Social Media FAQs

Let’s be honest, social media can get confusing. So many platforms, such diverse audiences, always-evolving best practices and so little time. Below, you’ll find the UD social media team’s thoughts on some of our most frequently asked questions.  



Q: Who are these ‘Social Media Ambassadors’ or ‘SMAs’?

A: The Social Media Ambassadors are a group of about 50 students who tweet about their UD experience using University-branded Twitter accounts. You’ve most likely seen an SMA on Twitter, their account handles all begin with ‘@BlueHen’ followed by some variation of their name. The SMAs are a great resource for the University’s social media. 

Meet the SMAs here:

The SMAs:

  • Portray a first-hand account of what campus life is like.
  • Provide content for the Blue Hens Says Twitter and Facebook. Their content regularly appears on the main UD accounts as well.
  • Live-tweet all kinds of events.
  • Serve as an excellent source for disseminating important campus-wide information. 

Have an event you’d like us to consider for SMA coverage? We’d love to hear about it. Email

Q: Should we explore paid advertisements?

A: The UD social media team advises against using paid promotion on University-related social media. Why? We feel that it’s not necessary. Engaging, dynamic, deliberate content will do much more for your brand because it is authentic. 

Q: What are the best times to post?

A: This is a very common question and unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer. However, a good way to go about determining the best times to post on your unit’s account is to consider what your audience is doing throughout the day and when they might be on social media. For instance, most students are likely to be active on social media when they wake up in the morning and when they are settled in at home for the night. Those in the working world might be most likely to check social media early in the morning and again at lunchtime. Although not an exact science, this approach will allow you to play around with some different scenarios and eventually, find what works.  One thing is certain, your account should never lie dormant. It’s important to keep it active! A Facebook page with one post every two weeks will not be enough to engage an audience. 

Q: If I have more than one account, should I link them to automatically share the same content across platforms?

A: We advise against doing this. With so many accounts floating around in the socialsphere, audiences are becoming more and more selective when choosing which accounts to follow—or unfollow. Having unique content on different platforms gives the reader a reason to follow you on each. Additionally, each social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses. Content that works well on Twitter may not go over as well on Facebook. 

Q: How can we get involved with the University’s Pinterest/Vine/Buzzfeed, etc.

A: We’re always open to experimenting and trying new collaborations on the University’s newer platforms. By all means, reach out to with your idea and we’ll work with you to figure out the best way to make it happen! 

Buzzfeed - Delaware State Fair Edition

It’s that time of year again when Delawareans from around the state head to Harrington to indulge of deep-fried delicacies, view tons of exhibits and hit up the ferris wheel at the Delaware State Fair. What better way to share this summer tradition than through social media?


This year, the communications team in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources dreamed up a new, more interactive way to document UD’s involvement in the state fair using one of our new favorite platforms here - Buzzfeed. Teaming up with UD’s social media team, CANR created a list of 13 must-do activities for Blue Hens heading to the fair. Check out the list here:

As we do with all our Buzzfeed lists, we’re excited to track the social lift of this story and see how much engagement it generates. We’ll also be engaging in conversation using the #StateFairUD hashtag. Join in on the fun!


Each summer, thousands of new Blue Hens come to the University bringing with them unbridled excitement, enthusiasm and probably some nerves. New Student Orientation serves as a student’s first official foray into Blue Hen life. In today’s digital world, it’s crucial that this initial introduction be integrated with social media.


The Class of 2018 comes to UD with an impressive amount of digital literacy. These students have grown up using social media—it’s an omnipresent form of communication and self-expression in their everyday lives. For many, social media was one of the first places they turned to get information about the University and to connect with their classmates.

For these reasons, the UD social media team implements a #UDWelcome campaign during New Student Orientation to reach new Blue Hens where they are—online. This year, in addition to promoting the #UDWelcome hashtag on our platforms, we’re also asking students and Orientation Leaders to tweet/Instagram/post ‘selfies’ during their NSO experience with the #UDWeclome hashtag. Each day, a picture will be featured as the ‘NSO New Blue Hen of the Day.’ We’re hoping to see NSO through the eyes of the students participating in it and bring back some old memories for upperclassmen and alumni. 


