Social media is the most effective way of advertising in this current age. Therefore, if you’re running a society or organisation at Roehampton, getting heard on the internet will be the easiest way to communicate to your target audience. Luckily, the university gives opportunities to those wanting some free promotion and offers up it’s Instagram account for you to ‘takeover’. These are some helpful tips on how to run the day based on the takeover ran by the UR Writing Society.
Contact the social media team
To arrange an Instagram takeover, contact the social media team (details below). After contacting the social media team, you’ll be given special log in details and have the freedom to post anything to do with your society on their story for the entire day! This is extremely helpful for recruiting members, advertising events and running competitions.
Plan Your Content
Once confirmed the Instagram is yours, get planning! Start mapping out what and when you’ll post. You don’t want to spam your audience, or they’ll lose interest, but it’s also important to post regularly and make the most out of the day! The content you’re posting very much depends on the society. But in general, you’re just making staff and students aware of who you are, what you do and how to get involved. Therefore, you want a portfolio of pictures to do with your content readily available so you’re only relying on what to write alongside them. This could include photos of previous events, society members or spaces round campus that host your activities. As long as you’re prepared, the day should go well.
Before attempting this, make sure you only do brief sentences to fit on all phones and so people don’t get bored reading it. It’s also good to write something in notes to find spelling mistakes before you post it online to thousands of people. You want all of your posts to fit the style of your society, so have a practise at editing them to fit the aesthetic, e.g. logo colours matching the writing and finding out what filter suits you best. Be conscious that some students with disabilities may rely on text as subtitles or find some fonts hard to read. Before posting anything, remember you’re representing the university, including professionals and potential students. Your account login can be changed at anytime if what you’re posting is deemed inappropriate. It’s worth noting that when you have access to the account, you also have access to messages. When answering these, always try to redirect them to a professional email or account. Don’t start a conversation as ‘Roehampton’ and never answer something you’re not totally sure of. The last thing to prepare is making full use of Instagram’s features. Make yourself familiar with successful hashtags and if you re-post anything, credit those involved.
As for content, start by introducing yourselves! Upload your logo or a committee picture and a summary of what you do. Tag your own social media pages in this post. It’s good for students to have links available should they want to join. In doing this in the morning, you’ll have plenty of time left to post throughout the rest of the day. Then I’d recommend you post the ‘ask us a question’ feature or start a poll early in the morning. This encourages interaction at the start and allows you the whole day to post answers. You’ll find most of your posts will be responding to curious students and help build up a reputation for your society. There are easy tutorials on how to use and keep track of these interactive stickers on YouTube if you’re unsure. Just be aware you may get asked false or silly questions. My main advice; if it doesn’t help with further representation of the society, don’t bother answering them.
Keep It Interesting
Hopefully by midday, people have asked some questions. Make sure you keep actively responding. If you find you’re lacking good questions, send in some of your own like “What days do you meet?” and “Who can join?” just so you cover all possible questions people would like you ask about the society. You can also do interviews with your committee members or feature content from your past meetups and events. Even ask your current members to send stuff in! Request that the relevant academic departments get involved. Make use of space around campus and get filming! Start showcasing what you do or even set challenges for students to get involved with. E.g. ‘find our mascot hidden around campus, take a picture and enter our prize draw!’ Instagram is a great place to explain what your membership can offer students and plug in links to the society sign up page. Remember to write about key dates for future events and make your society stand out.
Make Yourselves Known
Your takeover is mainly about making yourselves known. Post anything you think students may want to know about and just remember to be actively responding at all times. Send in videos, ask for interaction and get a conversation going. You want to be approachable and memorable once the takeover is finished. Before concluding the day, make sure you’ve given all the information they need to join should they want to join and redirect any further interaction to your own society page. Of course, if you really get stuck on technical things, feel free to ask the social media team. Or if you’re questioning how to promote the society, hop in to the Roehampton Students’ Union where they’ll be more than happy to help!
To arrange an Instagram takeover with the university’s social media team, email either firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.