During Spring Break, the campus is not the only place that becomes a ghost town. Usually during this time our social media channels also end up taking a breather. At Hamilton, we’ve seen less of that because of The Scroll: students are able to share their alternative spring break, choir tour, spring training and travel photos in one easy to find place. But beyond that, how do we spur social activity especially the weeks before our admission notifications are released?

While walking across campus the first day of break, I noticed how eerily still and quiet the much traveled path to the fitness center was. I snapped a pic and posted it on our social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and did not expect much. Much to my surprise, the response was overwhelming. Which brought up another idea: with our Al Ham bobble head becoming a more and more visual piece of our identity (he’s currently the star of our annual giving campaign ‘What’s Your Number’), I decided to turn up the fun a notch and get him involved. So, Alex went around campus snapping selfies lamenting at the empty campus. #LonelyAlex was born.

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It did not take long for alumni, current students and prospective students to respond. They loved watching Alex as he sadly travelled around campus hotspots missing students and alums alike as he tried to get a chai latte, took a swim, thought about climbing the rock wall and even landed a double selfie. He was a hit!

What started as a fun way to pass the break ended up a grand experiment. I found out that we gained several followers and the most engagement from Instagram. Facebook was a close second and Twitter was a distant third. On Facebook, even though the likes were extremely high, there were no off-campus shares. This was important because we had been testing the sharing aspect for information campaigns. Because of this, we will probably not be doing that type of campaign moving forward. This information reinforced what we had already been seeing. 

Engagement on our Facebook page for the 2 weeks of spring break was up over 100%. We gained 20 new followers and tripled our likes on Instagram. All in all, what was a simple, fun, quirky campaign yielded our biggest social media engagement and a lot of email, calls and tweets from alumni, prospects and current students talking about poor #LonelyAlex and where he should go next. 

This one’s definitely a keeper. :)

 

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