Don’t forget to check out the #UDWelcome Storify to catch all the anticipation this summer:


The University of Delaware was buzzing this weekend with blue and gold-adorned grads, smiling family members—and the Vice President.  A quick glance at the conversation swirling around the #UDGrad14 hashtag revealed that the excitement had taken over social media as well. 



UD’s social media team began planning for graduation months in advance, beginning with the announcement of Vice President Joe Biden as the Commencement speaker back in early April. 


In addition to live social media coverage of Commencement across a variety of UD’s official platforms, the UD social media team knew we needed to capitalize on all the user-generated content available. As in previous years, we created, promoted and curated a Storify story around the hashtag #UDGrad14.  From cap decoration to the turning of tassels, the Storify captured special moments through the eyes of graduates, family, friends, faculty, staff, media and the Blue Hen community at large. 


#UDGrad14 by the Numbers:

  • The UD Commencement 2014 Storify is UD’s most popular story ever with more than 3,600 views.
  • In one week (May 18-31) the @UDelaware Twitter account reached more than 1 million people.
  • During the week leading up to Commencement and the week of, the University of Delaware Facebook page accumulated a reach of about 9,500,000.

See just a few tweets and posts from graduation below and visit the UD Commencement 2014 Storify for many more:

Now, onto Alumni Weekend…





Reflections of a social media grad

Graduating senior Ashley Paulos (@BlueHenAshleyP) reflects on being part of the Social Media Ambassador program as she looks back on her college career. Ashley, who also served as a multimedia intern on UD’s social media team, has used social media to capture tons of moments during her time at UD - including an appearance on the 2014 Homecoming Court. She will continue to tweet as an alumna! Read more about Ashley’s experience below and check out the following links to apply for the SMA program or a summer social media internship


"I discovered the Social Media Ambassador program during my junior year at the University of Delaware and knew immediately I wanted to become a SMA. I applied, was accepted and have loved every minute of this amazing experience. It has been an honor to be able to share my life at the University of Delaware, my top choice school, via social media. I am grateful that I have attended this awesome school over the past 4 years. I have had countless opportunities to attend and tweet UD events through the SMA program. It has been a thrill to be able to be on the field live-tweeting UD football games, as well as a multitude of other campus and community events. The SMA program has helped me gain a better understanding of social media use and I have grown professionally through this program. Being a Social Media Ambassador has been an amazing experience and I have learned more than I could have imagined." - Ashley Paulos

FYI – Check back next week for a recap of all the #UDGrad14 excitement!

UD’s Buzzfeed Launch

The UD Bucket List went viral this week.

The list, created by current students and alumni, includes 43 items students are encouraged to “check off” before graduating.  While the list was a great idea and had been a moderate success, it wasn’t until UD’s social media team harnessed the power of Buzzfeed that it really became a hit.

Buzzfeed, currently one of the most popular websites in the world, features frequently updated and easily shareable content in the form of lists, quizzes, news and entertainment articles and videos.

When the site introduced its Buzzfeed Community feature in 2013, UD’s social media managers in the Office of Communications and Marketing jumped at the opportunity to create an account for the University.

We realized that if we were going to be successful on Buzzfeed, we were going to have to make an impact with our first post. With Commencement on the way, the UD Bucket List afforded us the perfect opportunity to do so.

With the Buzzfeed-appropriate title, “43 Things Every Blue Hen Should Do Before Graduating”, the list went live and was promoted via links on UD’s Facebook and Twitter accounts on Tuesday, May 20.

Within 24 hours, it had earned nearly 20 thousand views according to Buzzfeed analytics. Also impressive—the announcement of UD’s first Buzzfeed list on Facebook has so far been seen by more than 40,000 people due to the engagement (likes, shares, comments) the post generated, which will significantly increase the University’s reach.

UD’s social media managers hope that this is the first of many successful UD Buzzfeed articles, and have several more interactive, entertaining and engaging posts planned for Commencement and beyond.

Check out the “43 Things Every Blue Hen Should do Before Graduating” on Buzzfeed here!  

