Moravian Students lead new social media initiatives
For the past few years, Moravian has created a strong presence on social media sites, amassing more than 4,000 Facebook likes and 1,500 Twitter followers on its official pages. Thanks to student help, the College has recently expanded its presence to include a number of newer social media sites that have become popular.
“We’ve been using social media to inform, entertain, and connect with the greater Moravian College community for some time now,” noted Michael Wilson, director of public relations and marketing. “But as new social media networks emerge and become increasing popular, we are turning to our students to help us create greater visibility for the College.”
This fall, a number of Moravian students working with the Public Relations Office have created a College presence on Instagram, Tumblr, Pintrest, and YouTube.
Jazzy Thomas ’13 is leading the effort on Instagram, a site that allows users to post and share photos. She is taking and posting a “photo-of-the-day” to provide a look into the campus, major events, and daily life at Moravian College.
Will Brennan ’13 has created a College Tumblr page and is working to make it representative of the diverse interests of the Moravian community. Tumblr is a blog site that allows users to post and share their news and pictures.
Olivia Brown ’16 is developing a Pinterest site for the College which focuses on some of the more interesting aspects of campus life, such as dorm room décor and cooking. Pinterest is a social media site that allows its users to post their favorite items from others to bulletin board-style pages.
Brittany Zellner ’16 is using Youtube to post “a day in the life” videos showing her daily activities as a Moravian student. YouTube is a website that allows users to post and share personal videos.
“One of the most important ways in which social media makes the Moravian College experience more relatable is by providing a glimpse into the daily lives of students,” said Christie Jacobsen '00, webmaster, who has been working directly with the students. “Each of the sites puts student life and events on display. The fact that each is student-run ensures that the sites’ audiences get to see the things that are most important to real students at Moravian.”
All four social networks are now incredibly popular and are important steps forward in helping to market Moravian College. Thomas says, “In this era, social media is so important. It makes Moravian more relevant and more relatable.”
Zellner, especially, is enthusiastic about the experience she has had in her first semester at Moravian College. She sees her video blog on YouTube as a way to share her enthusiasm about the school with others. “It’s more of my personal experience and stories of my day. It’s more intimate,” says Zellner.
Like Zellner, all of the students working on the new social media campaign find their sites to be an outlet for putting on display the things that they love most about Moravian and the things that are the most important to the community.
Each of the student workers describes connecting with others as the primary purpose of the social media sites. The sites give current students, alumni, prospective students, faculty, administrators, and staff a way to connect with each other and with the college as a whole. The college’s Facebook page already has an incredible following among current students, who check it to see what’s going on around campus. The students working on the new sites feel that their sites will be able to serve similar functions.
Thomas, who lives on the Hurd Campus, makes sure that she captures life on both north and south campus in her photos. She hopes that the site can create a closer connection between the two campuses than what currently exists.
Brennan sees the sites as having the potential to expand Moravian’s reach to where it otherwise would be unable to go. “Social media is the way we can connect with the world,” he says. He feels that potential international students and students from across the country might now hear about the college through social media when they never would have without it.
Brown believes that the Pinterest can connect what Moravian students are doing to the larger Moravian community. “We are not just trying to show off Moravian College students. We are trying to reach out to alum, current students, prospective students, and even people who are Moravian College fans, basically anyone to show off what a great school we are and what we have to offer,” she says.
“It is clear that social networking skills are essential in a world in which communication is increasingly done over the internet,” said Wilson. “Social networking is also an increasingly desirable skill on the job market and we are pleased to provide this hands-on learning opportunity to our students.”
Brennan says that social networking “is becoming a big aspect of all parts of the world. It’s the way people are communicating. It’s something you need to learn. It’s a necessary thing.”
Certainly, in a world in which companies are finding social media to be an increasingly important, cheap, and successful form of marketing, the students’ skills and experience in social networking will be looked at favorably when applying for jobs. A few of the students have even shown interest in applying what they have learned from the new social media campaign to a job focused on social networking and related marketing or communications.
Thomas is surprised with how much she has enjoyed the experience. She says that, although her focus and passion remains on music, she could see herself one day in a marketing job that employs the social networking sites. Brown says that she will certainly be looking for a job in a field that is related to the work she has done in social media with the Office of Public Relations at Moravian.