Graduation. Convocation. Commencement. Congregation. Conferring.
It’s called something different depending where you are in the world but the sense of pride and achievement of this landmark moment is felt universally. The challenges for the world’s ceremony organisers, marketers and alumni teams are universal too. How do they get the best from video on graduation social media and enhance graduation?
"Graduation is a worldwide TV event"
From the mass audience experience at a stadium commencement ceremony to the intimate ambience of a small conferring in a church the celebration is no longer contained within the venue walls.
Graduation is a worldwide televisual event broadcast by thousands on social media and needs to be curated carefully. Brand integrity needs to be preserved, core institution values must be demonstrated and the right messages conveyed to the viewing audience.
"The biggest social media activity of the year is during graduation"
The last 5 years has seen a continued explosion in social media, a massive increase in smart phone reach and innovations in video that now make this the go-to visual format to inspire, engage and promote.
The University of Birmingham in the UK runs round the clock social media shifts to keep up with the activity.
Warwick University’s Social Medial Officer demonstrated that there were more eyes on their graduation Twitter than eyes on the country’s two largest soap operas that week!
"The the highest social engagement comes from video"
Melissa Werner, Director of Ceremonies at Arizona State, hosted 68,000 people for the country’s largest commencement ceremony where President Obama gave the address. It was 2009. From a social media perspective that’s pre-historically long ago – No Instagram, SnapChat, Periscope, Facebook Live or live streaming. The world’s first smartphone was an infant.
Yet way back in 2009 the highest social engagement still came from graduation video. Obamas address was seen an incredible million times on the four year old YouTube.
"Event video on social media is god. Live video is the Holy Grail. Here's the newest commencement ideas."
Encourage friends and family who can't attend to watch the ceremonies live. In the last three years there has been a boom in graduation university live stream of ceremonies. It’s easy to do and there are lots of platforms for your commencement video crew to link into. Our graduation broadcast suppliers and partners use LiveStream, UStream, DaCast and StageClip.
Most importantly for event organisers and University marketers it’s the most professional way to reinforce your brand and core values.
Facebook Live and Periscope
Should you do it? There’s debate around this. Max Wilbert at DaCast suggests that although a smartphone-based broadcast to Facebook Live is easy, the quality isn’t great and it’s “definitely not suitable for graduation streaming.”
I don’t entirely agree. Facebook Live and Periscope have their place. It shouldn’t be the primary vehicle for the ceremony itself but watch those all important views pile up with behind-the-scenes content, voxpops, mortar board throwing and celebratory action! It's a sure way to improve commencement.
Personalized video clips
Send personalised video clips of graduates straight to their mobile phones just after the ceremony.
The speedy distribution is perfect for instant social sharing and enables grads and families to share, relive and enjoy one of life’s biggest moments.
Speeches, Honorary graduates and 'look back' videos can be distributed and shared too.
It’s easy to do. Your videographer just links video to the StageClip website and you upload your ceremony running order (which doesn’t need to be 100% accurate- phew!) Then presto – graduates get their magic moment on stage with a caption showing their name and degree.
And the best bit about clips? Very little work for event organisers but tons of valuable social media engagement. Clips are the perfect length for all the main social media channels. 5000 grad clips has an Instagram reach of 795,000 views and nearly double that on Facebook. Link it to a graduation hashtag or auto post to a dedicated Facebook page and it’s extremely powerful.
AR specialist, Campus Interactive and Oxford Brookes University got really creative with this cutting edge technology for the smartphone. Their aim was to keep the audience occupied as they waited for the ceremony to start.
How did they do it? They took their Chancellor, Olympic gold medal winning Dame Katherine Grainger, and allowed her to pop up on the front of every graduation brochure with a congratulatory message! The audience opened the OBU AR app on their phones in camera view and up she came. Brilliant!
'Look Back' Videos
Remember when Facebook automatically created a “look back” video for all its users to celebrate its 10th anniversary? Joe Kuffner, former Associate Director for News and Content Strategy at the University of Portland, applied the idea to graduation.
He encapsulated the power of nostalgia and pulled the best moments of University life and mixed this with hand-picked memories from four years at college – photos/videos from their freshman orientation, the big games and major events etc.
These are great videos to post to all the main social media channels (Do a less than 60 sec version for Instagram).
Ready to power your graduation social media using video?