Buzzfeed. We all know about it. And we’ve all wasted hours watching complete strangers eat new food for the first time.
But, can Buzzfeed be used as a tool universities can utilize? You bet your buzz it can. Here are a few ways Colorado State University uses Buzzfeed.
As a way to promote an event
For Homecoming this year, CSU wanted to come up with a new way to promote the different events happening on campus. So, we created a Buzzfeed article called “How To CSU Homecoming.”
We kept the feel of the article very Buzzy (laidback, sassy, fun, etc.). We gave teasers about the events, but didn’t list out their time, location, etc. We did, however, include a link at the very end of the article directing readers to the full list of event details.
We also created a “10 Signs You’re Home For CSU’s Homecoming & Family Weekend” Buzzfeed. While this didn’t promote specific events, it did get our alumni excited to come back to the Fort.
As a way to re-purpose aggregated content
Another way we use Buzzfeed is to re-purpose content we’ve collected through social media.
Example 1: We asked our alums, current students and parents to give us their best advice to our incoming Class of 2019 by commenting on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. The advice was unbelievably touching.
Since we had such rich content, we turned the best of the best advice posted to our channels and turned it into a Buzzfeed called “32 Tips For The Colorado State Class Of 2019.”
Example 2: Summertime isn’t just about swimsuits and vacations. It’s also wedding season. So, we asked our social media audiences to share how they incorporated CSU into their weddings.
We then used their pictures to create a “how-to” Buzzfeed called “11 Ways To Add CSU Ram Pride To Your Wedding,” which showed readers how they, too, could say “I Do” with CSU.
As a way to promote your other colleges and divisions
Nobody is surprised that I created a Buzzfeed featuring dogs with Ram Pride. We called the listicle “13 Dogs That Will Make You Want To Come Home For Homecoming,” and featured dogs who were CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital clients, as well as dogs owned by students/alums who weren’t clients of our hospital.
This was a great way to tie in CSU Homecoming with our Veterinary Teaching Hospital in a way that made sense to our audience. CSU also shared the Buzzfeed.
As a way to unite your community
There doesn’t always need to be an agenda behind a Buzzfeed…other than the relentless hope of getting thousands of likes.
We created a Buzzfeed called “9 Times We Literally Couldn’t Because Of CAM The Ram,” which featured CSU’s beloved mascot, CAM.
Yes, we used the listicle as like-bait on CSU’s social channels. But, it was also a great way to bring together CSU’s community on one thing they all love: a cute Ram.
As a call to action
More coming on this soon. But our fellow social friends across the road might kill me for giving away their idea. I’ll update this as soon as their Buzzfeed is live!
— Buzzfeed recently removed the ability for brands to host their own account on the platform (unless you’re willing to spend the big bucks on a sponsored post). So, have someone on your team create a profile as themselves, and use that for posts.
— Don’t be boring. Don’t use Buzzfeed as a blatant way to promote your organization. People go to Buzzfeed for entertainment and news, not for shameless promotion from a brand. Really think outside the box on how to create Buzzfeed content that will be useful, entertaining AND relevant to your audiences. It might not be the best way to get out information about your new neuroscience degree. But it is a great way to better develop your social media personality, as well as build a stronger relationship with your community so that when you do post about your new neuroscience program, they’ll listen.
— Get help! Don’t just rely on your own hilarious sarcasm. Our whole social team–and even beyond–contributes ideas for our Buzzfeed articles. Make sure to keep the voice consistent, but reach out to others for their opinion and good ideas.