As thousands of Ohio State students donned their caps and gowns to join fellow graduates in Ohio Stadium, social media experts across the university joined together to create a comprehensive digital campaign to cover spring’s biggest event.
Project: Integrated social media campaign for spring 2017 commencement
Goal: Increase awareness of commencement as an integral campus experience and prime engagement for new grads to transition to alumni
Strategy: Develop comprehensive and efficient coverage for Ohio State’s spring commencement events utilizing multiple platforms and perspectives
Key partners: University Marketing, University Communications, Office of the President, Student Life, Alumni Association
Audience: New grads, family members, and alumni
Outcome: A week of celebration touted across social media platforms, generating millions of impressions with +31% in reach vs. 2016
Integrated social calendar
By sharing an integrated calendar, each department contributed to a single-view roadmap designed to cover commencement from a variety of angles, supporting content creation for each respective unit. Strategists pinpointed target audiences for each platform and divided content themes to maximize engagement.
Amp up engagement around the big day using #OSUGrad where applicable
Celebrate the event with social tactics intended to increase engagement and share through #OSUGrad and #BuckeyeForLife
Increase Alumni Association acquisition by introducing new alumni to its social channels and sharing messages from Jim Smith using #BuckeyeForLife
#OSUGrad and #BuckeyeForLife
Historically significant hashtags were differentiated between the commencement ceremony (#OSUGrad) and a post-graduation focus (#BuckeyeForLife). We defined the purpose of each hashtag to provide consistency in messaging across the university.
Throughout the week leading up to and following commencement, each unit created posts to amplify reach and support coverage.
Video, motion graphics, photos and geofilters were integrated across media to engage followers throughout the weekend. Stories early in the weekend focused on graduating-students’ successes, followed by a history of commencement, pre-ceremony events and user-generated content.
Commencement day brought a #BuckeyeForLife Snapchat filter supported by the Alumni Association, a behind-the-scenes look at the robing ceremony from the Office of the President and enhanced coverage of each college by their social media teams throughout the day.
On Facebook, a video brought to life a timeline story previously printed in the Ohio State Alumni magazine celebrating commencement through the years.
- Targeted messages stretched across four platforms following eight methodologies
- 1.6 million impressions and 85,000 video views
- 8,500 likes, 370 points of conversion, 740 shares
- #OSUGrad and #BuckeyeForLife generated 5.4 million impressions
- 31 percent increased reach on commencement day over 2016