Facebook continues to evolve as it aims to serve as the primary medium for connecting billions of people across the globe. In 2015, #UMSocial sought to elevate the tone of the U-M Facebook communities’ dialogue, provide a robust selection of all-encompassing content, and educate those who ‘Like’ us with thought-provoking features. The introduction of “Michigan Mondays” enabled us to showcase a prominent alumnus, faculty, or stakeholder each week, paired with an inspirational quote or context of achievement. The campaign incorporates the #MotivationMonday concept, inviting individuals to not only share in the acknowledgment of these leaders and best, but to share the uplifting message with others. Each image is also coordinated with national campaigns such as Black History Month or timely movements like #ILookLikeAnEngineer. Mid-year, we introduced our own version of personal narrative storytelling, “Wolverines of Ann Arbor” (WOAA). The ongoing campaign is modeled after the popular Humans of New York (HONY) series. WOAA allows us to showcase the voices of our community, from students to staff to faculty to fans. Like HONY, the impact of this content has reverberated with many, producing media articles and, in 2016, a potential gallery series.

#UMSocial plans to continue to explore new ways to engage our audiences and encourage positive online dialogue in the coming year, while also setting our sights on surpassing one million “Likes.”

Take a look back at our Top 5 highest performing Facebook posts in 2015:

5. U-M claims one of (if not the) largest alumni bases in the world. In 2015, an intentional effort was made to create content that recognize various holidays and milestones celebrated by our diverse and robust community. This included Lunar New Year, Diwali, Ramadan, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas. Toward the latter part of the year, these “best wishes” messages evolved into animated gifs, which our community truly enjoyed. More than half a million people (551,491) received our Merry Christmas gif, which garnered 18,249 likes, comments, and shares.

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4. As Wolverines, we are truly grateful for the amazing opportunity to call a world-class institution home. The concept of Michigan as ‘hoMe’ echoes throughout many of our social media campaigns, instilling a sense of pride and nostalgia. As Wolverines gathered around their tables with family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, we offered greetings from our ‘Big House’ to theirs. The post registered with 663,367 thankful community members and saw 27,763 likes, comments, and shares.

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3. We recognize both Michigan moms and dads each year for all they do, but it was moms by far that captured the hearts of our followers. We like to think that our Mother’s Day post prompted all 792,064 of the users it reached to spread the love and gratitude to their mothers as well. The 35,731 likes, comments, and shares it received helped secure its spot as the third most popular post of 2015.

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2. Game days are always great for content, but this post offered a unique spin. A very special young man, and an enormous fan of our #1 conference rival The Ohio State University received a lifesaving operation at the U-M Health System’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in 2015. His most pressing concern: would the doctors make his heart love maize and blue? Not only did this adorable kid and heartwarming story captivate 867,811 loyal Facebook fans, it also bridged rivalries and brought communities together. The post was liked, commented on, and shared 22,127 times.

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1. Befitting U-M’s #1 status in the Big Ten, our post reflecting that ranking is also our #1 most popular content piece of 2015. Wolverines everywhere joined us in celebrating the recognition of U-M as the 22nd most prestigious higher educational institution in the world. Over 1.3 million people (1,327,415) saw the accolades, and 44,624 joined in liking, sharing, or commenting on the content.

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Collectively, the U-M page reached over 75 million Facebook users in 2015, providing 1.5 million impressions, 1.1 million comments, and nearly 1 million likes.