Instagram Engagement & Storytelling

In 2018, almost half the world’s population used some type of social media, whether it was Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. That’s over 3 billion people connected to at least one social network.

The #UNHSocial team is responsible for monitoring, listening, and curating many UNH social network platforms and the content we provide showcases the UNH brand, hopefully increasing our engagement and changing people’s perception of what our institution is all about. We provide authentic content and try to increase both our visibility and our influence with stakeholders and those not yet familiar with the University of New Hampshire. It is through storytelling and successful campaigns where our strategy has been the most successful. We also try to cultivate a following that increases engagement and brings compassion to the UNH brand…

Instagram has been our most successful social network with younger generations, including young alumni. In 2018, we added 4,255 new followers to our UofNH Instagram account. We also had 9,615,004 total impressions and 272,442 total engagements on Instagram in 2018. We usually post to our Instagram feed once per day and many times we try to stay away from posting specific people, but instead campus buildings that provide memories, landscapes, seasonal environmental photography, landmarks, and of course athletics. Those are the posts that do the best because everyone can relate to the content much better.

Are you using Instagram Stories? Stories allows us to post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours, much like Snapchat, but with much better engagement and analytics. Last August we launched a second Instagram account called ThisIsUNH and it has been geared toward student takeovers showing “life at UNH through the eyes of our students.” So far, we have had 25 takeovers by students of all majors and colleges. The content is genuine, authentic, and created by students for Generation Z to consume. We want current and prospective students to see real content, real students, and to know what campus looks like through their eyes and how to get involved. The campaign is a lot of work – there is weekly scheduling, meeting with each student that applies, and the associated marketing that goes along with it. It’s a team effort, but a much of the meetings and the schedule has been orchestrated by our student intern and digital media assistant, Christine Speranza ‘19.

Each student who performs a takeover meets with the social media team, then once approved, a head shot is planned and scheduled by one of our student photographers. Next, the takeover is scheduled and we begin to market #ThisIsUNH on other social media platforms to increase engagement and to amplify the content to a large audience. Once the takeover is complete, we archive each one and place it in our Instagram Story highlights, so many more current and/or prospective students can discover the original content.

As of March 1, 2019 we have 1,179 followers. Our goal is to keep providing authentic student content and sharing with our stakeholders and friends in the admissions office.

UPDATE: 2,253 followers as of March 1, 2020.

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