Have you noticed your students taking a lot more pictures than usual these last few years? It’s not just the quest for the perfect selfie — they’re more than likely Snapchatting!
Snapchat has taken the country by storm and universities are noticing that it’s a great way to engage their students. In fact, 60% of all smartphone users are now on Snapchat, and they send approximately 400 million “snaps” per day. Wow!
According to eMarketer, Snapchat is your students’ favorite app. Last year, a study showed that almost half of Snapchat’s users were 18-to-24-year-olds and a good chunk of the rest were high school students — your prospective students.
The fact is, today’s teens view Facebook the way many adults view LinkedIn. They’re well aware of the potential negative effects of oversharing and don’t want to leave a permanent record of their daily lives for anyone to find. That’s where Snapchat comes in — the appeal of ephemeral messaging is strong in an always-on world.
Want to learn more about what Snapchat is and how your school can use it? Read our Brazen article about how to kill it at Snapchat here.
4 Best-in-Class University Snapchat Examples
Universities across the nation are donning their Team Snapchat hats and using the app in incredible ways to better their student engagement. Check out a couple of our favorite university Snapchat examples and for inspiration:
1. Rowan University
From student takeovers to campus event shoutouts, Rowan knows how to use this app to keep its students included, engaged, and excited. Here are just some of the ways they strike the perfect Snapchat balance between stuffily silent and egregiously oversharing.
Rowan uses Snapchat to advertise for its on-campus events. This works well since the events are as temporary as the snaps; plus, the hand-written sign adds a personal touch.
A note of warning, however — be careful not to put too many advertisements in your story. Generation Z and Millennials are conditioned to tune out advertisements when they are superfluously popping up in their social media space.
Rowan is also amazing at student takeovers. Since they recently went through summer freshmen orientations, they used their ambassadors as representatives for freshmen and their Snapchat followers ate it up:
By showcasing its student body in this way, Rowan gave its freshmen a unique orientation experience, portraying more in the campus than a single orientation period might be able to.
Rowan is Snapchat-smart because they use different snapchat accounts for different groups of people, such as alumni and current students. They know how to use a variety of social media platforms to broadcast their message clearly.
Go follow us on Snapchat (rowanuniversity)! @billyw012, one of our PROS, is giving you inside access to our final orientation 😎
— Rowan University (@RowanUniversity) August 28, 2015
By not only telling followers on their Twitter account to follow the Snapchat account, but also informing them about what they will expect to see, Rowan University becomes an amiable and transparent school that users will trust. Try updating your followers across all forms of social media and see how much better engagement you’ll have as a whole.
2. Purdue University
Not only does Purdue sponsor student takeovers and sneak peeks at life on their campus (which sought after by many prospective students), but they engage their students by prompting them to Snapchat them back:
By both utilizing their logo and a simple call to action, LifeAtPurdue portrays an interest and care for its students. Students don’t want to just watch a Snapchat Story. Many times, they want to be a part of it. Give them that chance with that personal interaction and student showcasing.
Want to learn how to submit your own logo for a Snapchat filter? Contact Snapchat here.
3. Gonzaga University
A geofilter is an artistic feature which appears whenever someone is in a certain location. If you have a geofilter on your campus, one of your students can add the filter to their picture and market how much they love your institution on their Snapchat.
Gonzaga University recently created their own Snapchat geofilter, but they knew that their students might not be aware that the filter was in place. They ran a Snapchat campaign to call attention to the filter, which is a great way to encourage engagement.
How does Gonzaga know if someone has taken a screenshot? Whenever you view your own Story, swiping upward will reveal a new menu. The eye symbol will show you how many people have viewed your Snap. The double triangles will show you how many people have taken a screenshot of your Snap. On the right side of the screen are a trashcan, to delete the Snap, and a downward arrow, which you can click if you would like to download your Snap.
4. Kean University
There are a lot of media trends, but none so virally influential as Pokemon Go. Schools, recruiters, and marketers alike have all jumped on the bandwagon to reach a larger audience. Kean University combined its desire for further student engagement with its knowledge of its students’ love for Pokemon Go.
Kean University knows how to tell a story. Using their school colors, they begin the story with the main message, but the next Snap makes students pause with interest.
Lures modules on the pokestops? So exciting! This was a creative incentive for students to come to campus, catch pokemon, and register while they’re there if they hadn’t yet.
(Not sure what a lure is, or why it’s exciting? Read about Pokemon Go’s Lure Modules here.)
Kean University continued by not only showing students where the building to register was located, but enticing them with a popular, hard-to-find pokemon that they could catch. Still not enough? They sweeten the deal by offering a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card to freshmen registrants via the description on the Snap.
Continuing on the pokemon incentive route, the Snapchat account posted another Snap of a less common pokemon with a coupon offer for returning students.
What better way to introduce your admissions counselor than offering a prize and showcasing an adorable-looking pokemon next to her?
Finally, Kean University ended their daily Snapchat Story with the most famous pokemon, Pikachu, and a clever pun: “Pokemon GO and Register!” This was a final push for students to register for classes and catch their pokemon. Win-win for both sides!
Wondering how to post photos that you didn’t take from Snapchat?
1. Go to your Camera Roll and choose a photo to post.
2. Click “more” in your menu.
3. Scroll down until you see “Snapchat.” Make sure it is clicked on.
Who’s Next in the Snapchat Hall of Fame?
It could be you! If your school has a Snapchat, don’t forget to remind your students about the account and update them with what’s going on. Be careful who you choose for takeovers and keep your finger on the pulse of campus activity to see how to best engage your students. Read our recent post about Snapchat to learn more about what it is and how it can benefit your school.