The Sweet Case for #Selfies at #Graduation + Happiness In General

PicCollageAh, graduation is over – congratulations to all of the 2014 graduates across our country! Here is a lovely quote from Shonda Rhimes’ Dartmouth Commencement speech this year that went viral:

“Be brave. Be amazing. Be worthy, and every single time you get a chance, stand up in front of people. Let them see you.”-Shonda Rhimes

The results of the #SOU2104 #Selfie Graduation initiative were awesome. Truly, pictures do tell a thousand words. Elation, authenticity, and that particular coolness that simply comes with a pair of sunglasses, a graduation hat tassle (must be an official word for that), and a strong sense of graduate pride and accomplishment were evident in the photos.

Documenting graduation via selfies was a way to involve students in celebrating their accomplishment in graduating and the initiative creates a visual record on Instagram of college completion.

sou selfie 7

This topic of – letting them see you – is quite apropos in light of this year’s  controversy surrounding taking selfies at graduations. From Bryant University to the University of South Florida – many college campuses banned selfies at graduation.

I encouraged top leadership at SOU to consider the counter. Let us encourage this millennial gesture.A pitch is always in order, which is part of what I enjoy about working as a social media marketer. 

sou selfie 5  image(1)

The whole idea of letting them see you defines social media. Social media is all about us as the viewer witnessing the author’s participation. In life. In clothes. At a show. On vacation. Cooking. At Graduation.

UCG with strategic hashtags is streamlining the content towards particular marketing goals.

And, sure, you can hire a photographer for a job – but there’s nothing like a UCG initiative to obtain images mediated not from an outside party, but from your own demographic.

Plus, you’ll always get a swift turn around time – such as in real-time – on photos taken by and from your own demographic. That sure makes me happy!

sou selfie 3 small#SOU2014 #Selfies

The pitch:

  • Now is a time to leverage anything positive – let our students know we celebrate them!
  • Let us also have our students do positive word of mouth marketing for SOU – by documenting their experience and take selfies at graduation. 
  • Prospective students – millennials and their younger friends – all use the hashtag #selfie. They search for #selfies. If we encourage the hash #selfie in combination with the hash #SOU2014 and #SOUashland – this expands our reach on social media, e.g. we reaches new markets.
  • Posting banners on-site raise awareness around this initiative and is a pro-active step to make crystal clear what University expectations are on the appropriate spaces students can celebrate their success via selfie photos among friends and family but NOT on stage or while getting their traditional SOU portrait taken by a hired photographer
  • The secondary goal with the signage and banners is to create visuals that do not detract from the overall Commencement, but simply meet the goal of succinct eduction on the appropriate spaces students can celebrate their success via selfie photos among friends and family.

Outcomes:

  • Engagement on the FB Album was positive, but to be expected did not receive as much engagement as Instagram. I uploaded all of the selfies to Instagram (regrammed them) some pics reaching more than 40 likes! 🙂
  • Upon reporting the outcomes to top leadership today, I was thrilled to get extremely positive feedback. Hot tip: words like “phenomenal” and “great work” mean good things in the workplace.
  • And most importantly, you can see from the happy comments below and on many of the pics on IG that students thought it was cool that their school regrammed their selfies. Cuz it was.


PicCollage2

Conception:

  • Research #selfie #graduation on iconosquare and IG
  • Pull graphics for inspiration and brainstorming session with Graphic Designer
  • Greg had the idea of adding “we did it” as opposed to “i did it” to the banner – which was a genius idea!

collage selfie brainstorm

Final banner outcome:
Selfie Banner 4-BLOG 2014-JUN 17

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