By Ryan Maguire, Digital Content Specialist (@ryjmag


We are now accepting applications to join the Social Media Ambassador program through June 6. All students interested in digital content, regardless of their major, are invited to apply. 

Pass this UDaily article with more info along to help spread the word! 

“The great thing about the SMA program is that it’s up to the students to take advantage of the amazing resources provided to us. SMAs can make a genuine impact on the UD community and on their own professional development,” said senior SMA Joey Silver.

The online application can be accessed here

Music Mondays

Social media interns Alana and Kristi had a hunch that a campaign involving music would engage their peers on the student-run Blue Hen Says social media accounts. They learned first-hand that trying a new campaign takes some patience and a lot of trial and error. Ultimately, they learned that it all boils down to understanding your audience. Read about their experience below. 

The first #MusicMonday post we ever did, just four short weeks ago, was called “A Rainy Newark Tuesday.” We honestly thought that we’d hit the jackpot with the idea. Everyone at UD knows that it rains every single Tuesday of the year so we put together an 8tracks set of mellow, somber indie tunes—Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, etc.— picturing a UD student curling up with a mug of tea, a nice book, and, of course, our playlist. We published it in the early afternoon and settled in at the office to wait, expecting 8tracks plays, likes, and comments to come pouring in.

They didn’t.

It was a spectacularly unpopular playlist, so we started looking at the whole process more critically. We figured out that some of our decisions the first time around were limiting our audience. We had a dream of reaching hundreds of thousands of people, but our first playlist just wasn’t cut out for that.

So we went back to the drawing board, and seven days later, we tried again with “Up in the Gym”. Fixing our audience-limiting errors helped enormously. Our next three playlists have all been popular on 8tracks— so here are some of the mistakes we made on the first go-around, and how we corrected them moving forward. 


PROBLEM: Too obscure. When we first decided to make the #MusicMonday playlists, we took it upon ourselves to not only share our favorite music with our campus, but also to educate our fellow students about new artists and independent bands that we thought that everybody should be listening to. This musical pretentiousness is NOT conducive to designing playlists that most people actually want to try. Sure, some people are searching 8tracks for new-experimental urban opera, but most of them aren’t.

SOLUTION: Mix it up! We’ve since learned that it’s possible to select music for the playlists from a variety of genres and levels of popularity, and those playlists are going to appeal to a broader audience. As long as the music you pick is connected by a central linking theme, including a variety of artists and genres won’t be too jarring at all. Even better, the more different kinds of music you include in your playlist, the more different artists, genres, and keywords you can include in your searchable tags. A broader range of music = more popular and applicable tags = a bigger group of listeners! 

PROBLEM: Too specific. The biggest logistical, audience-limiting error we made with “A Rainy Newark Tuesday” was that it was called, well,  “A Rainy Newark Tuesday”. We think that it’s important that our 8tracks account, as an official Blue Hen Says student music outlet, connects listeners to the University of Delaware. But analytics later showed that the very specific titled limited the number of people identifying and engaging with the playlist to those who actually live in Newark. 

SOLUTION: Be subtly UD-centric. We decided to keep the title of our next playlist sufficiently neutral, while making the description of the playlist more connected to UD. For example, our cardio-workout playlist “Up in the Gym” has a neutral enough title that it draws in listeners from all over, but also enough references to Delaware staples (like waiting for an elliptical at the Little Bob and getting a bagel at NDB) to make it feel fun and relatable to UD students specifically. Even better, we found a gorgeous picture of the Carpenter Sports Building at night for the album art!


PROBLEM: Too serious. Ultimately,  we learned from “A Rainy Newark Tuesday” that people are listening to these playlists to enjoy them. That means that the playlists should be fun and engaging— even if the music itself is more on the relaxing side. “A Rainy Newark Tuesday” was honestly stressful to put together and not that enjoyable to listen to.

SOLUTION. Have fun! We learned that if we aren’t excited finding new tracks and playing them for each other in the office, then our listeners probably aren’t going to be that enthused playing them back. Our latest playlist “Mashed&Mixed”, featuring amazing mashups of unlikely songs, was a blast to make— AND was our most popular yet. We don’t think it was a coincidence.

