Twitter success story

Last week I wrote about a new school year equaling new opportunities. In the post one of the things I encouraged web professionals to do was tweet convocation. Susan Evans from William & Mary commented on the post,

“Guess what? We tweeted our convocation today. It was fun and successful. You can read our stream for this afternoon at”

At Gettysburg we did as well and saw some good results. Move-in day and convocation were Wednesday with Field day and our traditional first-year walk on Thursday.

We used the twitter search widget to pull the hashcode #gbc2013 onto our site and as of Sunday evening 88 posts used the hashtag. 31 of those were not using the college account but rather, students, alumni, parents, and staff who were excited about the events and used the hashcode. The live pull to our site also gave our orientation coverage an up to the minute feel. I got numerous comments during the end of last week about how great it was to see everything up to date so quickly.

Reflecting on the experience there are a couple of thoughts I had:

  • collaboration was important (we had numerous people from web communications, public relations, and the admissions office helping with the effort
  • information needed to be relevant to mater to our audience
  • despite many people not having a twitter account we made the best use of the technology by using the pull to our site
  • it was fun and I would do it again!

2 Responses to Twitter success story

  1. What a great use of Twitter. I’m sure that the sense of community and support built by twittering the convocation will have lasting benefits.

  2. Georgy says:

    We did something similar with our c/o 2013, and it was going awesomely. Tons of student groups hopped on the bandwagon. We promoted the link on our homepage and even sent it out in our newsletter.

    Unfortunately, one bad apple spoiled the barrel, as one student hijacked the hashtag with all sorts of negative comments. This morning, I’ve had e-mails from the VP, Dean of Students, PR and my boss. While we can take the link down from our page of aggregated matriculation content, the link in the newsletter that went to the link exists forever (according to support).

    We had a similar problem during Commencement, but the comments were more snarky than offensive. The comments this time around were offensive, people noticed and freaked out. It looks like while we can still popularize hashtags in the future, we’ll have to think twice before linking to them from the web or a newsletter.

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