Gretchen Edwards (@gretchEdwards) is the assistant director of digital engagement at Wake Forest University.
Last month, I shared Wake Forest University’s move-in day social media strategy. I promised a follow-up post with the results corresponding to the “measures of success” outlined in the original post. (For more detail, see “Move-in Day Social Media Strategy.”)
I had originally planned to track activity only on move-in day, which took place on Thursday, Aug. 22. I took “status” screenshots of our accounts at 6 a.m. and again at 11:55 p.m. I used the service Hashtracking which provides detailed reports for a specified time period as long as you have been tracking the hashtag within its system during that time. I created a corresponding Hashtracking report so that each measure of success would be assessed during the same time period.
These day-of-results are all well and good. However, after further evaluating the report, I noticed that there was considerable activity over a wider range of time, specifically from Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 9 a.m. to Friday, Aug. 23, at 5 p.m. This is indicative of several things:
- We marketed #wfu17 successfully leading up to the event.
- We should have expected that students would share their excitement and travel stories the day before move-in.
- Students continued to post using #wfu17 during the orientation picnic the day after move-in.
Upon final assessment, I decided that both the Aug.22 and the Aug. 21-23 time frames merit evaluation.
Measures of Success
I set five measures of success prior to move-in day. The results are listed below for both day-of, (Aug. 22), and Aug. 21-23 when applicable.
1. Increase the number of #wfu17 tweets by at least 300-600, with an added b>onus if #wfu17 trends locally.
Results for Aug. 22: 649 tweets from 288 contributors, reaching 135,640 unique individuals’ timelines.
The hashtag trended locally. (And people noticed.)
Results for Aug. 21-23: 1,039 tweets from 365 contributors, reaching 168,018 unique individuals’ timelines.
2. Increase the number of @WakeForest1834 followers by 10 to 30.
Results Aug. 22: 28 new followers. (5,393 that morning; 5,421 by that evening.)
Results for Aug. 21-23: Because I did not plan to track this range, I do not have an accurate, corresponding result for this time period.
3. Increase the number of new #wfu17 Instagrams on move-in day by 50 to 100.
Results for Aug. 21-23: I do not have figures that correspond directly to the Hashtracking report, but I can share that between Wednesday, Aug 21, at 8:43 p.m. and Monday, Aug. 26, at 2:13 p.m., there were a total of 357 new #wfu17 Instagrams.
Addendum: Increase in @wfuniversity followers.
In my original measures of success, I did not include a goal for an increase in followers for the @wfuniversity Instagram account. To be honest, I’m puzzled as to why I left that out. I suppose I was more focused on users sharing content, rather than the growth of the account. But, as I accounted for the growth of the Twitter account, I wanted to do the same for the Instagram account.
Results for Aug. 22: 37 new followers.
Results for Aug, 21-23: I do not have figures that correspond directly to the Hashtracking report. I can share that from Wed., Aug. 21, at 8:43 p.m. to Mon., Aug. 26, at 2:28 p.m. there were 80 new followers.
Results for Aug. 22: About 150 qualifying entries.
Results for Aug. 21-23: Not applicable.
We posted the winning tweets to the homepage at wfu.edu. Then we notified the winner via Twitter with a mobile screenshot of his or her tweet on the homepage.
5. Take note of anecdotal evidence on how people interacted with the social media displays around campus. Did they stop and look at it? Did anyone tweet or Instagram the display? Did people do anything else interesting that I didn’t expect?
Results: In short, yes, yes and yes. People did stop and look at the Tagboard displays. One screen was purposely set up in front of a sitting area so people could look at it while taking a break.
I also heard a number of positive remarks that the Tagboards created quite the “buzz” around campus. This was also evident through social media updates.
I didn’t see anyone doing anything unexpected, but I was surprised at just how well the displays went over with the campus community. The overall feedback was extremely positive. I’ll be using Tagboard again for homecoming. (Check out Tagboard. It’s awesome.)
We all know user-generated content is incredibly important. Whether it’s featuring alumni authors on your website, curating the latest updates using Storify or printing Tweets in the alumni magazine, your community can’t get enough of themselves. If your event is worth talking about and you truly want to empower attendees to share on social about it, allow them to see their own updates in real time on a big screen. You won’t be disappointed.