As exam results landed through thousands of letter boxes (and inboxes!) across the country there were many happy students proclaiming their excitement about securing university places on social media. We wanted to share in this excitement and congratulate our new students – and what better way than through personalised GIFs!
MAKING THE GIFS
A few weeks before Scottish Higher Results Day, the UofG social media team and some wonderful student volunteers headed to the Quads armed with fancy dress, giant UofG letters and Gus the Sports mascot.
We set up different scenes using our props and filmed just over a dozen different videos using only an iphone and tripod. The key was to film actions that could be easily looped such as waving and jumping. We filmed a max of 15 secs of video as when you edit it into a GIF you use just one to two seconds.
After filming we edited the videos into GIFs using photoshop and added a banner for student names. With 13 different GIFs ready to use we were excited for results day!
SENDING THE GIFS
First to come around were the Higher Results, from 8am – 6pm that day we monitored Twitter for students posting about getting accepted to UofG. The tweets soon came rolling in and we replied to as many students as possible with a GIF with their name.
A week later as A Level results were released we did the same; interacting with new students all day.
We supplemented the social media results day coverage with a poll (it seems most students were not looking forward to results day!) and video messages from our Honorary Graduates Judy Murray and Alastair Kellock and Gregor Townsend of the Glasgow Warriors.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ENGAGEMENT
Over the course of the two results days we directly tweeted over 40 students with our personalized GIFs. All of the students apart from one (there is always one!) interacted with our messages; through likes, retweets and replies.
Although it was a time consuming task to find and interact with twitter users, we noticed about a 4% increase in our average engagement rates and an increase in followers. It was a great opportunity to engage with new students before they have even arrived at UofG
REUSING THE MATERIAL
The selection of customizable GIFs have been useful on other occasions including Clearing, supporting our student Olympic athletes and celebrating Friday!
As we are keen not to over use the same GIFs, we have been filming more videos to use as GIFs in the future. Donning some fancy dress and dancing about in the UofG quads is a great way to spend a sunny Glasgow afternoon!