The dynamic and lively community at the University of Michigan is one of the most exciting aspects of campus, and ensuring that we represent our entire campus communities through our content strategy is one of the most vital components of our work at UMSocial.


With a campus environment of inclusiveness, welcoming, and belonging, we focus on understanding the diversity of folks on campus and elevating images and information that resonate with them, bring them joy, and provide them with important resources. UMSocial has been a leader in this area for many years, but this year we ventured to new levels with innovative approaches to engage even more community members.


It is integral that everyone can access our content, feel represented in our content, learn from our content, and find joy in our content. We carefully develop strategic approaches for every platform and every format and constantly consider how to enhance our language use, imagery, and information sharing. Here are some of the ways we celebrated, championed, and connected with our Wolverine communities in 2023:


Black History Month 

Throughout Black History Month, we crafted powerful illustrations of Black U-M alumni who have or are continuing to make an impact across an array of industries. These artworks were posted on the university’s Instagram feed every day in February with a narrative about the individual’s influence and achievements. By also attending campus events, working with student organizations, and highlighting special guests including award-winning poet Nikki Giovanni, we were able to capture the emotion, energy, and insight through video recaps, photo features, and written reflections.


Feature videos were a significant component of the strategy for this observance month including a video highlighting Black sororities at U-M and a recap of Black History Month programming at the university with members of the U-M community sharing what Black History Month means to them.




Disability Community Month

As part of our content during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we spoke to Joelle Fundaro Randall of the Career Center about resources available to U-M students with disabilities, as well as the entire U-M community. Sharing these resources to our audiences is helpful to those that didn’t know about the valuable services offered, and empowers community members to reach out to the Career Center for support in asking for accommodations, excel in writing job applications, and connect with alumni.


The video we created with U-M American Sign Language interpreters Casie Watson and Dr. Stephanie Beatty elevates their vision of establishing effective communication, respect for community, and a commitment to community. Sharing this information provided our audience with the understanding of the resources and services the U-M Equity, Civil Rights, and Title IX Office offers to employees, the importance of creating inclusive environments, and the significance of recognizing NDEAM. This video also promoted the unit’s D/deaf Etiquette workshop, which was open to all U-M community members to learn about their roles on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Team, and ways that all members of the university can create a more inclusive work and classroom environment for individuals who are deaf or have hearing impairments.


Continuing our collaboration with the U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness program, we promoted the third annual Wolverine Invitational with a highlight video to build excitement around the event and inform our audience about the 2023-2024 wheelchair basketball season. We also shared a carousel of photos from the tournament on Instagram, which captured emotions of exhilaration and determination in the competition. These posts received positive reactions from our audience, and garnered comments of support and anticipation of the upcoming season.




Pride Month 2023

Celebrating Pride Month was the focus of our strategy in June. Through vibrant colors, captivating photography, and an illustrative triptych, we creatively shared stories and commemorated the month with our community. The multiple approaches, which also included Pride colors waving through campus and Ann Arbor landmarks, demonstrated the many importances of the month-long observances and the diversity of impact, value, and contributions of members of the LGBTQ+ community.


We also took an innovative step to bring a new feature to a series of photos through lightpainting. Working alongside numerous community members and in collaboration with Michigan Photography, we captured unique photos of individuals at popular campus locations featuring light that appeared as paint streaks. The colors of the lightpainting were popular Pride Month colors and were symbolic for the beauty that the observance month honors. There were also a series of portraits and quotes from faculty and staff members which told important stories, celebrated members of the campus community, and inspired others to have a positive impact on society.

Images from Instagram

Women’s History Month

Women are… was a feature across our accounts in March while we observed Women’s History Month. We asked women to explain who women are, what female empowerment means to them, and who they have found inspiration from. The breadth of responses we received and the engagement we continued to experience led to a robust content strategy that included a feature video, crafted narratives, and daily Instagram posts celebrating the impact of women at the University of Michigan.



Collaborations with Student Orgs 

Throughout the year, UMSocial worked alongside many stakeholders, student organizations, and U-M’s Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs to consistently cast a spotlight on a wide-ranging number of events. Here are some examples:


Michigan students gathered on campus yesterday to celebrate Holi 🎨 #UofM #UMich #Michigan #Holiday #Holi #StudentLife

♬ original sound – Drisya Reghuram


Holidays and Observances

Throughout 2023, UMSocial created elevated animations to celebrate religious and cultural holidays and observances with members of our U-M community. Here are some examples: