On-Campus Dining and the Alumni Experience

Recently, we published our Social Media Alumni Engagement Playbook that put into clear view some of the best places, times and content to publish to engage with alumni over social media. In the next few posts, we're going to be parsing some of that information to offer up data-backed and fun ways to engage your alumni in diverse ways.

One of the top three topics that people engage with over Facebook is food and dining. In fact, almost half of all Facebook'ers talk about and engage with that topic on a regular basis. What an incredible opportunity for schools to craft a dynamic alumni experience!

Dining halls have always been a centerpiece of the campus experience where alumni have made and forged lifelong friendships and memories. And, in many cases, the dining hall your alumni remember is very different than the services provided on campus today as gastronomic and experience trends have give the ol' hall a major facelift. Here are three fun, practical and impactful ways to put that food evolution on campus to work for your social media engagement of alumni:

  1. Throwback Thursday (Dining Hall Edition): Thursday between 1 and 4 PM is a peak time for garnering impressions on Facebook and we all know that Facebook posts with photos are 50%+ more likely to receive a "like." Create a side-by-side pic of the dining hall from 2000/1990/1980/1970/1960 vs. today and watch folks get in on the halcyon comparison.
  2. Did you know that the best time to generate reshares and comments on Facebook is 3 PM on Wednesdays? Yup. And what could be more fun to share than an awesome new recipe? Post a recipe with step-by-step prep pictures of a new dining hall favorite. Bonus points if you can get a pic with the chef or quotes from students raving about the dish!
  3. Nearly as popular as food and dining on Facebook is celebrity talk and in a world of Giada and Bobby Flay, everyone's looking to find the next celebrity chef. Have a kitchen impresario with a great personality? Give her a 60 second video spot to talk about her favorite dish, why she loves cooking for the students, or how she came to the school. You might just find out you have a celebrity on campus! Saturday and Sunday afternoons are an awesome time to drive engagement with awesome content, so time those celeb chef posts for when the weekend hits.

There are dozens of ways to have fun with the content and people all around you. You just have to take the data and turn it into something fun - and make it HUMAN! This is social media we're talking about.

Nick Zeckets