2 months later, essentially, I realize I hadn’t written anything about this small campaign I did for Finals Week in Spring.
During the pressure of Finals week (and if you’re a procrastinating student like I was), the last thing on your priority list might actually be studying for Finals. So creating a hashtag for students to use when they post a photo to Instagram/Twitter of how their “finals are looking”, might not be in the best interest to the student since we’re kinda adding to the procrastination.
But… it still worked.
We wanted to get students fully involved in the process of #FIUFinals as a campaign. We had a stack of $10 bookstore/cafe gift cards lying around so we thought, let’s buy students some coffee. The call-to-action was “Post a photo of how you’re finals are looking, and coffee might be on us this week!”
We wanted people to get creative. So every day we changed up the call-to-action. One day we’d say “What’s your #FIUFinals prep-kit?” or “Show us what you’re studying for!”. Changing up the calls-to-action allowed us to stay fresh as a campaign and also broadened the quality of user-generated content. It worked out really well, as we got a lot of creativity in the photos.
Not only was the purpose of the campaign to see what kind of content we’d get, but it also painted a picture of how many students are willing to engage in social media. This can lead to not only presenting higher-ups with an accurate barometer reading of the usefulness of social media, but can also keep your eyes peeled on potential content contributors… if you ever decide to hire interns and what-not.
In the end, we chose 5 winners for the #FIUFinals campaign… which sorta turned out to be a mini-contest. We took photos of them and posted them to Instagram, as well. That aspect added a very personal, transparent tone to the campaign.
#FIUFinals increased student engagement, and aligned us more with the student pulse… something that oftentimes gets lost with the job. Definite success!