Strike up the band! A new semester is here! (Photo by Caitlin Cunningham) See more BC Scenes at  https://www.flickr.com/photos/bostoncollege/

Strike up the band! A new semester is here! Time to #BCWelcome the students back! (Photo by Caitlin Cunningham)

They’re back!

Student Affairs’ BC Beat is heading up the #BCWelcome campaign, and has asked for help in supporting the hashtag. This is a great opportunity to introduce new and returning students to Boston College through interesting posts from your school, department or group. Let them know what services you provide or give a snapshot of the people in your office. Starting tomorrow, we’ll be promoting the #BCWelcome Tagboard so make sure to plan posts for the remainder of the week to get some visibility.

Also, mark your calendars for this semester’s Social Media Council meetings: Oct. 8 and Nov. 12 in McGuinn 521 (please note the room change) and Dec. 10, back in McGuinn 334. All meetings begin at 2 p.m.

It’s also been a busy summer for many – some departments have signed on to social for the first time and others have expanded to offer more channels. So let’s give a warm welcome for: Office of Admission, Marketing Department, Chemistry Department, Fine Arts, Boston College Football, Boston College Police on Instagram, and BC Emergency’s new app. Athletics has launched our first official SnapChat on campus (you can find them at @bcathletics on the app.)

Did we miss you? Email social@bc.edu with your directory update.  

Click on This: #BCSummer

BC Summer in the sand

A few weeks of #BCSummer remain (27 days until students return!) and your school or department’s social editorial calendar is looking…bare. What do you do?

Inspiration is here in the form of University accounts that have been going strong with fresh content throughout the summer:

BC Bookmarks is a blog and Twitter account continually producing interesting, new material promoting all things literary at BC. The posts on faculty, staff, student and alumni publications fuel the Boston College Books Pinterest page. Offered by the Office of News & Public Affairs, the blog is great resource for publications, events and awards.

Although on hiatus until September, the John J. Burns Library Blog continues to be a phenomenal resource for historical information. A great, evergreen post from this week, “Where is Chestnut Hill, Anyway?” was done by Anna Whitham, Conservation Assistant at the library.

BC Social Work in Italy is a pictorial story on the BC Graduate School of Social Work‘s social media accounts. Students of Prof. Westy Egmont traveled to Italy this summer to study the response to increasing immigration from Syria and North Africa. An interesting topic and interesting student photos gives perspective into this unique program.

#EagletoWatchBoston College Alumni produced this new series of posts every Wednesday. Featuring young alumni “doing great things,” this is an example of scheduling themed content. (What is themed content? Think #TBT.)

Everyone is hungry for great photos. Two options to keep on your radar: Boston College Flickr – which is quickly approaching 1 million views — has select photos that were published in the Boston College Chronicle from 2010 to present day; and the recently launched OMC Stock Photo – a catalogue of select photos from the Office of Marketing Communication staff photographers.

Finally, BC Athletics has been building excitement around football season with a #KickoffCountdown, illustrated with a series of player graphics. This, along with the College Colors competition should get Superfans pumped for the upcoming sports year.

What is your favorite resource for summer content?

Later this month we will be featuring new social accounts at Boston College. If you know of a new social account to be added to the University social directory, email social@bc.edu.

Click on This: Changes to Facebook & Twitter

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Big changes have come to Twitter and Facebook. Both platforms have (or soon will) launch redesigns for profiles and pages that will force users to revisit how they represent themselves to fans and followers.

Don’t panic.

First, a bit of background. To read all about the specific changes to Twitter, click here. Facebook’s changes are outlined here. Next, make sure your profile photos follow the new size requirements. According to Twitter, that means profile pics should measure 400 x 400 pixels; Cover photos are 1500 x 500 pixels. On Facebook, profile pictures should measure 180 x 180 pixels, cover photos 851 x 315 pixels.

Both platforms seem to be morphing to a similar profile appearance and placing even greater value on compelling content: photos, videos and engaging posts. Simply stated, those who produce interesting, share-able content will get preference. Some ways to do this? Mashable’s Lauren Drell explains:

“Facebook research has shown that posts between 100 and 250 characters — one or two lines of text — get 60% more Likes, comments and shares than ones that are more than 250 characters. Buddy Media research found a similar trend, determining that posts with 80 characters or less in length have 27% higher engagement rates. The moral? Like content on Twitter, keep it short and sweet. Of course, your post should be different than your content on Twitter, or else your fans don’t have a reason to follow you on both platforms.”

Be mindful of two additional changes: users now have the ability to “mute” noisy feed cloggers on Twitter and Facebook has slashed organic post reach over the past few months. (For more on that, here’s a response from Facebook’s Brian Boland.)

Panicked yet?

