Snapchat: Storytelling and Connecting with Students in Real-Time

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<p>Whitney Schepf The Stamp</p> <p>Snapchat:Storytelling and Connecting with Students in Real-Time</p> <p>Dan HarfieldResident LifeAaron GinozaUniversity Libraries</p> <p>Each person: brief hello &amp; mention our department, position, how we work with social media</p> <p>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.)</p> <p>?</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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. </p> <p>Its extremely popular amongst younger demographics, including ours (18-22 yos)</p> <p>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.) </p> <p>Super-duper quick, rough tutorial: the different screens and their functions. </p> <p>Filters</p> <p>Quick introduction to using filters, picture editing, and geofilters</p> <p>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</p> <p>Stats from AdWeek.</p> <p>These stats are specific to the US, and up-to-date for 2016:</p> <p>-Millennials: the biggest chunk of regular users (37%) are 18-24 yos.</p> <p>-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?</p> <p>Stats from AdWeek.</p> <p>46%11%10%</p> <p>Why are colleges and universitiestaking Snapchat seriously?</p> <p>46% of college students are now actively using Twitter daily; 11% actively using FB; and 10% actively using Instagram.</p> <p>77%of college studentsare using Snapchat daily.</p> <p>Why are colleges and universitiestaking Snapchat seriously?</p> <p>Stats from Business Insider.</p> <p>-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.</p> <p>How did UMD Libraries,Stamp, and ResLife get started with Snapchat?</p> <p>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...</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Snapchat at ResLifeSnapshot of SnapchatStill in development/early stagesConversation between Communications Committee and Student &amp; Community Development Office</p> <p>OpportunitiesCreate buzz for major eventsConnect with studentsIncrease department exposure</p> <p>Potentially like many of you in the audience, ResLife is still at the beginning of the development of our Snapchat presence.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>There have been a few conversations between our Communications committee and our Student &amp; 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.</p> <p>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 us...to 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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>Launching Snapchat (ResLife)Fall Welcome programmingFilter for FreeFestFuture involvement of Program Assistants &amp; Resident Assistants</p> <p>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.</p> <p>In addition to the filter, I will be working with Programs &amp; Outreach and our Publications &amp; 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.</p> <p>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 &amp; 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.</p> <p>Snapchat at StampThe name (handle)</p> <p>Pros &amp; cons</p> <p>Potential content</p> <p>Student-generated content?</p> <p>Things I had to consider:</p> <p>-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 &amp; FB)</p> <p>...you can also generate a unique QR code-inspired image which can be scanned and lead people to you on SC.</p> <p>-The pros &amp; cons.</p> <p>...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 choose to have our students take the reigns a bit.</p> <p>...cons: Being new to this outlet, there was some fear that we could be investing time and effort into something that may or may not be effective. Furthermore, we all know that it is notoriously difficult to gather objective, helpful social media statistics. This is doubly true for SC, with the added difficulty that you dont have a permanent log of what youve posted, and how people have reacted to it, like you do with Instagram, etc. You cant scroll down and see what youve posted, and whos shared it: once a message has been viewed, or once a storys been up for 24 hours, its gone.</p> <p>-Potential content: what are we going to post? SC has a huge live/right now feel, so I knew that the things we post have to be fairly fresh, happening right now, of interest RIGHT NOW. Right now its summer, stuff is a little slow, but during the fall, will it be a huge strain to try and stay super up-to-date?</p> <p>-Will we move to student-generated content? What does that look like? How will we orchestrate it? How will we make sure that cohesive stories and messages are created? We have many departments within Stamp: which students do we harnessand whenfor content creation? </p> <p>Snapchat at Stamp:where its going</p> <p>Cover live events</p> <p>Communicate with students during any...drama </p> <p>Continue tours of Stamp spaces</p> <p>Contests/scavenger hunts!</p> <p>SC lends itself to certain things very, very well. Looking at those things, this coming semester I hope to harness SC to:</p> <p>-Cover live events: as I mentioned, SC is an especially live outlet. The fall is jam-packed, so Im sure we can all think of events in our areas that wed like people to be able to peek into, live. For us: the All Niter, Terps After Dark events, etc.</p> <p>-Drama: This could be anything intense, but more specifically: our campus has become a bit of a hub for all sorts of current events-based activity, from Black Lives Matter to political debates. Stamp had #OccupyStamp a couple falls ago. With the election coming up, whooooo knows whats going to happen. But I have a feeling that there will be very heated activity on our campus, and SC may be a great way to share anything thats going down in the moment, and inform students who arent/cant be physically present.</p> <p>-Tours: There are certain spaces, offerings, offices, etc. that we probably all wish our audience knew a little more about. SCs stories are a great outlet for tours, brief interviews with staff members or student staff, etc. Ive been using SC to do this sort of thing with our art collection and the Chapel/Labyrinth. I think it has a lot of potential for showing tours or resource offices. For us, this might be MICA, LCSL, the new Student Involvement Suite</p> <p>-Scavenger hunts, etc: taking a page out of the Libraries book (as well as some other brands who are doing this expertly, as well discuss later), wed like to explore this area of SC. Students of course respond well to free things and really engaging content (like contests), and its better for you as a social media personality to have an audience that does feel engaged.</p> <p>Snapchat at Stamp:the response so far</p> <p>Our audience response so far has seemed positive. As mentioned, it can be tough to collect hard data concerning effectiveness of messages pushed out via SC, but we do have a solid number of story views, and I have received a few constructive messages, like: a SC of the Campus Cookout got a couple messages from people who hadnt seen our promo poss on other outlets asking where it was, and that they were gonna head there. Yay!</p> <p>Very excited to see what our response continues to be, both for us and for other campus departments who are venturing into the world of SC.</p> <p>Snapchat at UMD LibrariesLaunched Fall 2014 Interested in running a scavenger hunt </p> <p>Contacted U of Houston for best practices</p> <p>We launched our Snapchat at the end of 2014.</p> <p>U of Houston ran a Valentines day scavenger that caught my eye, and I really wanted to try something similar at UMD.</p> <p>I reached out to U of Houston and they passed along a document full of lessons learned that proved pretty useful.</p> <p>Halloween Zombie Hunt (Fall 14)</p> <p>3D printed zombies hidden in Hornbake &amp; McKeldin</p> <p>Clues released via story</p> <p>iPad mini giveaway</p> <p>100 new followers </p> <p>Our first Snapchat promotion was a Halloween Zombie hunt.</p> <p>We hid eight 3D printed zombies in and around Hornbake and McKeldin and used Snapchats story feature to release clues.</p> <p>We printed the glow-in-the-dark zombies in McKeldins new MakerSpace and we also offered a iPad mini as a grand prize.</p> <p>The zombie hunt ended up being a good opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the app and get a nice bump in followers.</p> <p>DrogonTudo Challenge (Fall 15)Game of Thrones-inspired photo scavenger huntTestudo DrogonTudoTerps House TerpgaryenPrizes: DrogonTudo 3D prints and Terpgaryen tshirts</p> <p>This past fall, we ran a photo scavenger hunt based on the missing dragon storyline in Game of Thrones.</p> <p>We turned Testudo into a Dragon Turtle with his own 3D print and t-shirt graphic.</p> <p>The 3D prints and shirts were prizes for students who found the most DrogonTudos over a two week period.</p> <p>Snapping the Dragon Turtle</p> <p>15 DrogonTudos hidden around the libraries70...</p>