Before the soon-to-be alumni of the class of 2013 arrived in the Big House on the day of commencement, the #UMSocial team was planning how to best cover this memorable day.
It all started months prior when we met to plan for the announcement of this year’s commencement speaker: Twitter CEO and Michigan grad Dick Costolo. For this commencement, more eyes would be on social media than they had ever been before, and we had a great opportunity to join the conversation with our students and the Ann Arbor community (and what we weren’t aware of, the entire country!). We threw around several ideas, and eventually landed on one hashtag that would bring it all together: #MgoGrad.
Once the word was out, it was a waiting game until May 4th. We did our best to bring the hashtag out whenever possible; encouraging our seniors to share their campus memories and asking our alums to offer advice and wisdom for the graduates.
Along with interacting with the graduates on Twitter, we used Instagram to aggregate original content from our followers on the days leading up to the ceremony. To date, #MgoGrad has appeared in 973 photos.
On the day of commencement, the #UMSocial team arrived at the Big House bright and early to prep for the long day ahead. With phones, laptops and iPads charged, we dispersed to our various locations in the press box, on the field, and in the control room under the stadium. By 10am, we were ready for the grads to arrive.
As the Big House filled with eager families and friends, and the graduate processional began, the #MgoGrad hashtag picked up steam as the Tweets appeared on the jumbotrons.
It’s no surprise that the window between 10am and 12pm (when graduates began to enter the stadium and during the ceremony) had the largest surge of Tweets, with an amazing 1663 tweets during this period.
Aside from livetweeting and feeding tweets from your smartphones to the jumbotrons, we were also busy on Instagram, Facebook and Vine, sharing the highlights of commencement. In addition, the entire ceremony was shown online via livestream.
If you missed Dick Costolo’s speech, you can watch it in its entirety on YouTube. The video now has over 100,000 views!
One of our favorite parts, of course, was his opening with a tweet:
We also managed to catch him ending with a #hashtag on Vine!
All together, there has been 5,320 (and counting!) Tweets using the official commencement hashtag #MgoGrad. While it was a busy day for our team, we could think of no better way to celebrate the class of 2013, Twitter, and Dick Costolo than with a trending topic.
As Mary Sue Coleman said to close out the ceremony:
For today, goodbye
For tomorrow, good luck
And forever, GO BLUE!