It was around 11:00 am on November 7th, and we could feel the excitement build as we all circled around the conference room in the William Davidson Player Development Center, eyes glued to the large screen on the opposite wall. We had a variety of tabs open, typical of the #UMSocial team, in order to monitor live conversations happening via Twitter. As it got closer to 11:30, we were ready to implement and facilitate the first ever #UMichChat!

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In an effort to engage our Twitter following and reach out to academic and athletic leaders on campus, the 1st Friday of each month will be dedicated to the new #UMichChat series. This will allow for our followers and University of Michigan students, faculty, and fans to submit questions for the featured guests and join in the live conversation, following the hashtag. It’s also a great way to tap into the Tweet Chat guests’ communities and reach out to a larger audience, one that we might not have originally been interacting with on a daily basis. We were lucky enough to kick off the first session with none other than Women’s Basketball Head Coach Kim Barnes Arico and Men’s Basketball point guard Spike Albrecht. We couldn’t think of two better guests to participate in the debut and give an insider’s look into all things athletics-related as Michigan Basketball gets ready for the upcoming season.

Leading up to the launch, we created hype around #UMichChat by including cross-promotion on all channels, including an Instagram video and Snapchat story featuring Spike himself!

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Fans were encouraged to submit questions to Arico and Albrecht prior to the chat, but we saw an influx of tweets as 11:30am rolled around and @umich was actively pushing out questions and responses from the participants. It was exciting to see the hashtag catch on, establishing over 410 uses! There was a combination of questions coming from central accounts and also a variety of really interesting user-generated submissions. Topics covered everything from best pre-game ritual and what to expect from #UMich BBall this season, to greatest accomplishments and reasons for choosing to become a Wolverine.

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See the full #UMichChat recap here:

We’re excited to launch #UMichChat and to continue highlighting the incredible things happening in and around the University of Michigan community. We hope that you will join us next month! Have any interesting Tweeters in mind? You know where to find us: @umich.

This post was written by Katie Szymanski, Communication and Digital Studies senior; #UMsocial editorial intern