Our fuzzy, four-legged mascot CAM the Ram plays a vital role in our CSU community. He is the voice of our school spirit, best friend, and No. 1 supporter. All CSU Rams, whether student, faculty, staff, or alumni, have loved CAM from his first debut as our mascot in 1954. CAM’s activity in our community has stayed consistent throughout the years, and now with social media, his presence is more accessible than ever. Instead of trying to catch a glimpse of him at games or events, you can open your phone to his cute posts and charismatic captions.
In Fall 2021, CAM’s Instagram was at 10.3K followers. I set my goal to reach 11K before Christmas. Not only did we reach that goal, but today CAM is at 11.1K followers with a new goal of 12K by the end of this school year. Woohoo! But, this growth didn’t happen overnight. Here’s how I grew CAM’s social media accounts, and how you can grow your own.
When I was first handed CAM’s social media accounts, I knew that consistency was going to be key. I made Friday his regular posting day for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I try to stick to Fridays unless an event or school break is scheduled. The reason why I chose Friday as CAM’s posting day is because students are busy with classes and work throughout the week. Similarly, their social media feeds are equally busy with updates and posts from the university and its various departments. I wanted CAM to show up on your feed at the end of the weekday grind, and just before the weekend madness. This allows for his followers to see him associated with the end of the school week and start of the weekend. Likewise, if you’re looking to grow your accounts you should schedule your posts to be congruent with your own schedule, and that of your following. The insights feature will show you when follower activity is at its highest. You can even schedule a post down to the exact minute.
Knowing when you’re posting is important but knowing what to post is key. Me – a full-time student – and CAM – a full-time celeb – doesn’t leave a ton of time for photoshoots. Lucky for me, CAM is constantly being photographed! Most of my content comes from organizations or groups that do find that time to shoot with him, such as the Alumni Association and Athletics department. Wherever CAM goes, there’s bound to be a photo taken of him. However, for those special events and holidays, such as Halloween, Valentine’s Day, or CAM’s birthday, we reach out to his Ram Handlers to schedule a time for an organized photoshoot that usually involves costumes, props, and lots of (healthy) treats for CAM.
Now that I’ve got my photo of CAM for the week, I want to align it with an equally good caption. Captions are the only time that we really “hear” what CAM sounds like. That being said, I try to make him sound friendly, slightly sassy, encouraging and always positive. Planning your content ahead of time leaves one less thing to worry about. I make sure to create and get approval on the post earlier that week.
This is probably my favorite part of the job. Engagement in our community is really an open, two-way street. If you want to have more engagement on your content, just remember: to get you have to give. CAM always goes through to retweet and “like” all the lovely comments on his posts with an occasional reply. Additionally, I like and comment on all his tagged posts. If the tagged post is a good photo (usually of him and a student), I make sure to repost it on his Story. Our students love seeing themselves or friends on CAM’s socials. You want your content to be engagement worthy. Posts with students always get the most engagement. Make sure to know what your audience likes to see. In CAM’s case, it’s themselves.
Lastly, if you have a business account you have access to insightful features about activity. It lets you know how many people viewed, saved, and sent a post. These are just as important as people liking or commenting and can cue you to what your audience likes to see. If a post has lots of saves or shares, it’s way more likely to have more likes and comments because people found it entertaining.
I’ve definitely noticed more engagement from students since I started working on CAM’s accounts. Students now recognize CAM’s account as a place they can get featured and sometimes they even are the one’s giving me my weekly content! Your followers/ audience is a powerful tool to be utilized.
Social media algorithms are different depending on the platform that you’re using. However, growth on all platforms can be reduced to content and engagement. I grew CAM’s social media platforms through a consistent posting schedule, entertaining and uplifting content, and healthy follower interaction. You can do the same!