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Two Ways to Make the Most of Snapchat: Takeover Tuesdays and Snapchat Squad

SnapchatTakeoversSnapchat.

You’ve been on my mind for a while. In fact, my 2016 resolution is all about conquering my Snapchat fears. #CSUSocial has recently written a lot about Snapchat. Chase wrote an open letter to Snapchat with his recommendations for improvement. And Jen offered her advice on the Do’s and Don’ts of snapping.

Snapchat is enormously popular among current and prospective students, obviously a key audience for colleges and universities. This is why it’s been on our minds. We’ve built a solid ColoradoStateU Snapchat fan base with roughly 4,000 fans. Our snaps are regularly opened by 1-2K fans. Our series of branded geofilters for campus are routinely used.

We were moving in the right direction but were inconsistent at posting content. That needed to change, ASAP. At the start of spring 2016 semester, as a team, we made a goal to snap fresh content from ColoradoStateU 3-5 times a week.

Here’s how we’re doing it.

Campus Partners = Snapchat Squad

To me, one of the challenges of composing a thoughtful, relevant, funny, hip, clever Snapchat story is that it takes time. Based on the needs of my #CSUSocial team, it was unrealistic that the four of us could handle consistently snapping three times a week, much less, daily. Then it struck me. We work with some amazing partners across campus who also happen to sit our on Social Media Committee, so they get it. We specifically invited people who work closely with students — including a real, live, actual student — to partner with us in regularly providing snap-worthy content.

Enter, the Snapchat Squad.

— Evan Moore and Will Reutemann from Admissions

— Christian Herrmann from Housing and Dining Services

— Haley Thompson, grad student from our #CSUStreetTeam

— And us, Team Social (me, Jen, Ashley and Chase)

Every Monday, I email the Snapchat Squad a rundown for the week and ask for volunteers to cover days on ColoradoStateU’s Snapchat. Just like this.

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The Squad member hosting Snapchat for the day is responsible for not only uploading content, he or she also opens and responds to snaps received by CSU. The Snapchat Squad holds the master password. I’ve been really happy with what the Squad has accomplished so far because we are providing consistent content that offers a different glimpse at campus life.

Takeover Tuesdays

Our student-run Instagram account, ProudToBeACSURam, is in my opinion, one of the best things that we do because it authentically showcases student life. It’s super popular among students. We’re completely booked through June 2016 with a different students hosting the account weekly.

So, if the takeover model works on Instagram, it will work on Snapchat, right?

Right!

I want to give kudos to the West Virginia University social media team. They do a great job with Takeover Tuesdays and we’re modeling our Snapchat takeover program after theirs.

We implemented Takeover Tuesdays in February 2016 and they’ve been a hit. Our first takeover was by Haley who is from our Street Team and Snapchat Squad. We put out a casting call on Snapchat encouraging students to get in touch with us if they’re interested in hosting a Takeover Tuesday. The response was huge. Just like that, we had 20+ students snap us back. After a vetting process, Takeover Tuesdays are now scheduled out through June 2016.

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This Takeover Tuesday graphic, designed by Chase, is the first thing snapped on Tuesday mornings.

Rules of Engagement for Takeovers

We quickly discovered that we needed to provide clear direction, structure and expectations for our Snapchat takeovers due to the nature of live video. And, we found that if a student gets bored while they are hosting a takeover, things can get a little weird. As a result, we’ve come up with a system where we notify students about the takeovers through a series of emails. Kudos to Jen for spearheading this effort.

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Taking another cue from our friends at West Virginia U, we implemented a new system for students to apply to takeover both ProudToBeACSURam and Takeover Tuesdays. We’re hopeful that this will help streamline our booking and scheduling process.

Logistical note: We change the password for Takeover Tuesdays. Every Tuesday it’s a different and unique password.

So there you have it. Between the Snapchat Squad and Takeover Tuesdays we’ve been able to provide fresh content every Monday through Friday for the past couple of weeks. It feels good. Really good.