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:
We 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