Monthly Archives: November 2015

October 2015 @UMSocial

November is upon us and it’s certainly hard to believe that 2015 is coming to a close. It’s time to once again reflect on the successes from this past month, in order to evaluate how we can best implement new campaigns and increase engagement and visibility in the future. Follow along for October’s highlights: 


We had the opportunity to host not one but two #UMichChat conversations this month. On October 2, we partnered with the School of Kinesiology to host a discussion about their revolutionary Intraoperative Neuromonitoring (IONM) Program. The chat generated over 5 million impressions and had an estimated social reach of 160,729 people. Another indicator of success:, after the chat, ‘IONM’ became a trending topic in the Detroit area.

IONM UMichChat


One week later, we facilitated an exclusive #myhoMecoming chat featuring the enormously popular Chicago-based musical theatre troupe Team Starkid, who were in Ann Arbor for a reunion concert. The group gained prominence on YouTube with A Very Potter Musical—a song-filled parody of Harry Potter produced by U-M’s Basement Arts student group. The members of Team Starkid have all enjoyed successful theatrical careers, especially Darren Criss, who co-founded the troupe at U-M in 2009. (Criss starred in the original production and continued with it to Broadway, but he’s probably best known for his role on the TV series Glee.) The conversation resulted in extensive follower engagement, generating more than 3 million impressions and reaching a total audience of 692,739. Additionally, the chat helped our hashtag #myhoMecoming trend regionally.

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            With 75,000 followers, our Instagram channel flourished this month, as U-M community members shared and tagged their posts with #myhoMecoming. As an incentive for participation, we partnered with Athletics to feature posts with the hashtag on the Big House’s big screen during the Northwestern game. This strategy was certainly effective, generating more than 800 photo submissions in only three days.

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Also this month, we collaborated with several university departments to facilitate several week-long takeovers of our Instagram account: a video series in conjunction with the Career Center’s 2015 Fall Career Expo; a chronicle of the experiences of the Solar Car team as they traveled to the 2015 Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in South Australia; and a conversation with the UMHS Pancreatic Cancer Center staff, who shared insights about their research and promoted their #Pan campaign. We used these posts to drive traffic to the departments’ individual websites, promote their events, and offer diverse perspectives from various areas of campus.

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We leveraged our Wolverines of Ann Arbor Facebook feature to advertise an alternative tailgate co-hosted by Beta Theta Pi fraternity and SAPAC. These organizations teamed up to produce an alcohol-free tailgate complete with food, drinks, and activities for students to enjoy before the Michigan-Michigan State game. We profiled a member of the fraternity who shared his perspective about social responsibility and alcohol safety.

Safe drinking WOAA

We galvanized #myhoMecoming spirit on Facebook by posting #tbt images of past homecoming traditions. We also created an album of our favorite photos and featured them as ‘photos of the week’ on the site. Michigan alumni have a deep emotional bond with their alma mater, and that was evidenced by the many commenters who submitted their own homecoming memories even when they weren’t asked to.

myhoMecoming Mary SuemyhoMecoming TBT video


We used Snapchat to keep our community informed, covering various events and posting stories throughout the weekend. We followed along with the Michigan Marching Band and Cheer Team as they prepared to take the field for the Northwestern game. Our coverage also included a live-action shot of the world’s largest human roller coaster, which took place in our very own student section. This feat was orchestrated by the Michigan Cheer Team’s Michael Funkhouser, who recruited participants via the @umichstudents Twitter account. In just four days, Funkhouser and the team were able to mobilize the student section to participate and successfully break the world record.

We have also begun collaborating with various U-M departments to create a series that highlights academic programs and resources. These stories will provide useful tips for students to help them optimize their academic potential and learn about career opportunities; the series will also showcase research initiatives. Our first story highlighted LSA’s new Law, Justice, and Social Change minor; we released it the same day as a lecture given by Piper Kerman. Kerman the author of the personal memoir Orange is the New Black that inspired the popular Netflix series of the same name. Her lecture, which synthesized themes from the domains of women’s study, law, public policy, and sociology, explored the diverse perspectives on prison reform and education. Our Snapchat story helped promote her lecture and thematically connect it to an academic program. By showcasing real-life applications of various academic programs, these Snapchat collaborations will expose students to areas of study they may have not previously considered. These collaborations also serve as useful promotional tools for academically-focused events.

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Safety is always a primary concern on campus, and U-M has worked hard to educate students about alcohol use and abuse, and appropriate risk management strategies. To stress the importance of Alcohol Awarness we created a video PSA featuring Student Life vice president Royster Harper, CSG president Cooper Charlton, U-M president Mark Schlissel, and Coach Harbaugh himself. The PSA provided an alternative platform to traditional ‘alcohol awareness’ communication channels, allowing us to get our message out to an audience that skewed heavily to students. This Snapchat story received more than 5,000 views. We further extended its reach by uploading it to our Youtube Channel and sharing it on Facebook.

September 2015 @ UMSocial

September is always a busy time at U-M, and this September was no exception, as we welcomed our Wolverines “hoMe” to campus. Our team leveraged the momentum of the new semester to deliver pertinent, absorbing content to all our social channels. Here’s a breakdown of key moments and campaigns:

Yik Yak:

We’ve been eager to integrate Yik Yak into our social strategy after witnessing it’s potential to promote social good last spring. Therefore, we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership between UMSocial and Yik Yak: Hail Mail, a brand new peek feature exclusive to U-M. Yik Yak “peeks” are yak feeds from specific locations of the user’s choosing. They allow users to look in on important events and remain remotely connected to places of interest. Hail Mail is a peek that is exclusive to the University of Michigan’s campus.  A virtual bulletin board for campus information and news, Hail Mail content will be curated by the UMSocial team, and the feed will be updated several times a day. Hail Mail has the potential to become a significant resource to our campus community.

