Ann Arbor”, inspired by the “Humans of New York” photoblog. This new feature has a lot of interest so far: within days of the introductory post, suggestions for Wolverines to profile started pouring in. WoAA offers an authentic look at the diversity and variety of the people of Michigan, and we hope it will serve as a unifying element for our community.


Read the introductory post for this campaign on our blog!

When it comes to U-M Facebook activity this month, there’s no ignoring the elephant in the room: On August 12., three of the University of Michigan’s most popular Facebook pages were hacked. Around 3:30 AM, a barrage of malicious and inappropriate posts found their way onto the Facebook pages for Michigan Football, Michigan Athletics, and Michigan Basketball. Many community members reached out to alert us about the attack by 6AM, and the story of our hacking found it’s way onto online news and media outlets. Through constant, multi-phased communications among Michigan social leadership and correspondence with connections at Facebook, we were able to successfully re-credential the page administrators and contain the situation within a few hours. However, a second wave of attacks occurred around noon. Investigations at Facebook determined that the hack was part of a sophisticated phishing scheme within Facebook Messenger, that affected many other brands.

By the end of the day on August 12, we contained the attacks for good. We monitored the reach of the conversation following the hack, and noted that our individual sport pages experienced only a small decrease in follower count.

This experience was certainly an educational one. There is a clear lesson: password security is not enough to protect social media accounts from cyber-attacks. The best way to ensure the integrity of our social media properties is to incorporate additional security meatures -including the implementation of a two-step authentication procedure- and evaluate third-party security applications. We hope that the preventative step we took will keep these attacks from happening in the future.

Read a full case study on the hack here.


On August 7, we hosted an influential #UMichChat on the topic of activism and racial education with Martha Jones, professor of history, Afro-American and African studies, and law; Angela Dillard, Associate dean of undergraduate education at LSA; Robert Mickey, associate professor of political science; Hakeem Jefferson, PHD candidate in political science; and Austin McCoy, PHD candidate in History. This chat, which generated 5,171,802 impressions, was centered around the book Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which has been hailed as an essential read on the subject of black America. We believe that our #UMichChats bring new and important perspective to the UMich community and hope they continue to do so.


Read a full recap on Storify.

Our weekly #UMichTalks series covered several exciting events happening around campus, including the summer UROP symposium, a ceremony celebrating the 42nd anniversary of the LSA summer bridge program, a live chat with the director of Michigan Neurosport, and more..

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This month, our Instagram ambassador was Emily Schiffer, a Stamps MFA student who shared compelling images of Northwood Family Housing, where she lives with her daughter. It was a privilege to have such a talented artist curating content for our feed, and we are very grateful for her time, expertise, and photos:

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We decided to launch Wolverines of Ann Arbor as a cross-platform campaign, and post WoAA images on our Instagram feed every Monday, as well as every Wednesday on Facebook. Our first feature, an enthusiastic Wolverine’s love letter to a certain attractive Chipotle employee, received more than 100 comments and was featured in a write up on Tech Insider.Screen Shot 2015-09-02 at 7.11.28 PM


We began a weekly Snapchat feature in which we cover an arts/cultural event or space in our Snapchat story. Some of this month’s stories included: a tour of the brand-new Taubman health science library and the newly renovated West Quad dorm. This is a great way to give prominence to the amazing arts, culture and architecture at U-M.

We have many exciting Snapchat campaigns planned for the beginning of the school year. We will also be documenting many Welcome Week events on our Snapchat account, so be sure to add ‘uofmichigan’ and follow along!


This month marked a milestone for us on Pinterest: our account reached 19,000 followers! U-M is currently second in the nation in terms of follower count and we expect to see this number increase as we continue to fill our Pinterest boards with compelling U-M content.


This month, we launched our second annual Dormspiration Pinterest contest. During last year’s inaugural competition, students were encouraged to follow @uofmichigan on Pinterest, create a board titled ‘My UofMichigan #dormspiration’, and pin anything relating to dorm decor and residence hall life. Winners received custom prizes from and DIY Michigan decorations! We hope this contest gets our #Victors2019 (and all Wolverines) feeling inspired excited , and ready for dorm life!

Social Vending Machine

We’re thrilled to announce our Vending Maize and Blue campaign. Working with Innovative Vending Solutions, a company located in Deyton, OH, we designed and branded a machine that fits with the University’s aesthetic and social goals, and that allows our partners to benefit and publicize their products and services.

This special vending machine takes tweets as means of currency. Users will be asked to tweet a photo of themselves (along with a hashtag provided by the machine); as soon as the tweet is received, the vending machine dispenses a prize.

The machine will be on campus from August 19 to September 20 and you’ll see it in many different locations. The “vending Maize and Blue” campaign is an innovative and fun way to utilize new technology to spread awareness about our channels, increase engagement, and surprise and delight our students.

                   Click here for more details and locations.


Here are some key analytics highlights from the past months:

Tweet and Be Rewarded!

Love prizes? Who doesn’t? What if winning amazing gifts from a wide variety of Ann Arbor merchants—and the University of Michigan—was just a tweet away? Starting Thursday, September 4th we’re kicking off a month of ‘Vending Maize and Blue,’ just for you!

UMSocial has partnered with the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring you gift cards and swag from numerous businesses and university affiliates, including: Zingerman’s, M Den, The Ark, University Musical Society, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Argo/Gallup Canoe Livery, Slurping Turtle, The Ravens Club, Frita Batidos, Ashley’s, U-M Recreational Sports, U-M Dining, U-M Housing, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, U-M Rackham Graduate School, and the University of Michigan Health System.


The Vending Maize and Blue campaign merges digital technology with physical space, producing an interactive experience that enhances community engagement online and “in real life.” Developed by Innovative Vending Solutions, the technology is unprecedented in higher education and was designed to capture the University of Michigan aesthetic. Through collaboration with the university and the greater Ann Arbor community, this innovative initiative provides a new way to encourage social media growth and engagement for everyone involved. Additionally, by strategically timing the vending machine’s presence on campus, the campaign serves as an exciting “welcome home” present to our students and to friends, fans, and family joining us for events like our first home football game.
Curious about how it works? The remarkable vending machine is essentially programmed to accept tweets as currency. For example, users might be asked to tweet a picture and a particular hashtag. Once they’ve completed the request, the vending machine dispenses a prize. The quick and easy process is initiated with a simple touch of the vending machine’s interactive screen. From there, the program walks you though a few simple steps, and voila—you depart the proud new owner of a variety of cool items.

The vending machine will be on campus at various locations throughout the month of September. Prizes and locations will change in order to tie in directly with what’s happening on campus. For example, during move-in, the vending machine will be on the Hill, and the prizes will include things that students need for dorm living.

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Last but not least, we hope you’ll share the joy of experiencing Vending Maize and Blue with us. Tweet us your photos or videos, tell your friends, and thank a participating partner.