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Turn New Students Into Fans and Followers

Another new school year.

Another record-breaking freshman class.

Another prime opportunity to capture new fans and followers on social media.

Tap Into New Student Programs

Admissions and Orientation / Transition programs are two excellent campus partners to team up with with at the beginning of a new school year. Throughout the admissions process, new students are sent loads of information on how to get connected to Colorado State University. Once they are on campus, Orientation and Transition programs work hard to introduce new students to campus life – including connecting them to the flagship university accounts on social media. Oh, and as I’ve mentioned a hundred times before, relationships are key. Creating connections with campus partners is a gift that keeps on giving. Our requests for helping to spread the word are most commonly met with open arms.

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CSU’s Snapchat account is featured by Admissions in the following places:

  • On all of the Admissions email footers
  • On the CSU Admissions homepage
  • Admissions counselors have ‘Snapchat’ cards, which they display at each of their recruitment events
  • Admissions specifically asks prospective students to follow Snapchat a few times in the year within large feature emails
  • CSU’s Snapchat code is featured in the Admissions recruitment brochure
  • Admissions promotes CSU’s Snapchat handle during the pre-presentations for group visits and also large scale events like Explore CSU and Choose CSU

Other ways #CSUSocial partners with Admissions:

  • CSU’s student-run Instagram account, Proud To Be A CSU Ram, is featured in large-scale Admissions emails to prospective students, and in a few smaller emails to all admitted and deposited students during the summer before classes begin
  • Our official mascot Instagram account, CSU Cam The Ram, is featured on a key Admissions email each summer to all admitted and deposited students
  • CSU Admissions features a spread of student photos on a two-page spread within the recruitment brochure

     

Literally Get Out There

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Educating new students on all the ways they can stay connected digitally doesn’t magically happen. You have to get out there. Spread the news. Work the crowd. Here at Colorado State, we have an annual event for new students called Ram Welcome. We cover every aspect of Ram Welcome from Convocation and the family picnic to a Street Fair – an open-air expo where groups across campus set up tables to connect with students. It’s important that we take advantage of participating in this event because it’s a great opportunity to interact with and educate new students about #CSUSocial and all of the social media channels we have to offer.

Give Them a Reason

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Isn’t the joy and satisfaction of following your university on social media enough? We all wish, right? But the truth is, some people will follow you because you’re awesome, some people will follow you because they want to stay in the loop, but let’s face it, some people only follow you because you bribe them with free swag. So if you’re going to offer swag, make it good stuff. For the Ram Welcome Street Fair, we always give away free CSU swag and present students with an opportunity to win a contest. This year the concept was simple – follow Colorado State University on Instagram, and DM us with “Go Rams.” Everyone who did this was able to take free CSU t-shirts and sunglasses on the spot. Participants were also eligible to win a $100 shopping spree from the CSU Bookstore.

Pro tip: Don’t waste a fun social opportunity – Not only did we announce the shopping spree winner on CSU’s Instagram on the day of the Street Fair, later in the week we showed the winner cashing in on her $100 shopping spree live on our Instagram Story.

Sit Back and Watch Your Fan Count Grow

Teaming up with campus partners, getting in front of new students and creating fun contests with cool swag are three great ways to grow your social audiences during the first few weeks of a new school year.

Does your social media strategy include targeting incoming freshmen? If so, how do you do it? Tweet about it and tag me @jensmith7 – let’s start a conversation 👍

Jen Smith

About Jen Smith

Third-generation Fort Collins native. Former Husker and pro softball player. Loves avocados, flip flops, cowboy boots, ice cream, playing the guitar, traveling, live music, dogs and DIY projects. Hates snakes. That's it – just snakes. Well, snakes and math. Proudest social moment: CSU's post for #LoveWins.