Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Social Media for GOOD :: Viral Marketing on Instagram

Besides blogging, how much social media do you use everyday? Are you big into Facebooking? Are you a Tweet-a-holic? Can you not get through a day without Tumblr or jumping on Stumbleupon?  As I have made painfully obvious at this point, I am a heavily addicted user of Instagram. I use it probably every day and likely post an average of three images per day. It's been incredibly useful for me to be able to connect not only with people I know in real life but also folks I have a lot in common with (other visual art educators and working artists) and companies whose products I loyally use. (More on this later this week! It's so cool!!!)

Earlier this year, one of my administrators approached me and asked me if I had some suggestions for how to do more effective job to "hype" up school activities like homecoming and otherwise. The posters and announcements that we do all the time simply weren't cutting it the way they needed to and this administrator knows that I am pretty well tapped into what's going on with the kids so he asked me if I could help him devise some more clever and creative ways to connect with them. I immediately told him to take it to social media and try and do some mini viral marketing campaigns because that's basically all the kids are doing these days. He was warm to the idea but hesitant because... well, social media gets a bad rep and understandably so. I pushed for the idea though and fought the notion that social media is an entirely bad thing maintaining that if we ventured to demystify it and show the kids appropriate AND not-boring ways to use it, well, what we did could be a great learning and connectivity experience for all of us. It could be win-win all around!

My idea was to take the platform of Instagram, establish a user account for my administrator, and then post silly images with trending and relevant hashtags once or twice a day that specifically aimed to "hype up" whatever student activity might be in the coming weeks. Some of them would require some orchestration and possibly face painting and/or photoshopping of images of my administrator but he would post them from his account - that students could "follow" officially or more openly - and that would warm the kids to the idea that the events would be just as enjoyable as the hyping itself. I made a pretty decent sized list that played on trends like Harry Potter and Hunger Games as well as the crazes over zombies, mustaches, and using terms like "swag."

My administrator presented all of this to the school's superintendent, got a solid blessing on the venture and then? Well... I proceeded to make my administrator into a bit of a social media mascot (if you will). Since he knows very little about how to use social media and trending hashtags and stuff, I would help him to do whatever needed to be done at the end of every school day and then I would help him post it for all to see. Below are some of the things that were posted since Fall when we set out to do this...

While this mini viral marketing campaign didn't "blow up" in any way beyond our school, it has had some moderate success enough that it's been worth it enough for us to keep the account open for us to use as we need to. Some of the ideas that I "force" my administrator to be subjected to are definitely ones that I (at times) have to really convince him to do but since this is all in good fun and he has seen it be worth it, he continues to be more and more open to all sorts of things that are basically ridiculous and hilarious at his expense - for example: painting his face to look like a giant basketball.


  1. Absolutely hilarious! What a great way to give an admin some street cred! ;P

    1. My students love to see what I can cajole him into doing just on the basis of it being all for the school spirit. The basketball face took some real convincing but once I got it on him he actually kept it on for a conference with a parent because he wanted to be able to show his kids later!!! He likes to pretend like he doesn't enjoy all of the tomfoolery but I know that he secretly really likes it a lot.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...