As I am sure many of you are sick of hearing, I thoroughly enjoy my new job. Having the opportunity to develop a social media program at a different university from where I was previously has reignited my love even more for all things social. While I have implemented some of the strategies I used at Montana here at Coastal Carolina I have also had the chance to try some new things.
This week we introduced our #CCU Snapchat channel. Because of my workload and our audience, I never started one at UM. However, at Coastal Carolina University it just made perfect sense. With the mass amount of people using the service, an age demographic that aligns with exactly who we are trying to reach, and many mechanisms to creatively send out information it made perfect sense to utilize Snapchat.
Oh, one additional reason why it appealed to me? Not many colleges are on it. I don’t know if maybe they don’t understand it or if they don’t think they can communicate effectively with it but you don’t see many university Snapchat accounts. To get ahead of other institutions and reach out to the younger generation in the way they are communicating the most these days it was necessary for Coastal Carolina Social Media to establish a Snapchat presence. Thankfully our Vice President for Communication and my boss, Bill Plate, was well ahead of the game and reserved our social media handle (CCUChanticleers) on Snapchat long ago. With that piece already completed I launched our account simply by creating a graphic, doing some quick marketing on our social media channels, and then adding the users that instantaneously flooded our account.
I have participated personally in the Snapchat game for a long time now so I am pretty well versed in it but I was surprised by a few things while interacting with our audience. First off, they are YOUNG. Besides the college students that jumped on board with us there is an outrageous amount of kids that look nine years old who are on the service. Secondly, these young adults/kids are creative! I was laughing at and admiring many of the snaps that kept coming into our inbox. Besides the art that many of them can create on their snaps they are also witty and resourceful. Thirdly, they all have great appreciation for Coastal Carolina. I received a fair share of “Go Chant” snaps but I also received snaps from students stating that they can’t wait to get back to campus or that they are counting down the days until they get here for the first time. It was cool to see that pride over a social media outlet where I had never seen it before.
Over the first few days of utilizing the #CCU Snapchat account I have just had fun with it. I like to send our “friends” (as they are called on Snapchat) generic snaps wishing them good morning or updating them on the weather on campus. I have also sent useful messages notifying them about the posting of grades or how to access our other social media accounts. Last night I ran a little promotion where I asked our friends to snap a photo of any Coastal Carolina logo. The first person who did so would win a prize. We received around 30 responses. Even about two hours after that snap went out our account was still receiving logo photos.
I encourage you to see how Coastal Carolina Social Media is utilizing Snapchat by friending us by searching “CCUChanticleers”. There are lots of possibilities for higher education institutions to creatively connect with their student audience through Snapchat and I am glad that #CCU is on it sooner than later. Don’t Blink.