Creating a more engaging Commencement with social media A few weeks prior to the College of Letters & Science Commencement on June 10, 2011, UCLA Marketing & Special Events was approached to create a more engaging and dynamic Commencement experience online through the use of social media. A heavy marketing push was made online through Facebook and Twitter and various key campus partners were notified. A focus was also made on utilizing existing tools and resources within Facebook and Twitter to create a dynamic page for the Commencement website (http://commencement.ucla.edu). On Fri, May 27, 2011 an updated version of the Commencement website went live with the following additions: • A Twitter widget that live streamed all tweets containing the hashtag #ucla11 • A Facebook widget that allowed anyone to post their messages of congratulations to graduates • A photo submission page encouraging people to submit photos of their Commencement experience Twitter widget Photo submission Facebook widget
2Twitter and Facebook An official hashtag #ucla11 was created on Twitter, with initial communication going out to various campus partners encouraging its use for all Commencement communication through Twitter. Starting on May 27, 2011 we began running a series of targeted messages via Facebook and Twitter to promote the Commencement website and encourage the use of the hashtag #ucla11. UCLA Gateway From Mon, June 6 to Mon, June 13, 2011 a takeover design was integrated into the UCLA Gateway. The takeover incorporated a Commencement theme and temporary change to the main UCLA logo. When the logo was clicked on, users were redirected to the Commencement website, which resulted in 687 total click-‐throughs.
3MyUCLA Starting Thu, June 2, 2011 a series of ads were run on the homepage of MyUCLA, UCLA’s student portal, that encouraged students to use the hashtag #ucla11 and visit the Commencement website. Commencement Day, June 10, 2011 For the day of Commencement, a slide was shown on the main Commencement video screen before the ceremony began encouraging everyone to use the hashtag #ucla11 and share their photos.
4Real-‐time Updates We also had a member of our team on the field during Commencement who tweeted updates and photos as the event was happening in real-‐time. Results & Feedback The results and feedback we received surpassed our expectations. The hashtag #ucla11 was a huge success, resulting in hundreds of unique tweets. Comments left on the Commencement website through the Facebook widget were heartfelt and conveyed a sense of pride and ownership with UCLA.
5Trending Topic In the end, all the hard work paid off when UCLA became a trending topic on Twitter the day of Commencement. Trending topics capture the hottest emerging trends and topics of discussion on Twitter and reflect newsworthy topics that are occupying most peoples attention on Twitter. Keys to Success Many factors were key to the success of our social media involvement with Commencement. They included: 1. Notifying key partners and outlining strategic plans in advance 2. Constant engagement with our audience. From May 26 to June 13 approximately 45 tweets containing the hashtag #ucla11 were sent out from the UCLA Twitter account and 5 Facebook posts were made. 3. Consistent and key messaging across various social channels 4. Marketing outside social media channels such as MyUCLA, the UCLA Gateway and the Commencement slide shown before the ceremony By the Numbers UCLA Facebook (week of June 6 – June 13, 2011) • New Likes: 2,579 (+9.7% compared to previous week). • Post Views: 840,753 (+53% compared to previous week). • Post Feedback*: 1,550 (+36% compared to previous week) *The number of likes and comments made on UCLA’s news feed UCLA Twitter (week of June 6 – June 13, 2011) • New followers added: 267 For more information, please contact: Mike Takahashi, Web Strategies Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org