Tag Archives: Boston College



Tonight we kick off our #BC2020 campaign and ask that all of our Social Media Council members help welcome our newest Eagles to the heights!

The BC Admission team started sending out decision emails just a few hours ago and we’ll be curating all the excited social posts on the #BC2020 page. Be part of the conversation by using the hashtag and introducing the new members of the BC community to your departments, programs, or organizations. New content will be shared throughout the week and we ask that you share on your channels when appropriate.

The best #BC2020 posts and tweets will be included in a Storify, so don’t be left out. Need some inspiration? Here’s last year’s posts.

New this year is an opportunity to be included on the WeAreBC snapchat story. If you are interested in adding a congratulations message to our story, send an email to social@bc.edu and we will coordinate a time for one of our social fellows to meet your group for a photo or brief video. If you sign in now, you can see a quick video from Baldwin (many thanks to BC Athletics!)

Snapchat 101

Screen Shot 2016-01-29 at 1.15.07 PM

This is the first part of an occasional series breaking down popular social media platforms.

Snapchat. It’s a favorite social media app for students, and one that continues to baffle those born prior to 1986. Ignore it at your peril, because this platform is now used daily by 100 million people, brands and universities. What’s the appeal? Siobhan Sullivan, BC News & Public Affairs Assistant, walks us through the basics.

Snapchat Background
Launched in 2011, Snapchat has become a place for friends to connect, meet new people and share experiences. Like all social media apps, Snapchat has been updated numerous times. First adding filters, followed by videos, texting, money transfers, geotags, stories, and now face filters.

At the most basic level, “snaps” are real-time, spontaneous pictures or videos taken and shared with friends for up to 10 seconds. By default, Snaps disappear from the screen once they are viewed – unless a friend decides to keep it through a screenshot. In fact, the only way to “save” a snap is to screenshot. Taking one will notify the sender that you did so.

If you opened a snap too fast or missed the image, you now have the ability to replay. One replay every 24 hours is free and additional replays can be purchased.

Here is a rundown of a few basic functions:


There are three main ways to add friends on Snapchat.

image1 (2)Add by Username: If you know the username of someone you wish to add on Snapchat, enter it in the find field. Tap the square plus sign next to the username and it should turn purple, indicating you have sent them a request.

Add from Address Book: Choosing this option will link your phone contacts to Snapchat. How your contact appears in your phone (i.e., their name) is how you will find them on Snapchat. Just like adding by username, find the person you want to add and click the plus sign. It should turn purple when the request has been sent to private users. Public accounts allow a follow without approval.

Add by Snapcode: One of Snapchat’s newer features is Snapcode, a personalized code for every Snapchat user (think: bar code or QR code). You can add friends this way by taking a photo of someone’s Snapcode (companies have been making it their Twitter profile picture) and uploading it to the ‘add by snapcode’ option.


Snapchat has numerous options to sending a snap. These include: photos, videos, messages, and stories.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 9.59.00 AMPhoto: Snaps are most commonly sent in photo form. To do this, choose the direction you want the camera to face (upper right hand corner on the Snapchat screen) either direct the camera at you (selfie!) or the opposite direction. Press the large circle once and there you have a Snapchat photo. You can also draw on the photo and/or add filters. More to come on that later.

Video: Sending a Snapchat in video form is just as easy as sending a photo. This time, instead of tapping the circle once, you will hold it down until you have what you want to send, or the time runs out. Videos also have new filters.

Messaging: Snapchat introduced messaging to keep up with the apps like Facebook and Kik, both of which allow photo/video sharing and messengers. Snapchat messaging is simple. You go to your Snapchat log and click the upper left hand ‘talk bubble’. You will be taken to a “chat with…” screen. Here, you can choose a friend to message. OR, you can go to your Snapchat log, if you want to immediately respond to a Snapchat you just received, slide left on that friend’s name and just type a message.

IMG_5525Stories: Snapchat Story is one of the app’s more popular features. To post something to your story, take a photo or video and on that screen there is a plus sign. Choose this option and a pop-up will appear asking you if you want to post this to your story. Choose yes. Now this Snapchat is available to all of your friends for 24 hours. To delete a story tap the icon next to your story, then choose the trashcan at the bottom of the photo. To see who views your story, go to the ‘story’ page, click the three vertical dots next to your story, a drop down of all your posted stories will appear. Views will show up via an eye icon with a number. That number indicates views. To see who those views are from, click the eye. (See some brands who are putting together some exceptional snap stories.)

Viewing other stories: To view a friend’s Snapchat story, open the app. If there is a new story, the bottom right corner will be purple indicating a new snap. Click the box and this will bring you to your story page. There, all new stories will be listed. Open one and advance through the snaps by tapping the screen. Friends are notified if you viewed their story.

