#Victors2018: Orientation Gets Social

Summer is almost here, which means thousands of newly accepted Wolverines and proud parents will make the trip to Ann Arbor in order to attend orientation for the upcoming fall! Starting on June 2 and hosting sessions until July 30, new student orientation works to provide a smooth transition into the college setting for admits and their anxious parents, while offering different workshops that demystify how to schedule classes, the process behind financial aid, campus safety, dorm life, and much more.

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Photo via uofmichigan: http://instagram.com/p/aG2EMdmEkm/

As a mandatory step in the college experience, summer orientation guarantees to bring fresh faces and families to campus each summer. This provides the perfect opportunity for the UMsocial team to reach out and engage with the growing University of Michigan community, especially when they are all in the same place!

In 2013, we leveraged the orientation crowd to draw attention to newly established Vine and Foursquare presences, promoting orientation specific content and providing resources. With Foursquare, we were able to create an “Orientation Must List,” and we encouraged students to check in at as many places as they could during their stay. It was fun to see orientation-ers share posts on Instagram and Twitter as they visited the different locations!

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Photo via zachb54 on Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/ayI9XzGEn3/

Along with sharing user-generated content, UMSocial also actively worked to provide an increased level of customer service through the promotion of #AskUMich, in partnership with Campus Involvement. Students and parents were encouraged to tweet questions and concerns, to which our team and @umichcampusinfo were ready and waiting to respond. With the help of flyers in dorms, and promotion of the hashtag in our own content, we were able to provide responses to over 100 inquires. This year we hope to extend the use of #AskUMich even more!

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Photo via uofmichigan on Instagram: http://instagram.com/p/atcIN6GEvF/

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The success of the orientation social strategy in its inaugural year verified just how important these channels are to making new students feel like part of the community, and also assuring students and parents that their University is social savvy, responsive, and accessible. At a university as large as Michigan, it can be easy for incoming freshmen to feel like small fish in a big pond. Our online communities provide the opportunity to have tailored conversations, allowing us to communicate more personally with our Wolverines, and give our followers the individual attention that they deserve.

In 2014, we’re excited to experiment with new channels and expand our strategy, while still creating meaningful connections with our incoming #Victors2018! Here’s a preview of what’s potentially to come…

  • “One Day at Orientation” Snapchat Contest: Create a Story of what your day looks like
  • Instagram Meet Up: Visit 5-10 must-see spots, upload your photos with #Victors2018, we’ll pick our favorites to be featured on the uofmichigan account
  • Orientation Facebook Album/Pinterest Board: Cataloged and curated live, you could see your photos featured on official University of Michigan accounts
  • #AskUMich: We’re standing by to answer your questions, just tweet with #AskUMich! Or new this year, chat with us via uofmichigan on Snapchat

This post was contributed by Katie Szymanski: Editorial Intern and Communications and Spanish Major – @katieskii