Telling the Student Story
University is just the start of many stories and memories for students, and they are sharing these stories across social media more than ever. Whether it’s group pictures with their new housemates on Instagram during Fresher’s Week, or Twitter updates about that event they are attending, a large amount of student experiences are now available for public consumption.
There are many aspects to life at university, which go way beyond the course students have chosen to study. Students can therefore be the best advocates for your university and can give a real insight into university life – their stories are relatable and they give an authentic voice that prospective students can trust.
Of course, as an institution you don’t have control over what students put on their own personal accounts, but what if you were to recruit students to tell their stories on behalf of the University? In this post I will share some good approaches to sharing university experiences across different platforms.
Vlogging (video blogging) has become a huge phenomenon and has transformed the lives of people like Zoella who now have certified celebrity status and a large amount of influence.
Video is a perfect medium to tell a story, and due to the popularity of vlogging, many students have started making their own videos and sharing their university experiences online.
Here is an example of a ‘Day in the Life’ vlog by a Physics student at Oxford University – which has received a lot of views and engagement.
NOTE: Life isn’t perfect, and the most successful vlogs are completely honest – so as a university considering recruiting a student vlogger, it is to be expected that they will talk about their good and bad experiences at university (this shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing). You can see more great examples of student vloggers here.
Budding student writers have taken to blogging throughout their university career and provide a very popular insight into student life. There are lots of student blogs out there and each of them focus on different aspects of university life, for instance offering advice for new students on living in student accommodation, or sharing recipes for student meals on a budget.
This is an example of a student who documented her university experience on her own personal blog.
A fantastic example of a university offering their own student blogs is from Imperial College London. Here, there are different perspectives from different age groups, courses, nationalities and stages of university.
A great way to promote campus life online is to organise for one of your students to do a ‘takeover’ on one of your official social media platforms. This can save your accounts from looking too too much like a prospectus and shows university life from an authentic student perspective.
Instagram is the perfect platform for this kind of storytelling, and if you recruit a keen photographer, the results of this can be stunning.
St Lawrence University has a dedicated Instagram account which has a different student taking over every week.
Hey guys! My name is Divya Biswal '15 and I just graduated yesterday with a major in Biology. This week I'm going to show you guys the NCAA track and field championships. To make things even more special they're taking place at our very own SLU!! I can't wait to show you guys what saints track and field is all about! #herewegosaints #stlawrenceu -DB
This month, we are looking at the different ways stories can be told and what platforms can be used to tell them. If you would like to know more about recruiting students to tell their stories, please get in touch.