snapchat: storytelling and connecting with students in real-time

Download Snapchat: Storytelling and Connecting with Students in Real-Time

Post on 12-Jan-2017




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Whitney Schepf The Stamp

Snapchat:Storytelling and Connecting with Students in Real-Time

Dan HarfieldResident LifeAaron GinozaUniversity Libraries

Each person: brief hello & mention our department, position, how we work with social media

What is Snapchat? A mix between a social media outlet and a private messaging programAn app thats wildly popular among young unsincluding college-aged peopleAn outlet thats unlike those most of us have become used to (Facebook, Twitter, etc.)


SC is new, but maybe not as new as one would thinkit launched in Sept. 2011 with no media coverage or publicity. Now its the 4th most downloaded free app.

If youre not yet at all familiar with it, its like a mix between a sm outlet and a private messaging systemit allows you to communicate both to your audience as a whole, and to certain individuals.

Its extremely popular amongst younger demographics, including ours (18-22 yos)

Its unlike the more common sm outlets that folks in this room may be accustomed to. Its interface, look, and functionality are wildly different from, say, Twitter or FB. This is probably a huge part of why people trying to break into if find it so confusing, even difficult to work with. One of the strangest aspects: the transient nature of media shared via Snapchat. Personal communications disappear after being viewed; snaps in a story can be viewed any number of times, but disappear from your story after 24 hours. SO WEIRD! So uncomfortable (for people who have become used to the more traditional sm outlets.)

Super-duper quick, rough tutorial: the different screens and their functions.


Quick introduction to using filters, picture editing, and geofilters

Whos using Snapchat?Mainly millennials. 57 million Americans have a Snapchat account50% of users view Snapchat every single day50% of new users are over 25 years old

Stats from AdWeek.

These stats are specific to the US, and up-to-date for 2016:

-Millennials: the biggest chunk of regular users (37%) are 18-24 yos.

-BUT: there seems to be a recent uptick in older usersmaybe in response to all these young users..? 50% of new users are over 25 years old. Will this gradually change how SC is perceived, the way it did when FB was opened up to non-university-affiliated members, and began to gain popularity among older demographics?

Stats from AdWeek.


Why are colleges and universitiestaking Snapchat seriously?

46% of college students are now actively using Twitter daily; 11% actively using FB; and 10% actively using Instagram.

77%of college studentsare using Snapchat daily.

Why are colleges and universitiestaking Snapchat seriously?

Stats from Business Insider.

-77% of college students are using SC daily: compare that with the previously-stated 50% of total users SCing daily-This is just daily, but this daily qualifier is important, since aspects of Snapchat are so fleeingagain, bits of the stories are only accessible for 24 hours. And those Stories are probably the way that you or I are going to be pushing info to our audience with SC.

How did UMD Libraries,Stamp, and ResLife get started with Snapchat?

Aaron: A number of universities were starting to launch Snapchat accounts in 2014 - University of Michigan, University of Houston, University of New Hampshire - and I was really curious about the platform. Once I heard about a Valentines day scavenger hunt U of Houston ran, I decided I wanted to try something similar at UMD...

Whitney: Been playing around with the idea for some time; actually was doing a bit of reading about SC, and came upon the stats I just shared with you. After seeing that, I knew I had really no option but to at least get one set up for the Stamp. I also got a subtle, yeah, lets do it from my supervisor. And the summer seemed like an ideal time to dip my toes in, and have a bit of time to play around with it and build an audience before really launching a huge campaign during the school year proper.

Dan: I had heard about the success of the growth of Snapchat, but it was observing our students in ResLife that caught my attention. The Program Assistants in Annapolis Hall were communicating just as much on Snapchat as they were in person. I started to notice this with my Community Assistants as well. Combining this with the metrics about Snapchat, it was a no-brainer that we needed to get in the game.

Snapchat at ResLifeSnapshot of SnapchatStill in development/early stagesConversation between Communications Committee and Student & Community Development Office

OpportunitiesCreate buzz for major eventsConnect with studentsIncrease department exposure

Potentially like many of you in the audience, ResLife is still at the beginning of the development of our Snapchat presence.

ResLife in the Early Years: Our social media has grown over the past few years, but it was a little late out of the gate initially. We took a chance and played around with how we used Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and found a nice balance with managing content and interaction. Snapchat is a whole new concept for us, as a lot of what we do is managed in advance and scheduled using Hootsuite.

There have been a few conversations between our Communications committee and our Student & Community Development Office, but we are still without an official plan. At this point, we have recognized the opportunities in front of us to serve as a foundation to work from.

We see opportunity in creating more buzz for our events. As you will see on the next slide, geofilters create an opportunity for students to share and advertise events for promote and expand our brand. While we are currently talking about this with Fall Welcome programming during the move-in weekend, there are certainly other times of the year and other events where Snapchat could be a huge benefit.

As I mentioned previously, students are using this to communicate with each other. We can certainly dive into that pool, but we also need to be mindful of how we do it. If we take Snapchat simply as another platform to copy our existing messages on other platforms, we will likely fail to build a community. They are using this medium as a fun way to communicate, so we need to be able to speak their language and do the same. We can infuse some of our messages in the mix, but it has to reach the students in a way they are using this service.

With increasing our exposure, it is similar to some of the rest of what Ive been talking about. Students sharing our content and engaging over our programming grows the sense of connection and community.

Launching Snapchat (ResLife)Fall Welcome programmingFilter for FreeFestFuture involvement of Program Assistants & Resident Assistants

Our first dive into using Snapchat will be with Fall Welcome. One specific action we have taken has been to create a geofilter for our FreeFest event on Saturday, August 27. This resource fair will have a bit of a Coachella vibe, and we want to create a student buzz about the experience. It was about $10 to set up the geofilter, which included creating the graphic, identifying the space we were using (McKeldin Mall), and submitting the form through Snapchat.

In addition to the filter, I will be working with Programs & Outreach and our Publications & Design teams to use Snapchat at our events throughout the week. There are major opportunities when considering the number of students attending New Student Welcome, Stamp Extravaganza, and Welcome to the B1G Show. Our use of the platform can also easily continue into the rest of the year with our involvement in Terps After Dark, Open House days, information sessions for various student employment opportunities, and community programming. The challenge will be ensuring that the posts maintain a student voice.

To that end, I know that involving students in the management of the profile will be vital to our success. This is a social platform and students want to see themselves in the events and promotions we would like to project through this profile. At the moment, the most natural group of students to start working with would be our Program Assistants with the Student & Community Development Office. Since the office manages a lot of our major events, they would be in attendance and could develop some of our content. Resident Assistants are certainly another group to consider, but we would need to work through selecting who would be active contributors, how we would train them, and what we expect out of the frequency and content of their posts.

Snapchat at StampThe name (handle)

Pros & cons

Potential content

Student-generated content?

Things I had to consider:

-The handle. Im a huge proponent of the idea that your handle must be the same across all platforms, so this was a no-brainer. This also helps people find us: one of SCs many quirks is its very specific search function. You can only search for a SC user if you know their full, accurate handle; no guessing the spelling, no typing the first part and it guesses the rest and suggests users for you. Side note: this is why youll see a lot of new users displaying their unique Snap Code prominently on their other, established channels (see: Stamps Twitter & FB) can also generate a unique QR code-inspired image which can be scanned and lead people to you on SC.

-The pros & cons.

...pros: a huge step toward meeting our audience where they are. As youve seen, college student are absolutely on SC. More than that, theyre actively on it. Another pro: a fun outlet to use to be creative, especially if/when we choo