Is Instagram the new #hesm campus press release platform in #highered?

May 28th, 2013 Karine Joly 2 Comments

Hashtags FTW

Ah, the power of hashtags…

They made Twitter by allowing total strangers with common interests to connect on the 140-character social media platform. Instagram and Pinterest have used them since day 1, LinkedIn has adopted them and it looks like Facebook should be next.

In higher ed, they were front and center in many commencement ceremonies this year.

Now, combine that with the power of visuals that can be snapped and shared in a second and you have a pretty great information collection and distribution system (although not really ADA compliant).

Frotsburg State on Instagram: No Account, Lots of Campus Photos

At Frostburg State, Becca Ramspott, Communications Specialist in charge of social media has started to notice a totally new and organic way her campus community uses Instagram – making some Instagram shots a new kind of campus press releases as she explained in an email when I asked for more details after reading one of her tweets.


@ @ As long as we’re talking Instagram, interesting development: Instagram image seems like new press release. #hesm
@beccaramspott
Becca Ramspott

Frostburg State launched its #instaFrostburg campaign a little over a year ago. The goal of this campaign aimed was to get all the campus community engaged and involved in sharing pictures with FSU each week by using the hashtag.

“As we’ve learned where our best shutterbugs are in the social media landscape, we’ve been strategic about expanding this idea beyond Instagram, and encouraging people on Twitter and Tumblr to tag their photographs this way as well,” explains Becca.

She reviews all the entries, selects the best ones and shares them on FSU social media channels:

Becca always shares the Instagram user’s name, Twitter handle, etc., of the photographer, so the author of the Instagram submission always gets credit for the image and possibly more followers.

Meet the new campus press release!

As Becca reviewed the submission in Statigram, she started to see “examples of how students have used Instagram as a news outlet and a medium through which to publicize their events and make them known to the University, too, through the #instaFrostburg hashtag.”

Have you noticed this on your campus as well?

Let us know by posting a comment below!