A picture is worth a thousand words

Popular photo-sharing site Instagram has been added to the social media mix by many colleges and universities. Proving itself to be a useful tool not only for prospective students — but current students and alumni too.

While you might cringe at the thought of adding something else to your “to do” list, there are a few articles making the case for the new(er) channel with examples of how it’s working for campus communities.

Highlighted in a BestCollegesOnline.com article, here are just a few from their “top ten” list:

Going behind the scenes.
University of Florida is using Instagram to go behind the scenes of the university. Sharing photos from a variety of locations like class lectures, the university TV station and their commencement ceremony.

From skeptics to advocates.
Wayne State University was skeptical of the site at first, but after deciding to make it a priority they’ve become incredibly popular (nearly 100 followers in the first two days with a 72% engagement rate). They make an effort to post at least one new photo each day.

Engaging their community.
Tufts University has created multiple “official” accounts in various departments. But they also encourage participation from anyone through the #Tufts hashtag to highlight student, staff and visitor experiences on campus.

So what’s the biggest benefit to using Instagram? “To show off the unique and quirky things about our campus that students and alumni can identify with,” says Nick DeNardis, associate director of web communications at Wayne State University.

Of course, the site has its drawbacks too, as Bruce Floyd from University of Florida points out, “It’s not a great platform if you’re trying to drive traffic to another place. In fact, it’s nearly impossible.”

If you’re looking for more ways to tell the authentic story of campus and connect community members from all levels — Instagram might be worth the investment.

Check out the full list of examples from “10 Colleges Going All In On Instagram”

Read “ALL CAPS: Instagram” from The Journal of Higher Education Web Professionals

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