By Alana Dolgin and Kristi Iannelli (graphic by Sarah Tompkins)

Don’t Forget the Social in “Social Media”

Christy Mannering is a web developer for @UDCANR and @UDExtension.

In March 2014, I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the 2014 National eXtension Conference in Sacramento, California. Joining me at the conference were my colleagues Adam Thomas and Michele Walfred. University of Delaware Cooperative Extension Director, Michelle Rodgers, also made the trip out west for the week-long event. As a team we went to a variety of different panel discussions and presentations to learn more about what other Cooperative Extension units are doing around the country, to raise awareness about what Extension does, and to better help us work together to promote what our agents are working on within the community.


The presentation I most enjoyed working on stemmed from an abstract I wrote titled “Quality Engagement Verse Quantity of Fans on Facebook and Twitter.” I feel one of the things people tend to forget when working with social media is that it should feel social. It’s not about just pushing content to people, the key to a great social media experience is to engage with your audience. Social media platforms are a free way to market yourself and your business. The key here is to remember, especially in our fields, that we are teaching. You wouldn’t walk into a lecture hall or a conference expecting to just lecture at people. You have to present your information in an engaging way so people leave with an understanding and a desire to come back.

  image image

How do you get people to engage?

Getting an audience to engage will change depending on who you’re trying to reach and on which platform you are using to network. I will be honest, I have posted a question or a status update and could then hear the proverbial crickets. It is frustrating when that happens but the fact is that it does happen and it happens to everyone.

Experiment, test, and see what works best for your audience. Do your readers like photos, do they like to answer polls. Figure out what time of day they are online. Are they checking before work, around lunch time or after dinner? We have found with our younger crowd that posting after 9pm works well. This is subjective and it might not be the same for any one group.

Off the actual network sites another way to get people to engage is to make sure you put the link to your twitter handle or your Facebook URL in places people are looking. Add them to magnets, pens, brochures and email signatures because people genuinely do look to social media sites for information and not just your main website anymore.

Above and beyond all else, BE NEIGHBORLY

Imagine you have moved into a new neighborhood and your neighbors don’t smile or wave back at you when you try to greet them. How would this make you feel? For one it would probably make you feel pretty rotten, but even more then that, it would probably lead you to disengage. When someone new follows you on Twitter or likes your page on Facebook, give them a virtual handshake, say hello, let them know you look forward to hearing from them and sharing ideas.

By Christy Mannering (@bringmeupmusic)

UD Social Media Goes International: The story behind UD’s Chinese Weibo account

“#UDel is on Weibo! Our Chinese-speaking students and @UDalumni can follow us on the Chinese social network here:

The above tweet is going to be the first time many of UD’s social media audience members will learn that we now have a presence on the popular Chinese social media site, Weibo.


What they won’t know however, is that the process which led to us finally being able to tweet that announcement started back in August.

The University of Delaware has a large Chinese community that includes current students on campus as well as international research partners and institutions, parents of current students, and perspective students and alumni living in China.

Many of the social platforms we use here, such as Facebook and Twitter, are blocked in China, meaning that the University’s social media messages weren’t reaching a significant portion of our audience.

Research showed that Weibo, which has been described as similar to both Facebook and Twitter, was one of the most popular social networking sites in China, along with RenRen, which was created by UD alumnus Joe Chen.


Before we start any new account or platform, we have to think about our audience. In what ways would our presence on Weibo benefit a Chinese audience? We reached out to Chinese students who also speak English to find out. Serena Shen, a Chinese graduate student, helped us decide that we would use a UD Weibo account to share stories and pictures from events at UD that convey to our international audience what it is like to attend an American university, and more specifically, the University of Delaware.

With Serena’s help, we set up the account and began populating our Weibo with posts our Chinese audience would find relevant, informative and entertaining.

We quickly learned that if our Weibo account was not verified, which is similar to being verified on Facebook and Twitter, there was no way for our potential Chinese followers to tell if the page was official or not. The Chinese audience holds the Weibo verification in high regard, and we realized that without a verified page, we would not be able to gain any significant number of followers or grow our Weibo community.

