EduWeb Recap: Lessons Learned from Texas A&M’s Social Media Scavenger Hunt
One of my favorite presentations at EduWeb 2011 was by Diane C. McDonald of Texas A&M recounting their Scavenger Hunt.
Higher Ed Scavenger Hunt
Texas A&M set out to bring divergent social media platforms together to build their brand through a Scavenger Hunt. The hunt was 3 days long. It was held at the beginning of the semester but not the first week of school (that would be too hectic).
In the course of the Hunt, students were asked to go and connect on four of the platforms. There were YouTube marketing and orientation videos. Students were asked to RSVP to a Facebook Event. The organizers Tweeted clues. The students would then ask around campus based on the clues to figure out where they needed to go. Once they arrived at the destination, they would check in on Foursquare. Somebody from the organizing team would be there and verify the check-in, show a valid ID, and give out free stuff (donated by business partners) to participating students.
Even with only 70 students participating, the benefits were clear and the model was declared successful. First, passionate students proposed and led the effort, and the leader among these students was hired as the coordinator and has since become a great asset to the communications team. Second, more people than just students observed and participated from afar – future students and staff were involved in the dialog and visibly excited. Third, much of the A&M community was enthusiastic about participating and contributing. Business partners from the community made contributions that covered the costs, as well as donated the goods that students could win. Even the President was a venue on the Scavenger Hunt, he gave everyone a bow tie (as he’s famous for always donning one). Most importantly, the students participating actively met each other, had a great time, learned a lot about A&M, and left with valuable friendships.
Best Practice Takeaways
- Experimentation will lead to small successes, but once a model is demonstrated as a success you can build further buy in and do it again bigger and better.
- Create business partners and line up incentives. Students respond to free stuff!
- Let your enthusiastic students surface and put them to work.
- Doing these types of things publicly have positive externalities – people can observe and participate and feel more connected to an interactive brand.
There was also considerable talk of SCVNGR a social product specifically designed to engage students on campus scavenger hunts. SCVNGR is a company we like (here at Inigral) because their product is designed with the campus use cases in mind, and they build collaborative partnerships with schools to maximize student engagement.
What was your favorite part of EduWeb? Let us know your thoughts on the Scavenger hunt or if there was anything else you enjoyed from EduWeb 2001.