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Inside CSU’s Most Popular Facebook Post

You’ve hit the jackpot.

When the viral nature of social media takes hold of your content and you see the engagement numbers tick up and up and up. It’s a thing of pure joy.

This just happened to us.

For the second time in #CSUSocial history, one of our Facebook posts cracked the 1 million people reached mark. Organically. In fact, this post shattered that benchmark. And many others.

https://www.facebook.com/coloradostateuniversity/videos/10158771156685615/

 

As of the publishing of this blog post, this is CSU’s most popular Facebook post. Ever. Read more about the staggering analytics in Kevin’s Walk: By the Numbers.

 

Background

We, Team Social, knew the moment we saw the video clip of Kevin Hoyt walking across the stage to accept his diploma during Spring 2017 Commencement, we were witnessing something extraordinary.

Our colleagues in the College of Business and PR office were in contact with Kevin before graduation and knew about his determination to walk across the stage and accept his degree. Those teams worked together to pull together a story featuring Kevin’s journey to graduation.

CSU’s video team captured the actual clip that we shared on CSU’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. This is important to note because my team was not involved in capturing the actual moment, rather, we leveraged the opportunity to share it on the university’s social channels after graduation. We saw something special and knew it needed a place to shine on social.

Why It Worked

It was raw. Real. Authentic. Felt like you were there. It was triumphant. Inspiring. Awe-worthy. It wasn’t overly produced. Heck, it wasn’t even produced. The month of May marks graduation season for many colleges, universities and high schools so the timing was spot on – graduation was a mainstream theme to which most people could relate in some form.

For all of those reasons and more, it was beautiful display of human tenacity, resilience and grace. It was an open invitation for people to celebrate Kevin’s tremendous accomplishment.

Takeaways

Trust your gut. A piece of content doesn’t have to have all of the bells and whistles to be social. We could have chosen to share a more produced video clip. But we didn’t. As social media professionals, we’ve developed a keen sense of what may or may not resonant with audiences. Trust those instincts.

Provide additional info so for those who want to go deeper into the story have an avenue to do so. We did this in two ways. First, we included a link to a story in the actual Facebook post. Then we added a first comment in which we included a link directly to an interactive documentary featuring Kevin’s journey. 

Get your star to engage. The cherry-on-top moment for us is when Kevin Hoyt himself engaged on our Facebook post. His comment alone has 2,400+ reactions and hundreds of replies. Remarkable.

Share across platforms. Kevin Hoyt’s walk was not only popular on Facebook, it resonated with our Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn audiences. It’s not often that a single piece of content can effectively do that.

Community groundswell: The show of support from our community and those who are not in any way affiliated with Colorado State was amazing. Thousands of people were moved to engage with this post. Don’t underestimate the power of the community to propel your content.

I’m enormously proud of the fact that our all-time most popular piece of social media content showcases what CSU is all about – helping our students succeed, no matter what. Congratulations, Kevin. GO RAMS!