8 #HESM Content Creation Ideas

  • Your #1 priority as a content creator is to identify the wants and aspirations of your demographic, and give them content that speaks to that.
  • Why? The likes, shares, and comments on your content get on the radar of your friend’s friends.
  • We create gorgeous looking content not only because it looks cool…but because it has been proven that a 37% increase in engagement is experienced when Facebook posts include photographs. This is consistent with research by Dan Zarrella of Hubspot (stats from Heidicohen), and tweets with pictures are shared three times more often.
8 higher ed text card - bottom cropped
Below are 8 Higher Ed Social Media Content Creation Ideas I’ve executed for my current client, Southern Oregon University. I conceptualized the cards and initiatives and provided copy and examples. SOU’s in-house graphic designer determined the font and design of each card. The final bits of content have arrived through a collaborative process.

  • The tagline of Southern Oregon University is: Outstanding People, Place, and Programs. I used these pillars to structure SOU’s social media content calendar and determine the content to create and post to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • I emailed faculty members and asked them to provide a quote about their field of study and working with students at SOU. I linked to their department’s FB page and/or information about the professor’s most recent accomplishment.
quote card jackie instagram
quote card kevin FB
preview day count down card instagram share your visit
preview day count don card
  • Here I used an image one of our student interns took in Lithia Park (to celebrate Place) and pulled a quote about learning.
  • There was no CTA; sometimes just wishing people a happy weekend and letting a quote card speak for itself resonates best.
aspirational quote
  • When you release a video, it’s essential that you have a plan in place. The You Tube manager posted the new SOU “About” video  to You Tube during Winter Break. As many students might not see the video over break, my plan to extend the life of the video by pulling video stills to create text cards and create social property backgrounds (Facebook and Twitter) became even more essential in extending the life of this asset.
  • I asked the editor to export 18 video stills out of his editing timeline by providing screen grabs with the TRT. On the first day back from Winter Break, I posted this Facebook cover photo collage created by SOU’s graphic designer.
  • Text was added to the FB cover photo to direct students to the video.
sou anthem video FB cover
anthem video cover photo post
  • I paired the image below to reflect the student’s lifestyle options at SOU…yoga and coffee are as important as Calculus 101, yes? Additionally, my goal was to build awareness about yoga on campus…and nurture the relationship SOU has with a great coffee shop across the street, Case Coffee by tagging them in the post.
  • I added the copy “SOU Salutations” to the card – pointing to both yoga and the greetings we exchange when seeing good friends for coffee.
sou salutations instagram
  • Asking students to identify locations on campus is a fun way to engage this demographic.
  • Identifying parts of campus inspires “new ways of seeing” and experiencing the day-to-day.
  • The first example below is an Instagram video.
close ups sculpture
grid stairway
campus close ups
campus close ups floor
  • Posting a simple photo CTA celebrates the people and place that make SOU outstanding, and creates a feeling of inclusion. This bear was really popular! 

ugc bear

ucg thats so sou instagram
ugc student on mountain
  • #tbt is a great way to celebrate the history of SOU as an institution, and the history of the area.
sou visitors of note
  • Infographics are statistics in pictures. Beautiful and educational – created by SOU graphic designer. 
sou infographic 1
sou infographic 12

The Gift of Gab (Strong Copywriting): How to Engage with Top Influencers + Brands on Twitter


I pulled this image from Man Repeller’s Instagram  + crafted a tweet build awareness around her new collab.

Anyone can say “Share this…” “Like if…” “RT if…”

Synthesizing and connecting into the true zeitgeist of a brand’s community and crafting a wry, pithy, witty, engaging, memorable and on-brand tweet…baby, that’s a whole other story.

Overall, the goal of social media is to speak authentically and with a creative, innovative voice. So, onward, social people! The brand name I’m working for has been omitted. I’m simply using the tweets as examples of different strategies that work. Here are some key points with examples.

1. Take risks with language. Be innovative. 

You’ll know you’ve been successful in your crafting/copywriting when brands and influencers that RT or Favorite selectively have felt inspired to engage your words. As in the case with RTs from Ivanka Trump (1 million+ tweeps), Designer Peter Som (22,000+ tweeps), Anthropologie Brand (400,000+ tweeps), West Elm (35,000+ tweeps). Oh, yeah.

Ivanka Trump RT 1 milion + followers typic does not RT

West Elm Favorite

JC Penney Favorite

Peter Som RT

Anthropologie RT

FYI – a Favorite is just OK. It’s like getting a C+ in school. We want all A+’s. Sometimes brands just won’t give that much love out. It’s ok, we’ll try again later.

2. Know your influencers and your audience and your competition.

– What language are they using, what words and phrases, what hashtags? How can you speak from within that space, and add your own flair?
– Do your homework. You were hired to be the voice of the brand on social which oftentimes is very close to the cadence you may speak in your life offline, but always, always, always be thinking, RTing, and speaking from the voice of the brand first. Then, innovate from there. Sorry – you can start your own blog and “be yourself” there. XO

Lifetime Moms RT

3. Connect the dots with a CTA.

– Tagging a brand and a hot blogger or influencer is oftentimes a magical combination and super exciting, especially when you’ve been personally following them – such as I have with Man Repeller!!  Extra care was taken with this tweet – as I pulled the “Happiness is Here” image from Man Repeller’s Instagram, and then added the photo to the tweet, being sure to add all twitter handles associated with this new collaboration.

A RT from Man Repeller, Fred Segal, and PJK in one day is equivalent to being invited to tea with Michelle Obama. Well..almost.

Man Repeller and Fred Segal

This is another example of tagging a hot influencer who was featured in a very, very hot video and collaboration – DKNY and Opening Ceremony. She RTd – so that gets the brand name on the radar of all the cool people she knows. Oh yes, she knows just a few people…
Kim Anne Foxman4. It goes without saying that tweeting out inspirational and evocative Text Cards is KEY. But that will be a whole other blog post.

Some other thoughts on Twitter:

– What’s the goal on twitter? To obtain RTs and replies.
– Why? RTs and Replies get the name of your brand on the radar of your tweep’s tweeps. You are tweeting in order to reach new communities and, in doing so, they will become your community (i.e. begin following you on twitter).
– What inspires people to RT? Innovative copy, and insight into the world and trends that resonate with the brand’s demographic. Hashtags. Photos.
-Why is a RT the holy grail? First, if coming from a big brand – it’s an implied endorsement. Their RT of your tweet is saying: Yeah, what she said….Yeah, we connect with you. And it puts the name of your brand on the radar of the tweeps of the brand you just tweeted out; the tweet shows up in their feed. When I get a RT from a big brand, I always get new followers. This is similar to doing a #FF – you’ll always obtain new followers. Why? Because the inclusion of a brand or influencer’s twitter handle in your tweet shows up in their tweep’s feed, and in the influencer’s “Mentions” tab. They’ll see you’ve tagged them, and will be so inspired by your wordsmith abilities – that they’ll RT as a shout out, as a thank you to you for getting their name out to your people. They’re scratching your back with a RT.