University Marketing & Communications

November 13, 2017

Snapchat takeovers: a great tool for student engagement


You get 10 seconds to show what the Husky Experience looks like. How do you best share your perspective?

Of course, the natural answer is to recruit a Husky as your guide! (Ideally, we’d choose Dubs, but he’s got enough on his plate).

Having students periodically take over a Snapchat account is a great way to showcase the student perspective on the #HuskyExperience and the beauty of our campus. And the bonus of having student voices and viewpoints represented is that they resonate particularly well with the heaviest users of Snapchat: 60 percent of Snapchat users in the United States are 13 to 24 years old.

During Dawg Daze 2017, the University Marketing & Communications team temporarily turned over access to the UW’s main Snapchat account (uofwa) to two student employees from First Year Programs.

To prepare our designated UW “Snapchatters” for their assignment, we asked them questions like: What can you offer to new viewers to help them experience the UW through students’ eyes? How can you get the audience to interact?

Then we loaned the Snapchatters an iPad with temporary login credentials for our Snapchat account to record their day as Huskies and show the fun events new students can enjoy during the week leading up to the start of fall quarter. They were also given a series of content guidelines and encouraged to show a variety of engaging activities.

From a dance party in Odegaard Library to late-night shopping at Fred Meyer, they created a unique experience for viewers.

Not surprisingly, the takeover was a hit! Audience growth increased by around 1,000 views per Snapchat story, and there were many examples of positive feedback.

Every Husky has their own experience, and the greater exposure we give to those experiences, the more variety and diversity we can showcase. Allowing students to connect with each other and with the UW as an institution is essential for a great Husky Experience.

Have questions about Snapchat or suggestions for who would make a great Husky guide for the next takeover? Contact Elise Perachio, director of e-communications.

— Hannah Myrick