Viewing Discover stories. Popular events (debates, games, Olympics) now give access to people who can’t be there in person. Discover includes stories from companies like ESPN, Food Network, and publications like Cosmopolitan and the Wall Street Journal. You can watch these stories just like any other story.

Photo/Video Filters: There are numerous photo filters to use every time you snap. After taking a photo, slide left on the screen until you find the filter you want. There are two alternative colored filters and a black and white one. There’s also a speed (mph or km/h) filter, a temperature filter, a time stamp filter, and geotags. To change from mph-km/h or from Fahrenheit-Celsius in their respective filters, tap the screen where the filter appears and it should change.

Special Video Filters: Snapchat video recently added some new special features.

Slow down: Scroll filters until you find the snail. This will slow the video down.

Speed up: Scroll to the rabbit icon, this will speed up the video.

Super speed: Scroll to the rabbit with wind icon, this causes the video to go faster.

Reverse: Scroll to the rewind/reverse icon. This will play your video in reverse.


Geotags: Geotags are location filters. BC has *a few.* One of the most popular is of Gasson Hall, another says “Boston College”. If you travel, chances are you will discover new geotags. Location services in your phone must be turned on (and allowed for Snapchat) for geotags to work. Just like the other filters, scroll until you find the one you want.

Text on Snapchats: If you want to add text to a photo or video Snapchat, click the T (after taking the Snapchat) in the upper right hand corner. This will provide a text space for you to type your message.

Drawing: If, instead of text on your snap you want to draw, click the pen icon. You can also change the color by tapping the color wheel. Fun fact: If you want a specific color but can’t get it by the color wheel, click the main color you want and hold your finger down dragging it across the screen. You will see the color changing, choose the color you want. There’s also an undo button after drawing.

Emoji’s: You can also add emoticons (or Emoji’s) to your Snapchat. Just like the texting and drawing icons, to add an Emoji to your Snapchat, click the paper icon next to the Text icon after you take your snap. Emoji’s will appear – choose the one you want. Fun fact: To resize your emoji, use two fingers on the emoji of choice, and move them apart, the emoji should get larger or smaller. To move the location of the emoji, use one finger to reposition it.

Fun Filters: To add a fun filter (eye lazers, princess crowns, etc.) turn the camera towards yourself(ie), and hold down on the screen (where your face is). An outline of your face will appear and at the bottom, different filters will appear in circles. Choose the one you want and then take a photo or video.

Multiple Filters: If you want to use more than one filter on a Snapchat, you can! First, choose the main filter you want (color, black and white, etc.) then hold down with one finger on the screen and scroll left until you find your next filter. If you want a third filter, you can do this again.


-Brands use Snapchat stories for promotion, but this platform is for real-time content. Don’t overproduce, or your friends and followers will be turned off.

-If a friend sends you questionable content, block or delete them. Simply click their name and choose block, delete, or report.

Teenagers are much better at snapchat than you. Sorry. When approaching this platform, bring students or younger staff into brainstorming sessions.

Click on This: 12 Days of #BCSocial

Screen shot 2013-12-30 at 2.36.15 PM‘Tis the season for holiday revelry…and gratuitous countdown lists. So, in an effort to showcase all the great work BC social media admins have been producing over the past month, take a moment and hum along:

The 12 Days of #BC Social (mercifully condensed)

On the 12th day of Christmas, #BCSocial gave to me:
Twelve days of BCPD countdown,
Eleven snowy #Gassongrams,
Ten Dynamics singing,
Nine Ugly Sweaters,
Eight BC Health Tips,
Seven Bookstore stocking stuffers,
Six festive pins,
Five Alumni e-cards! (ba-dum-bum-bum)
Four holiday gift drives (AthleticsHockeyVSLCBC Facilities),
Three snazzy hashtags (#ChristmasOnTheHeights, #BCChristmas#BCProposal)
Two sweater-ed dogs (OGSL and Alumni)
And a YouTube greeting from BC.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy holiday. See you in 2014. 

Click on This: BC Social Mashup

The much-anticipated BC Social site was recently previewed in The Heights. Scheduled to launch in early summer, BC Social was designed entirely by BC ITS Web Technology Group. Mikal Morello from ITS generated the above graphic to give us all a sneak peek.

In her story, Gabby Tarini writes, “Commonly known as a “mashup page,” the site will highlight the best of BC’s official social media. In addition to serving as a one-stop entry point for BC’s social media channels, the site will bring awareness to active social media campaigns and promote the best work being done on behalf of the University.”