The challenge is to continue to think visually and be social. You simply can not succeed on these platforms with occasional status update and link pushing. These changes give us all an opportunity to freshen up, rethink how to promote important content and evaluate if all the channels are needed in our strategic communication plans.

Throughout the summer we’ll be sharing some tips and resources here. Also, remember that one of our greatest assets is the established network of social media administrators at BC. Tagging, liking and sharing one another’s content has become more than simply boosting engagement or encouraging colleagues, it is now a vital strategic action.

What have you done in response to the changes on Twitter and Facebook?


100 Days of #BCHappy


It’s hard to ignore the success of “Boston College Happy.” BC’s viral video has been viewed more than 300,000 times to date, making it the most popular “Happy” video among any US university, college or school. BC Happy was also the first to represent Boston in the international “We Are Happy From…” website. (See responses to the video from around the world in this Storify and read more background in this Boston College Chronicle story.) Designed by News & Public Affairs Office Manager Michael Maloney, this infographic breaks down “Happy” data gathered from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter analytics. (And note the changes from the “40 Days of Happy.”) Enjoy!

40 Days of #BCHappy

How many times did you view “Boston College Happy?” It has been viewed close to 250,000 times so far, with a majority of those clicks coming in the first 40 days.

Designed by News & Public Affairs Office Manager Michael Maloney, this infographic breaks down the viral video by tackling some of the data gathered from YouTube, Facebook and Twitter analytics. Enjoy!



#BCSocial alert! Great effort underway to help connect students around the world and rally behind Boston. Guest post by Assistant Director for International Development Christina Hatzipetros explains more:

Microsoft Word - Document1The Office of International Programs is sponsoring a student initiative to show solidarity and support for the city of Boston and the runners in the 2014 Boston Marathon. Starting this Monday and in the two weeks leading to Marathon Monday, OIP will replace its profile photo on social media sites with this image. All students studying abroad this semester have been invited to participate.

 “As Marathon Monday 2014 rapidly approaches and we all find ourselves in various countries around the world, our hearts return to Boston. We have an opportunity to show our love and support for Boston and the marathon runners from wherever we are in the world,”  said Rebecca Howell CSON’15, who is studying at Venice International University this semester.

To participate: Take a picture or make a short video (up to 10 seconds) of yourself expressing your support from your location abroad this semester while wearing either Boston Strong, Boston College, or any type of Boston apparel and post it, tweet it, or Instagram it. Tag pictures and videos with #BCHeartsForBoston and/or #ToBostonWithLove. You can also send in photos and videos via email to dimitroc@bc.edu to be posted on the OIP sites.

Posts will be curated and published on the IOP channels Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.

Share this with other students from Boston-area schools who are studying abroad. With your help we look forward to making this a true international effort!

Social Spotlight: BC Rec’s Spring Break Contest

The time immediately before and during spring break can be a tough time to populate social media channels with original content. Megan Burkes is behind Boston College Campus Recreation‘s campaign to engage students while they are away from campus and agreed to share a guest post on #BCSpringBreak:

Screen shot 2014-03-31 at 12.25.59 PMWe have a lot of fun with our Spring Break Photo Contest each year: It gives us a peek at some of our students’ fun adventures while providing fresh content, new followers and increased interactions during a time when our social media pages tend to be pretty quiet thanks to midterms.

Each year, we order a few hundred bright, fun t-shirts with our logo on the front and links to our social media channels on the back and pick a day to hand them out to students at the Plex. Along with the free shirts, students are given a handout with the simple contest rules and are encouraged to bring their shirt along on Spring Break and submit a picture wearing it for a chance to win an Under Armour backpack full of BC Rec and Under Armour gear. We decided to choose two winners: One would be chosen via a random drawing and the other would be the picture with the most interactions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, etc.) on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

We see it as a win-win, because even if the majority of the students do not post photos, they are still wearing our shirts and advertising both BC Rec and our social media channels. We love spotting them in the gym, on campus and around the community. The photos that we do get are usually a lot of fun: we’ve had pics posted from service trips, scuba diving, roller coasters, ski trips, reenacting famous photos, posing with celebrities, dressing up dogs, posing with monkeys and more.

This year, our photo contest generated 2,313 interactions over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winning photo had 476 interactions alone! We saw a steady stream of new followers on all of our channels and both our total reach and number of interactions jumped exponentially. To be honest, we underestimated the calculation we would have to do to find our winner, but we had a lot of fun and enjoyed the creativity many of the photos displayed.

We have also enjoyed seeing the shift in preferred social media channels; when we started this two years ago, it was entirely on Facebook. Last year, many submissions came through Twitter and this year, the original submissions were almost all posted via Instagram.

– Megan Burkes, Manager of Marketing and Communications at BC Rec