Hail Mail


            We created seven new custom geofilters and brought them to campus for the upcoming school year! Our new filters are accessible in brand new locations on North Campus, at Michigan Stadium, and in several university residence halls.

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We covered many Welcome Week events on Snapchat, including New Student Convocation, the pre-class bash, and the open house at President Schlissel’s. We also encouraged students to snap us pictures of their new hoMes:

Snap us you and your roomie

On September 10, in partnership with Allie Williams, a student involved with Wolverine Support Network, we created a Snapchat story observing World Suicide Prevention Day. We ended the day with a follow-up story featuring messages of hope from members of our community.

On September 17, we covered Send Silence Packing, a nationwide event that was brought to campus by the student organization Active Minds. During the event, 1,100 backpacks were displayed on the Diag to represent the number of college students who take their own lives every year. Two hundred of these backpacks featured personal stories that were contributed by community members who have lost loved ones to suicide. Our Snapchat story explained the purpose of the event and highlighted the campus resources that are available on-site (CAPS, the Spectrum Center, Wolverine Support Network, and the U-M Depression Center).




On September 11, we facilitated an extra large edition of our monthly #UMichChat by hosting two conversations back to back. The theme of both chats was “Welcome HoMe: Resources and Advice for a New Semester.” The first chat featured President Schlissel, who discussed institutional goals for the upcoming school year and reflected on his first year in office. We then hosted a panel of back-to-school specialists who offered students advice and suggestions for resources. Our participants were academic advisor Michael-Joiner Hill; Lindsay Haas, registered dietitian with Michigan Dining; and Kyle Stefek, a resident advisor at East Quad. The chats generated more than 7 million total impressions and reached a combined audience of more than 300,000 people.


     Our Twitter was as the primary mechanism used to engage with the #Victors2019 as they moved to campus. From fielding #backtoschool inquiries to sharing dorm photos to live- tweeting the New Student Convocation, we loved being able to share in our new students’ energy and enthusiasm.

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Beginning Thursday, September 4, we ran the ‘Vending Maize and Blue’ campaign. Our Twitter-activated vending machine was stationed at various locations around campus. Prizes included T-shirts, laptop stickers, selfie sticks, water bottles, and gift cards to local businesses. From Sept. 4 to Sept. 20, the machine dispensed more than 1,800 prizes, each corresponding to a unique tweet. The Vending Maize and Blue campaign was an exciting ‘welcome hoMe’ present that encouraged substantial social-media growth and engagement. Many thanks to our participating partners and the thousands of community members who joined us in #VendingforVictors!

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           During the first week of classes, our Instagram Ambassador was Austin Thomason, a senior photographer at Michigan Photography. Austin provided us with a week’s worth of colorful, vibrant images that captured the beauty of campus and the hustle and bustle of student life.

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Later in September, in collaboration with Michigan Engineering, we featured a series chronicling the growth of partnerships between U-M and universities in Ethiopia. A landlocked nation in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is relying on higher education, particularly in engineering, medicine, and technology, to help foster change.  U-M will provide crucial training and capacity building tools to Ethiopian educators. This partnership will allow the university to create global connections and participate in technological initiatives that will benefit developing nations.


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         Our primary objective is to keep Facebook content fresh and informative. This month, our Facebook page reached 700,000 likes, so we must be doing something right! We try to post a diverse mix of content that showcases departments and student life alike. We find that alumni are more active on Facebook than any other social channel, and frequently post comments on their Michigan experience. They’re particularly responsive to #MichiganMonday and #ThrowBackThursday posts. We love being able to share the rich history of the university and foster connections among our alumni:

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We did a feature about Active Minds in a Wolverines of Ann Arbor (WOAA) Facebook  post to advertise Send Silence Packing. Our audience was appreciative of the fact that mental health was receiving attention as a central issue on campus.The partnership between WOAA and Active Minds is an illustration of the power of social media to effect change. This exemplified what WOAA aims to do: bring impactful messages from subsets of our community to all Wolverines. bring to light the lives and stories of those who’ve been touched by the University of Michigan, and share those stories with other Wolverines.

Active minds WOAA Active minds WOAA posts


Some key analytics from the past months:


Our tweets generated more than 2.6 million impressions and we gained more than 5,000 new followers.


Our page received more surpassed 700,000 likes and our posts reached a total audience of 5,157,022 people.

We reached 70,000 Instagram followers and received 110,860 likes on our media.

We exceeded 19,300 followers on Pinterest. Our pins have collectively received more than 136,000 repins and more than 29,000 likes.

We received more than 800 new followers on Snapchat. We currently have 9497 followers and aim to surpass 10,000 followers by the end of 2015. This will mean that we have effectively doubled our audience since January.

Here’s to an innovative and productive school year. #StaySocial and #GoBlue!

This post was written by Sarah Barnitt, Bachelor of Science in Information Junior; #UMSocial editorial intern. #StaySocial with he on Twitter and Instagram: @SarahBarnitt