Every year, I designate a hashtag to a local University’s incoming freshman that represents their graduation year, to help bring their college experience onto social media from the moment they commit on National College Decision Day, to when they step onto campus during Orientation, all the way through to Commencement.

Along with hosting Twitter chats and tweeting graduation-specific information with the hashtag throughout the year to build social momentum, I work closely with the Alumni Office during Commencement Week to give away great prizes, including but not limited to travel vouchers and alumni prize packs to support the “where will go to next?” sentiment that goes along with the ceremonies, and to help students transition into the alumni family. The contest was promoted via campus walk-and-walls, in the program and in various on-campus signage leading up to and throughout Commencement Week.

Graduates can participate by sharing their decorated grad caps and other Commencement moments on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag, and all of their submissions are showcased on a dedicated website.

Results (for 2016)

  • 4,762 hashtag uses throughout social media
  • Nearly 7,000 Instagram engagements
  • Over 400,000 post reach and over 30,000 engaged users on Facebook
  • Hashtag reached 200,000 Twitter users
  • Over 175,000 Snapchat geofilter views and over 2,300 uses
  • 2,860 page views of dedicated website
  • Generated 66% of all traffic learning to Commencement-related stories on website

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