Last week we discussed videos, one of Generation Z's favorite content types, and how you can engage your admitted students with livestream video. But if you really want to engage these students, consider a campaign that focuses on user-generated content (UGC).
Generation Z loves creating content, not just consuming it. Developing opportunities for your admitted students to be part of creating content not only engages them, but also makes them feel more connected with your campus community.
What is User-Generated Content, or UGC?
In the context of higher education, UGC is any type of content created by members of your campus community, including current students, professors, administrators, alumni, and even admitted students. UGC can take the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, and more, and it is often shared through social media.
A great example of UGC is Belmont University's Stories of Belmont podcast series. Alumni, administrators, and current students bring their campus experiences to life through short recordings as part of Belmont's 125th anniversary. Read more about this podcast on Joe Kuffner's Social Media for Colleges blog.
UGC Campaign Ideas to Engage Admitted Students
1. Make UGC Part of Your Acceptance Packet
Many colleges have incorporated the necessary ingredients for a UGC campaign into students' acceptance letters. By simply providing students with small signs and letting them know which hashtags to use, students can share their excitement about getting in to college. And they're generating lots of great content as well!
Check out this adorable photo from the #Admitted2IUPUI campaign:
2. Hold a Contest to Encourage Participation in Your UGC Campaign
It's no question that Generation Z loves social media, but you can probably get some more participation by holding a contest -- and offering a cool prize. Minnesota State University Moorhead offered scholarships to the winners of their #BeADragon campaign.
Take a look at how Butler University got some really creative Twitter posts with their #ButlerBound photo contest:
3. Build Community Over the Summer
While both of the campaigns above targeted students right around the time of acceptance, UGC can help students get to know one another over the summer.
Some ideas for summer community-building with UGC:
-- Have students share photos of what they're doing over the summer
-- Create a campaign around new student orientation; if you hold multiple orientation sessions over the summer, consider adding some friendly competition to the mix and seeing which session has the most participation
-- Develop a going-off-to-college campaign that allows students to share their preparations for coming to campus
How has your college engaged admitted students with UGC? Share your experiences in the comments section below!