As engaged and active members of the higher education social media community, it’s important to stay up to date on current, relevant trends and look for ways to tie brand and content strategy into what’s trending. We at UMSocial are always on the lookout for anything new: what’s hot, what’s not, and what the next big thing may be.

On Thursday, July 8, Pokemon GO was released. By the end of the weekend, it had been downloaded more than 7.5 million times, becoming the top-grossing app on the iTunes App Store, along with raising parent Nintendo’s stock by 33 percent. Individuals who would normally be plopped on the couch were walking miles, with phone in hand—children and grown adults alike—on the search to “catch them all.”

It’s all thanks to a perfect storm of interest, as well as plenty of work done on behalf of the app’s  creators, Niantic. For many millennials, playing the app is a coming home of sorts. And it’s the combination of nostalgic loyalty paired with increasing phone engrossment that is what truly catapulted this app to the top.

We here at UMSocial noticed this app’s popularity in our own community and decided to take advantage. On Monday, July 11, we created a Snapchat story focusing on Pokemon GO: the essentials for Pokemon hunting, basic how-tos for the game, and even location features around campus (like how, for instance, the Block M is a PokeStop). Along the way, as we traversed through Central Campus to the Arb, we even planted UMSocial t-shirts for viewers to find.


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The story itself proved successful, with 100,000+ total views and 50+ screenshots. Similarly, our tweet about the story reached 307 favorites and 130 retweets. We also received several tweets from fans expressing their excitement, like this one from @charlienesser:

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Even DPSS got in on the fun, reminding players to be careful and aware of their surroundings.


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This was a perfect example of real-time marketing. We were able to see a trend and its obvious impact on our audience, and figure it into our social execution for the day. We engaged with our followers in tangible ways, and related to them in a fresh and exciting manner, attracting individuals in our community ranging from alumni to prospectives.


This post was written by Kelly Arnold, a sophomore at Hope College studying communications and a summer 2016 #UMSocial intern. #StaySocial with her: @KellyAArnold