Each month, our #UMichChat Twitter series allows us bring thought-provoking conversations to our social audiences, and gives them the opportunity to interact with distinguished members of the Michigan community. Our June chat focused on student life, as we hosted a panel of three current students who are heavily involved on campus, and discussed with them how best to optimize success in college. This month, in partnership with the Alumni Association of The University of Michigan (AAUM), we explored the transition from diligent student to ambitious professional with some highly accomplished Michigan alumni: Mike Mikho, Chief Marketing Officer at 247 Laundry Service; Susan Orlean, best-selling author and staff writer for The New Yorker; Peter Vanderkaay, 3-time Olympian and public speaker; and Dhani Jones, former NFL linebacker, TV host, and entrepreneur. Our team was tremendously grateful for the time these four took out of their busy schedules and the outstanding insights they shared with us about “Life After Michigan.”

The University of Michigan boasts one of the largest alumni networks in the world, so partnering with the Alumni Association to execute this #UMichChat was a natural fit. In addition to reaching out to and coordinating with potential participants, they also contributed to the conversation by asking the guests additional meaningful questions during the live dialogue. The collaboration also allowed us to leverage additional promotion of the event to an expanded demographic. A variety of images were posted to both Facebook and Twitter in the week leading up to the conversation, which was very beneficial in driving increased traffic to the chat.

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As always, the UMSocial team prompted the conversation with both user-generated and pre-scripted questions. Content varied to entice conversation regarding participants’ collegiate involvement, their tips for entering the professional world, and how they believe their Michigan experience primed them for success. Many other alumni also chimed in to respond to the prompts, allowing our audience to learn from a tremendously diverse set of knowledgable thought and business leaders. It was great to see our audience discuss how Michigan affected their personal and professional lives post-grad.

We learned what aspects of their Michigan education translated to career and personal success, and why they are proud to be Michigan alumni.

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We also got valuable insights into our participants’ experiences as students: lessons they learned on campus, organizations they were involved with, and their favorite parts of Ann Arbor, both past and present.

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You can read the complete conversation on Storify here.


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In the time leading up to and following the event, our hashtag generated 276 total tweets from 89 different contributors, leading to more than 14,000,000 total impressions and a combined audience of over 600,000 users. Additionally, we were delighted to see that while the conversation was occurring, #UMichChat became a trending topic on Twitter in the Detroit area, a first for our monthly series! As we prepare to welcome new Wolverinesn the fall, and watch as our spring graduates get ready to enter the workforce, we wanted to feature a chat that would showcase the benefits presented by our large alumni base, and how a degree from the University of Michigan (and the benefits of the Michigan experience) truly impact our students’ ability to change the world.


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Overall, the chat was a huge success, and we’d like to thank our participants and the Alumni Association for their hard work and poignant answers. Be sure to join in next month, and #ForeverGoBlue!

Have an idea for our next #UMichChat? Tweet us or visit socialmedia.umich.edu.

This post was written by Sarah Barnitt, UMSocial Intern and Bachelor of Science in Information student. #StaySocial with her @sarahbarnitt on Twitter and Instagram.