I might have said it before but video is pretty important for businesses to use in their social media. If this was true at the start of the year then it is even more so now. Facebook has enabled autoplay on their newsfeed (as well as on Instagram) and the result has been that overnight they have become a video heavyweight due to numbers alone. With the summer finishing up (well if you could call that a summer) and students getting ready to go back to college I figured it was a good time to see how colleges use videos.
Using three examples I will show some of the best ways that colleges (but also businesses) can use video. The three examples used are:
- Massacheutts Institute of Technology
- University of Glasgow
- Dublin Institue of Technology
These three were chosen on the basis of
- Previous studies that show them to be the best at using social media
- The real innovative approaches that they took (my opinion)
MIT have a theme to the videos that you upload
MIT is recognised as one of the top universities in the world so its no surprise that they are one of the top when it comes to social media. What really stands out to me with their videos is how there is a distinct theme running through their videos. Instead of it being all about promoting the university they instead focus on exploration and discovery. This rings true in their YouTube channel. Their videos focus on teaching people and helping them to discover more. From a cheetah robot jumping (made by MIT) explaining quantum computing MIT take an approach that avoids the lecture hall and helps people simply learn more.
This theme also rings through in their Facebook channel. From research that is done by MIT to how air transportation connects the world the focus once again is exploration and discovery. Their channel also highlights an important lesson when it comes to video
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
While YouTube is the big player MIT also use Vimeo. Where YouTube focuses on quantity Vimeo is more quality. This tactic is also smart due to the fact that YouTube videos don’t do so well on Facebook, for the simple reason that Google owns them. Its really interesting with Twitter that MIT don’t use video in their Tweets. Instead they use GIFs. GIFs is a Graphics Interchange Format. Its supposed to be pronounced JIF but nobody does. The use of GIFs is really interesting as it is a relatively new approach to take. The biggest benefit of using GIFs is simple
GIFs = Viral
If there was 2 keys takeaways from MITs content it would be
- Decide on the theme you want for your videos outside of college promotion
- Start using GIFs
University of Glasgow, there really are so many ways you can use video.
The University of Glasgow may not be as well know as MIT but it definitely punches above its weight when it comes to video. When I went on their YouTube channel one of the first things that struck me was how regularly they publish videos. Whether its weekly or monthly they are sending out videos that not only promote the university courses but that are also themed. While they have the obvious strategy of promoting the courses on offer (from a lecturers and students perspective) the videos they did where students give a talk were interesting in the info they covered but also the webinar format that they were done.
Glasgows Facebook page also took the smart approach of using the Facebook video format. This means that the video auto plays on the Facebook newsfeed. The sheer size of numbers using Facebook means it has become one of the biggest threats to YouTubes dominance of online videos. It is also more beneficial to use for the simple reason that it reaches more people than YouTube videos do. Facebook are looking to keep people on their site so this is a clear tactic on their part. Glasgow have harnessed video to show the culture of not only the university but of the city as a whole. This tactic has been used by other universities and helps to make them feel like an integral part of the city they’re based in.
With regards Twitter and Instagram here again they use the in system video features in the form of Vine and Instagram video. These videos focus on the cultural aspects again but they also focus on the students. Whether its exam time or graduation the students are at the forefront which is the smartest tactic as they are the primary users of these networks.
An early shout out to everyone waiting nervously for their Highers results.. Here’s a wee message of support from @glasgowunisrc – we hope it’s good news all round tomorrow 🙈 if you’re joining us at UofG in September then tag us in all your celebratory pics/videos using #HelloUofG – we would love to see them! #SQAresults #HighersResults #highers #examresults #resultsday #gusrc #UniversityofGlasgow #UofG #HelloUofG #hogwarts #gusrc #goodluck #worldchangerswelcome
The two bits of advice I would take away from Glasgow University are
- Publish videos on a regular basis
- Use the video format that suits the network.
Dublin Institute of Technology, don’t take yourself too seriously
After researching all the colleges what I found interesting was how each has a unique way to harness video, no two are the same. For example with DITs YouTube channel they have a nice mix of marathon and sprint content on YouTube. You can watch a 2-3 minute video promoting the college or events on in the college, you can also watch debates and talks on topical issues that are an hour and a half long. This is a smart tactic as it caters to different people tastes. The long videos also cover issues that are topical at the moment.
When it comes to Facebook of the 3 DIT is definitely the most profilic when it comes to videos. This month alone they have posted 4 videos which is a smart tactic as it creates a nice mix of content being sent out and covers the key areas that should be covered (text, images and video). At the same time DIT have realised that its young people that they mostly interacting with, as a result they dont take themselves too seriously. This mock up trailer for the new semester if particularly smart and plays to our love of humour. It also lets students be at centre stage from the actors to the voice over. USG (User generated content) is one of the holy grails of social media and DIT have played on this to show potential students a fun side of the university.
The main takeaways I would have from DIT are:
- Vary the content you create
- Don’t take it too serious, people love humour.
Video, there’s no getting away from it
People attention spans aren’t very long anymore and video is one of the best ways to get and maintain their attention. If BlueChief we’re to advise the best tactics to use when it comes to video it would be
- Create regular content that has a consistent theme
- Use different video platforms (YouTube, Facebook Video, Instagram video etc)
- Don’t take things too seriously
Video is a crucial part of digital marketing that is finally being harnessed. If I was to describe the best way to use social media as a whole I would follow this quote from yours truly
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