Within the past few years, several social networking sites and apps have become popular among younger audiences, especially when it comes to college students. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as Pinterest and Tumblr are all apps you can expect to see on any college student’s smartphone.
What has become increasingly popular, however, is Snapchat, a photo/video-sharing app that allows for photos or videos to be sent to various friends for up to 10 seconds, at which point they are then gone and no longer accessible. According to a recent study, 77% of college students use the app at least once a day. Realizing its popularity, SMCM has jumped on the bandwagon and will now have its own official account.
Snapchat is used by colleges and universities around the country to reach three audiences: current students, prospective students, and prospective athletes. Utilizing Snapchat as a communication strategy keeps these audiences as well as alumni engaged with content that can be silly, educational, lighthearted and entirely unique compared to other platforms. It emphasizes a completely different method of promoting events, activities and general news, and offers a tremendous opportunity to build and maintain genuine relationships with the audiences—and to make an impact.
The Point News had a chance to interview SMCM Communications Specialist Gretchen Phillips from the Office of Marketing, Strategic Communications, and Web Services on the new school Snapchat account. She says, “Snapchat is a new and popular way to communicate directly with current and prospective students in a timely way.” For the goals and objectives for this account, she hopes that it will be a way for prospective students to see everything St. Mary’s College has to offer. She continues, “We look at Snapchat as a way to cover current events and news as they are happening, and also celebrate our different departments and faculty, landmarks, athletic teams, and campus life.”
As far as how the account will be regulated, the committee will meet monthly to plan out a loose schedule of what will be posted each day, making sure it is both entertaining and informational. The committee includes members of both Integrated Marketing and Communications and Alumni Relations, and also includes a current student. Phillips hopes that in the new year, the new account will mainly focus on what a day in the life at St. Mary’s College is all about, so prospective students can really get an idea of what it would be like to come here. The new SMCM Snapchat, “smcmsnap”, would love to hear from students on what they would like to see, so please snap them your ideas and feedback!