Guest Post: Harnessing Olympic Excitement
Guest blog by Shannon Riffe, Online Marketing Strategist, Office of University Development
With dozens of U-M affiliated athletes taking part in the 2012 Summer Olympics, we wanted to harness the excitement for the games and the passion of our audience to do some visual storytelling on the Leaders and Best Facebook page.
In the week leading up to the Opening Ceremony, we posted images of Michigan athletes, overlaid with a quick fact about U-M at the Olympics. In keeping with the goal of our page, one of these facts was about the impact of donors on the student-athlete experience. The other two facts were not philanthropy-specific. Over the four days we posted these graphics we received a total of 172 new likes and crossed the 1,000 Like mark for our page.
Our best-performing post, about the high number of Wolverines on the Men’s Swimming Team, received 280 Likes and 503 Shares. It was our most popular post ever and highly viral with a virality rate of 46.92%!
An international event + visual, social storytelling = the message of Leaders & Best reaching an even wider audience.
Commencement is so big. Not just in size. It’s big in importance. It’s the day that we get to celebrate hard work, scholarship, and the success of our students.
It’s also a day full of stories, so here’s a round-up of how we told them.
We started with this Instagram shot from one of our staff members, which was featured on our Facebook page:
At the ticket pick-up, the Alumni Association had the graduating seniors pin a map of where they’re going after graduation, and tweeted a link.
The Ross School of Business encouraged its graduating students (and those celebrating the graduates) to use the hashtag #michrossgrad, including printing the hashtag in their commencement day materials. The day was kicked off by a tweet from the dean, and the tweets and photos that came through all day told a great story.
The School of Art & Design has been focusing more on posting photos on their Facebook page, and they created a special album, including photos of their outgoing Dean, Bryan Rogers, in a special helmet given to him by his colleagues. It was so representative of the feel of that particular school.
The Office of University Development set up two photo booths at the grad gathering area, and posted the photos to Facebook, encouraging students to tag themselves in the photos. They saw a 17.5% increase in likes and a 9500% increase in daily page engaged users. One of their photos was also featured on the main U-M Facebook page.
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats … I’m incredibly proud of my baby sister Naomi Black who completes her freshmen year at U-M today. Congrats “lil bit” and keep up the hard work.” — Michael A. Black Jr. (Facebook)"
Facebook: Insights into Bob’s Truck
When I met with a strategist from Facebook last week, he took one look at our main page and said, “You need more photos.”
“How many more is more?”
“I’d say at least fifty percent,” he said.
“Oh. Wow. Oops.”
So last night I did a little number crunching. Actually, I did a lot of number crunching. Four hours of spreadsheet-diving, formula-making hardcore analysis of all of our posts from 01/16-14/16 of this year. And you know what posts get the most engagement by a longshot?
(pause for obvious answer)
Our highest engagement activity was in March when I posted “Bob’s Truck.”
1766 likes, 107 comments, 225 shares. It also had a very high level of viral impressions, even though the initial reach wasn’t that high.
Our community just went crazy for it. And it makes sense. Not only is it a heartwarming story, it’s a big, beautiful image that shows exactly what our school, our brand, our fans… what Michigan stands for.
Here are some of my favorite comments:
And it’s not just Bob’s Truck. Every time we post a photo, we get high positive and low negative engagement. Plus, as the strategist from Facebook put it, it makes our page look more like a magazine.
So I’ve changed our strategy: 50% photos, 40% video and conversation starters, 10% links. I’ll keep you in the loop.