Social hubs have started to take over schools/universities/colleges. If you don’t know what they are, social hubs are basically content aggregation pages displaying social feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. This could be displaying your own branded content, user-generated content, or overall industry content on websites, FB pages, mobile apps, TV screens, projector walls, or jumbotrons.
Schools have started using social hubs on all of their digital properties because they want to increase audience engagement, social media followers, website traffic, exposure, reach, and community building.
How can social hubs do all this and how can you take advantage of this upcoming trend many schools are starting to adopt? Below are 5 ways to do just that (which we have seen with university clients we have been helping with set up social hubs).
1) Social News Hub on Websites
Northeastern University using Tint to share their social news on their website.
The most common way we’ve seen. Many universities use social hubs on their websites that display all their branded social news to maximize the reach/lifetime of what they share. Many students, faculty, alumni and fans don’t follow all of your school’s social networks, but they know where to always find you: your school’s website.
So why not have all your social content from all the networks you share on be easily accessible to your website visitors? We’ve seen through some tests that having social hubs can:
1) increase web traffic by 10% because you’ll always have new content for audiences to come back to
2) decrease bounce rate by 12% because people will have easy access to content and not leave as quickly
3) increase time spent on site by 20% because you’ll have a dynamic hub of content filled with interactive images/videos to engage with
Berklee College uses Tint to maximize the reach and lifetime of their social content to their site visitors.
2) Hashtag Campaigns/Contests on Sites/FB Pages
Hashtag campaign example.
The second most common way we’ve seen schools use social hubs have been for hashtag campaign/contests on websites or FB Page tabs. This is best used when you want to engage your students, faculty, staff, alumni, and die-hard fans.
Create a unique hashtag for a fun campaign or contest you want to run and whenever someone uses that hashtag for a photo, tweet, video, it will automatically show up on your website/FB page. Expect to see an increase in hashtag conversations and increase in traffic to your site and/or FB page as friends will direct friends to go to wherever the social hub is living to show off their entry.
3) Homecoming/Office/Campus Center TV Hubs
Southwestern University’s Homecoming TV display in their campus center.
Every school has a Homecoming, and it’s the best time to feel the camaraderie esp. when alumni are coming back onto campus. Why not convert those unused TV screens all around campus into social hubs? On some screens, you can display your own university’s social feeds to inform what events are coming up, and on other screens, you can display everyone’s photos they are taking and hashtagging around the campus.
All of a sudden you will have interactive, dynamic TV screens showcasing your audience’s posts. They will love this because when they contribute to your conversations for the chance to show up on the TV screens, you are telling them that you recognize and appreciate their contributions. Brand acknowledgement at its finest.
4) Commencement Projector Walls
College of Western Idaho’s large screen wall implementation during Commencement.
Ah, the end of the year commencement to celebrate all the seniors who will be stepping into the next phase of their lives. Every commencement has a big projector to show a video stream, but what happens when there is break time? Instead of manually uploading submitted pictures or leaving it blank, integrate a social hub on the wall so anytime a student is Instagram-ing a photo of their happy smiles or parents are tweeting congratulations to their child, it will all show up automatically via hashtags or a location based filter you set.
Watch people’s faces when they realize their photos they took 10 seconds ago make it to the big projector wall. Parents will love seeing their children smiling and students will feel even more joy getting their 15 seconds of fame one last time in front of their friends.
George Washington University Commencement
5) Football Game Jumbotrons
Boise State University Football team jumbotron
Harvard University Football team jumbotron
Imagine 50,000 fans in your roaring stadium watching the close, exciting football game on a chilly Saturday night. TV stations are already covering the game to get you exposure for your school, but what about social media outlets? You want to increase more social conversations about the close football game, but need ideas?
Display a social hub of what fans are sharing on social media onto your jumbotron and see your social conversations go straight up and to the right. Fans are already actively tweeting the game scores, photos with their friends in die-hard paint, and videos of the highlighted plays. Incentivize the fans to share/hashtag those content for the chance to show up on the huge jumbotron. You’ll be able to capture all those conversations and display the best of the best.
It’s a win-win. You get free content coming in to utilize in the future and more exposure of your school. Fans/students feel like the school cares about what they share and get amazed to appear on the jumbotron.