Emphasizing the "social" in social media

Editorial Oct 13, 2014 Emphasizing the

How do you make social media truly “social?” It’s all about engagement, writes communication specialist Lauren Boyd.

Being a Buckeye is personal, and it means something different to everyone. But many of the Buckeye experiences share common threads – from that first step on campus to the walk across the stage at commencement.

One of my favorite parts about my job is collecting and sharing those Buckeye stories using social media. People want to share their love for Ohio State – and they want to know that Ohio State is listening. So that’s what we’re doing: we’re listening and engaging.

Throughout the past few years, we've used  #new2OSU to build conversation and community around first-year students. We heavily used this tag to congratulate students tweeting about acceptance letters, during orientation and throughout Welcome Week.

Increasingly, we're tailoring content specifically by social media site. Here's how that looked during orientation:

On Facebook, where alumni engagement is high, we use graphics that asked users to share favorite memories from their first week on campus.

On Twitter, we shared photos and engaged in conversations with incoming students.

On Instagram, we posted photos from orientation and Welcome Week; students found themselves and started tagging their new Buckeye friends.

So, after learning from  #BuckeyeforLife and now #new2OSU, the university community has rallied behind #ThisisOhioState this fall. We've used the tag to tell Ohio State's story, then ask our audiences to tell their own.

The result? A range of stories about Ohio State’s impact and how the university changes their lives. After using this tag throughout football season, we put together a  Storify to capture the Ohio State story – from our perspective and from our audiences'.

As always, after successes like this, we ask ourselves, “How can we do it bigger and better next time?” Stay tuned for plans for #BuckeyeLove in February – we hope it's yet another story of social media and engagement.

About the author

Lauren Boyd - boyd.404@osu.edu
Communication Specialist
Lauren Boyd

Lauren is an Ohio State communications grad who manages university social media accounts and leads a monthly group of social media communicators.

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