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 10.31.31 AMThis site was one of the original goals of the Social Media Council. It will offer all SMC members the ability to promote campaigns and present all of their individual social offerings in a central location. Members will be happy to see a new, easier to navigate directory (pictured above). Also included is a “profiled department” feature, which will allow us to showcase eight SMC members each month. We’ll have much more on all this at our next meeting on June 5.

We’re currently collecting information to make the final SM directory as complete as possible. If you are not listed in the directory on our Resources page, please email social@bc.edu to update your pages or information.

Covering Tragedy

for boston cover photoSometimes, there are no words. I have nothing to offer in this space that hasn’t already been stated far more eloquently by others regarding this past week. Boston became the epicenter of a national tragedy. This time it wasn’t strangers in the headlines. It was our town. Our neighbors. Our kids.

Social media wasn’t – and shouldn’t be – the first thing on many minds during such a time. However, social quickly emerged as the go-to vehicle delivering news to friends about runners and spectators, provided messages of reassurance for out-of-state families and, later, established a point to rally for support and fundraising. Social media became both a blessing and a curse – it quickly shared breaking news across the country and was responsible for the instantaneous dissemination of misinformation. (BC’s in house social media guru Prof. Jerry Kane has weighed in on what social managers can learn from the bombing.)

Like many colleges and universities in Boston, BC utilized email, text and social to get emergency notifications out about the manhunt and ‘shelter in place‘ order on Friday. BC’s Emergency Response Team issued several updates throughout the day. One need only scroll down through the week’s posts on Facebook or Twitter to replay the fear, anxiety, sorrow and then, relief and even jubilation over the five days. The content on Facebook reached more than 835,000 people during that time.

Departments across campus did a wonderful job sharing and re-broadcasting the emergency messages.  For that, we thank you. In such a heightened state, it is important and necessary to have us all speaking with one voice on behalf of the University.

Departments also utilized social tools in unique ways: on the day of the bombing, The Campus School used social as a means to help account for its 300+ runners during the chaos. Through Facebook, Twitter, Google docs, texts and phone calls all our students were quickly accounted for. A bright spot over the past week has been the work being done on the BC Office of Graduate Student Life Facebook page – updates on Brittany and Liza, Red Cross blood drives and much-needed comic relief via OGSL’s signature memes provide information to fans in a thoughtful way.

Outside BC, anyone who wasn’t following the Boston Police Facebook or Twitter page should look back over the past week. Both as a resident of Greater Boston and a social media manager, it was amazing to see an organization operating a social channel so effectively. The Patrick and Jess Run Again page – dedicated to BC 2005 alum Patrick Downes and his wife, Jessica who were severely injured during the bombing – is a masterful example of the power of video and incorporating YouTube and Facebook. (And great work by SMC member David Ayers from Student Services and the BC Jesuits who sent in videos.)

(If you would like further reading on responding during a crisis – take a look at Kelsey Follett’s practical advice on How (not) to use social, and brand management strategies from Patrick Coffee from PRNewser.)

For-Boston-RibbonIn the days following the bombing, BC News & Public Affairs staffer Michael Maloney designed this “For Boston” logo that we used on our channels. The image was liked, shared, retweeted and repined over 250,000 times. People and many of our departments changed their profile picture, adopting this image as their own. It had a unifying effect, a virtual show of solidarity, but a scope we didn’t entirely anticipate. We should have.

When I first saw Michael’s design it spoke to exactly what so many are feeling: some of us are from Boston. Others, of Boston. This past week has shown that our state, the country, and even the world – for a time at least – we were all “For Boston.”

Boston College YouTube

The Office of News & Public Affairs recently partnered with the Office of Marketing Communications to give the University YouTube page a facelift. Our offices will now work together to maximize BC video offerings on social media.

Screen shot 2013-03-25 at 11.09.44 AMMembers of the Social Media Council are now featured on the right navigation of the page under “Featured Channels.” Because there are more active channels than slots, we have enabled an “intelligent shuffle” function – if you don’t see your channel in the column, try refreshing the page. To double-check that your group, school or department is included, look at the bottom of the “About” page to see all the BC featured channels. If you are missing, email us at social@bc.edu.

Part of the increased functionality of the site will include “playlists” where we will profile different subjects across campus. Here are the playlists that are currently live. Upcoming playlists will include faculty experts, student arts and research. If you have an idea for a playlist, or think you have a video that should be included in what already exists, email us.

As stated at the last SMC meeting, this is shaping up to be the year of the video, with visual social media platforms exploding. With that in mind, we hope to use this space as a strategic way to promote all the great video content that is being produced across campus. We have subscribed to each of your channels. We ask all SMC members to subscribe to the University channel.

What do you think of the new design and functionality of the BC YouTube page?