Filling the Gaps with Snapchat

Welcome!  I’m Cameron Morgan and I’m an intern with OU Web Communications. This is my first blog post here and I am pumped about it!

Where to begin… Well, let’s start with what I do for OU:

SNAPCHAT.

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Alrighty, now that I have your attention, I’d like to tell you a few things about what I’m doing for OU on Snapchat, how I’m doing it and why.

Brief Snapchat Introduction/Recap:

Snapchat is a social media platform that doubles as both a messaging app (Snaps) and a perishable photo/video gallery (Stories).  It is massively popular: over 60 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 34 are on Snapchat, and over 100 million people use the app daily.  Snapchat Stories focus on candid, real-time content that disappears in 24 hours.

The What

Now, where were we? Oh yeah, the part where I tell you what any of this has to do with OU and my job.

I created and run/curate the official OU snapchat account: UOklahoma – Follow us!

That’s right, the University of Oklahoma is on Snapchat.  We host 4-6 student/faculty/alumni/fan takeovers a week, each lasting one day apiece.  Our snapchat stories offer a glimpse into the lives of Sooner on campus and across the world.  If you’re following UOklahoma, you get a live look behind-the-scenes of one of the greatest universities, and you see exclusive access to OU and unique Sooner experiences that you literally cannot find anywhere else.

The How

So, how did this all come about?  Well, it’s seems simple – I literally just created the account and boomshakalaka, we were on Snapchat.

Phase 1: check.

Not so fast… We may have been on Snapchat, but no one knew about us or followed us. Yet.

Commence Phase 2.

That’s when I enlisted the help of Mason Drumm, one of the all-star videographers on the OU Web Comm team.  Mason helped me film a 60-video to promote the all new official OU Snapchat account.  We then cross-posted that video on Facebook and Instagram. Check out the video below:

So, if you watched the video, you saw/heard about the applications for takeovers.  That is Phase 3 – a tactic that both grows our Snapchat followers on a daily basis as well as generates content for those followers.  Takeovers are the meat of the UOklahoma snapchat and are an exceptional way of promoting the account and creating material for our followers to enjoy.

The Why

All of the stuff I’ve told you so far is fine and dandy, but none of it makes sense for OU to invest the resources into unless there is an underlying reason supporting it.

As I prepared for this internship in social media marketing with OU Web Communications, I took a little bit of time to audit our current social media offerings and see where I could best contribute.  We have an awesome team that really does awesome work on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and so on… but something was missing.

The voice of the people of OU.

There were glimpses of that voice in Fall 2015 during the #OUIGStudentTakeover – Student takeovers hosted on the @UofOklahoma Instagram page that were well received by the OU fanbase.  However, with the recent updates that changed Instagram to an algorithm-based newsfeed, Instagram became less attractive as a takeover platform.  That’s where Snapchat filled the gaps.

With Snapchat, we have the ability to create and distribute live photos and videos of exactly what is going on in the lives of Sooners day in and day out.  We also have given our followers a voice – every Sunday we change the focus from takeovers to feedback: We ask our Snapchat followers to snapchat us what they’ve liked and disliked the previous week and what they would like to see more of.

Wrapping Up

Snapchat used to be just a fun way of talking with friends.  Now, for OU, it does so much more.  My aim with the UOklahoma Snapchat is to create/curate fun and engaging content that provides value to OU students, faculty, alumni and fans.  And, as many of our current followers have attested, we’re living up to that goal.

If you are interested in seeing the takeovers and exclusive access for yourself, be sure to follow UOklahoma on Snapchat.  If you have any feedback or ideas, send us a snap – we’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Cam

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