When it comes to your college or university's social channels, it's time to embrace live video. With the touch of a button, anyone can go live and start streaming to any and all willing audience members with their smartphones. The level of quality and engagement, though, varies. So how can you use this tool effectively for your college or university—engaging your followers without wasting their time?
Here are a three ways your brand can effectively go live.
It's a widely accepted conclusion that video has quickly become the king of content. Going live lets you capitalize on this medium in real-time. One key benefit is that you can engage in conversations with your followers and receive instantaneous feedback. Engage with content that impels a reaction—ask direct questions of your followers and respond to comments as they roll in.
This tactic isn't for all brands—you'll need on-camera talent that is confident, can roll with the punches and can represent your university or college well. Think about something about which you know your followers are going to have questions. Move-in day, graduation, finals week—anything informative and non-controversial that easily opens the floor up to discussion. Strike a comfortable balance by giving clear instructions on how you want your audience to interact with you, and come prepared with prompts to make it even easier (or in case dead air occurs). And don't be afraid to give people shout-outs (i.e., “Great question Billy! Meet at the stadium at 9 a.m., for the graduation lineup.”)
Your campus is full of events that are going on at all times of the day. Go live so that those who can't be there in person can be a part of the activity from wherever they are. Important events, such as students being publicly honored, a particularly intriguing guest speaker, graduation festivities or the post-game of the football team winning the big homecoming game.
And not everything needs to be incredibly serious—use the live feature to try and draw in new and potential students by showing how welcoming and inviting your campus is. Feature "best-kept secrets" of your campus life, like an extreme game of ultimate Frisbee going in the quad, a sneak peek of the new line of fall gear the bookstore is releasing or a late-night check-in with the student newspaper team putting the latest issue to bed. High school recruits will value your university for being a provably fun place to live and learn.
(Pro tip: For any event in which you'll be stationary for an extended period of time, consider a tripod, monopod or even a portable microphone to plug into your smartphone or other recording device.)
Distributing a message to the campus masses is no easy task. Sure, a bulk email may be an obvious starting point, but that might not always get your message across. Try going live with your university president and have him or her talk about any new major changes that are being implemented. (It might even be a good idea to have a regular weekly or biweekly live session with university leadership so students have an ability to "tune in" with regularity.) Perhaps even think about going live for any school cancellation or weather notices to let students know in multiple avenues beyond email or text alerts.