PGR Blog's Top 5 #SocialUofG Highlights
As it’s entirely possible that I love social media and a good hashtag more than my thesis, I was thrilled to attend #SocialUofG, the University’s first conference dedicated to social media. As Storm Ali raged outside, we spent the day enjoying a cracking line-up of speakers discussing everything from #campusporn (you heard me) and what makes a cracking social media campaign, to Instagram stories and the death of Snapchat. The UofG Social Media team truly outdid themselves with this conference, and here, I’ll share some of the highlights.
1. The Keynote
I’ve attended quite a few conferences now, and the keynote tends to be the bit I’m most dubious about, having sat through some truly wonderful, and truly excruciating speeches. Luckily, Editor in Chief of The Native, Dave Musson (@davemusson), kicked things off with one of the most compelling keynotes ever. Dave took us on a tour of some of the best social media campaigns around, urging us to believe in something, take a stand, and not be afraid to show off who we really are in order to cut through the white noise and engage audiences. And, if all else fails, there’s always #campusporn and pictures of squirrels.
2. Snapchat is dead
Okay, cards on the table. I hate Snapchat. In my eyes- and to slightly misquote Animal Farm- all social media platforms are equal, some more so than others. And Snapchat with its stupid bunny ear filters is right at the bottom of the hierarchy (don’t @ me!) You can imagine my delight during the session on Instagram Stories, when the SRC’s Vice President Student Activities (and star of many a UofG Instagram Story) Scott Kirby announced that Snapchat is dead. My personal loathing of Snapchat aside, Scott also discussed the student perspective and what students want to see, providing some very valuable insights as to how to produce and shape content. Overall, the Instagram Stories panel was a great introduction to the feature, and each speaker offered useful tips from their different perspectives.
3. The Social Media Struggle: Curating, Creating and Your Day Job
This all-female panel on juggling social media with job responsibilities- and bossing it- was fantastic, and yet another inspiring session. It was fascinating to hear how each member of the panel- including voice of UofG, Library Louise Annan, and UofG Marketing Communications Officer, Gemma Gillespie use social media differently, from tone of voice and personality, to managing multiple platforms at once. I felt that Louise Welsh and the voices behind @UofGWriting very much embodied the spirit of the morning’s keynote, confident in who they are and what they want to achieve with Twitter, tweeting “at will. No great science to what we do. We’re not interested in gazillions of followers- they’re nice but we’re not a cult!”- Good to know!
4. Don’t be scared of video
UofG Social Media’s Dan and Tasha delivered an introduction to the art of videos on the go, sharing their kit and how they go about producing slick video content, before setting us loose to film something ourselves. It might sound mildly intimidating- what do you film when Storm Ali is rattling the windows and you’ve only 15 minutes?- however Dan and Tasha broke the process down and offered plenty of support. This was one of the best sessions, and you can expect more video content from us in the future, and check out our first video featuring The Gilchrist’s Markee on Instagram. Thank you for indulging us, Markee!
5. Pecha Kucha Content Realness feat. Former PGR Blogger Elli
I’ve not mastered the art of Pecha Kucha presentations (20 slides, each on screen for 20 seconds), so not only was I in awe of the speakers’ successful social media campaigns, but also their ability to present so seamlessly using the Pecha Kucha form. PGR Blogger 2017-18 Elli made an appearance as she discussed the award-winning Everyday Superheroes mental awareness campaign she worked on. This was a great way to showcase the many ways social media can be deployed, as well as encounter the wonderful people behind so many successful campaigns.
#SocialUofG is hands down one of the most enjoyable and motivating conferences I’ve ever attended- and not just because it introduced us all to #campusporn and sassy tweeting! I’d like to thank the UofG Social Media team for organising such a fantastic event with so many inspiring speakers- not to mention Tweetable and Instagramable moments!
Wondering how you can use social media to your advantage as an academic? Have no fear, we’ve several posts to help get you Tweeting like a pro. Want to share your PGR social media experiences or let us know what hashtags to watch out for? As ever, leave us a comment or @ us on Twitter!