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Friday, 28 April 2017 08:00


Written by Jessica Leff, Digital Marketing Specialist

Because of what I studied in school and what I do at NewTV, I’m always looking at other social media posts from other companies with a critical eye. Are they capitalizing on a recent incident in their industry, like Delta did in March when they tweeted, “Flying Delta means comfort. (That means you can wear your leggings. ;))” after a controversy about females wearing leggings on a United flight? Are they communicating their stance on a political issue like Freeform did on International Women’s Day when they blogged the posters of many of their shows without the female characters with the caption, “Without women, there is no Freeform #InternationalWomensDay”? Are they being tone-deaf like Pepsi was in their video distributed on social media that drew so much criticism earlier this month that the company pulled the ad? Sometimes the companies see positive results, sometimes there are mixed reactions and other times there is a lot of backlash.

Not every company is large enough or controversial enough to have their social media posts featured in the news. Sometimes, I see a post that I think is really effective and well done but I know it won’t attract national media attention. That was the case this Wednesday, when I saw a video posted by my alma mater, the University of Connecticut, on their social media platforms called “UConn on Instagram: A Year in Review.”

For a while now I have admired UConn’s use of Instagram. They post stunning visuals of the campus and feature photos from campus-wide activities. They also give students opportunities to do “Instagram Takeovers.” This March they asked for people to share photos from their spring breaks, allowing them to capitalize on user-generated content. They post user-generated content throughout the year, but these special occasions open the door to those that might not think to send in a photo.

Despite my high expectations, this video blew me away. It’s not that the concept of a “year in review” video is so revolutionary – it’s not. In fact, some social media sites will produce “year in review” videos for you in December. The reason this was so great is that it expertly utilized a variety of concepts, some of which I have written about on this blog before, to produce a stunning yet simple piece. They did their year in review at the end of the school year – not the end of the calendar year and created their own format.

The video begins with bright music and a visual of students riding their bikes around a campus landmark – Horsebarn Hill. The trees convey that it’s fall – the beginning of the school year and hearts, symbolizing likes, along with little follower notifications appear to pop up from the ground. Then, Instagram (in the correctly branded font) #YearInReview comes up on top of the white picket fence. In the corner, you can see there is an Instagram post, but you cannot tell what it is yet. Already within the first four seconds of the video, they have set the tone with music and visuals, put in a hashtag and evoked familiar symbols from both social media and UConn.

Throughout the video, the viewer visits different places on campus (aside from the one part focused on study abroad) in the background while seeing Instagram posts from the past year from that location in the foreground. Almost all of the posts are user-generated. The final shot of the video shows this year’s freshmen joining together to form “UCONN” as the camera zooms out and you see more Instagram posts scattered around them.

For anyone who is currently a student, the video allows them to look back on this school year before the craziness of finals begins. They will also be frantically looking to see if any of their posts or their friends’ posts are featured in the video. For alumni, the video evokes nostalgia. As the video reaches each place on campus, they might find themselves thinking of their memories at that location. On Instagram, the hashtags #UConnAlumni and #HuskiesForever are even used. Families of students will see what a great place UConn is and prospective students will be excited to experience life as a Husky. The video appeals to all of UConn’s potential audiences on social media. It’s less than two minutes, so it’s not too long. They posted it in some form on all of their social media accounts, but posted it natively on each one to get the most reach and interactions.

Take a look at the video below, I hope you enjoy it. #StudentsTodayHuskiesForever 

Read 2092 times Last modified on Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:38

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