I won’t go in to too much detail about the verification process, but through a months-long collaborative effort that included UD social media, our graduate student intern/translator, the Confucius Institute at the University of Delaware, representatives from international social media leader the University of Michigan and both Delaware and Michigan’s legal counsels, we finally had all of the verification application documents in Chinese, including the University Seal and the signature of UD’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing Deborah Hayes on each.

In April, we submitted everything to Weibo and waited. A few days went by, with daily checks of our Weibo page to see if the little verified “V” had shown up next to the University’s name in Chinese: 美国特拉华大学. When it finally did, the University of Delaware joined the ranks of verified American institutions such as Yale, Duke, Georgetown, and the University of Michigan.


While the process took longer than expected, it was worth it. Our Weibo audience is growing now that our potential followers can be sure that they’re getting the most accurate and up-to-date information about UD from the University itself.

UD social media is now international and multi-lingual, and the Weibo account is the first step in using social media to expand the University’s reach and impact around the world. 

By Ryan Maguire (@ryjmag), Digital Content Specialist. 

Tweeting for your audience

This is the second of two posts from Richard Gordon, manager of the IT Communication Group, about using social media tools that best meet your goals for audience interaction: to inform, to create conversation and to build community.

Let’s continue the discussion from my last post about your social media audience.

You and your audience

“Oh, the department upstairs is using Instagram and Pinterest, so we should, too.” Wrong! Don’t start with a social media tool. Start with your audience.

Here are some examples of more specific questions to help you determine who your audience is and what tools will work for you:

  • How old are they?
  • What devices do they use?
  • Why are they interested in you?
  • What other things interest them?
  • Why are you interested in them?
  • What are they doing when they interact with your feed?
  • How will social media work with other communication tools you use?
  • Do you want the audience interacting with each other? With you?
  • While interacting with your feed, what do you want them to do, where else do you want them to go online?
  • Are you using social media to communicate information, build a community, create positive affect towards UD and your department/team/unit/college?

(Consult UD’s Social Media Content Creation Checklist for more information.)

Social media must fit into your overall communication strategy. 

Example 1: Campus service units

Some campus feeds are primarily used for customer service—for example, UD Transportation’s @GetAroundUD provides info about bus routes, street closures, and parking. 

In IT, we use @ITatUD (Twitter) to push information to the UD campus: reminders, outage and security alerts, announcements of events and LearnIT classes, etc. Some observations:

  • Social media doesn’t replace other communication channels. The combination of Twitter, Facebook, and blogs amplifies our message to the UD community.
  • Over 540 people follow @ITatUD—a fraction of the UD community. So we leverage the Twitter feed by displaying it on the IT home page and the IT Support Center page.
  • We’ve experimented with Pinterest and FourSquare to reach UD students. Turns out it’s more useful to let students text us when they need technology help.
  • We consolidated five Twitter feeds about different kinds of IT information into the one @ITatUD feed. Our research showed that people would rather follow one feed and glean the info they need than to follow multiple small feeds.

For @ITatUD and @GetAroundUD, social media is one set of tools incorporated into an overall customer service toolkit. If we generate some positive buzz about the University, that’s fantastic.

Example 2: A broader UD social media strategy

Lots of UD departments, colleges, and units are doing a great job with social media. Here’s one example that integrates social media into an overall communication plan: UD Museum Studies.

Their Twitter feed drives folks to their website and to a social news digest (displaying relevant news stories and the people sharing the stories). UD Museum Studies uses and Twitter to multiply interactions. People like to be thanked. People like seeing things they’ve written or shared pushed out into the socialsphere. And it’s all relevant content.

Their overall social media goals are to:

  • Communicate information about the program and drive traffic to their website
  • Communicate information about museum studies, museum jobs, and curatorial practices in general
  • Enhance the reputation of UD and UD’s Museum Studies program by using social media to drive and curate a national conversation about museums.

Museum Studies does a nice job of using different tools to build a strong community and presence in their niche of the academic world. 

Example 3: Lack of a viable plan can doom a Facebook campaign

In 2012, GM cancelled their Facebook ad campaign. The media spun the story to talk about the riskiness of advertising in Facebook. Since other car manufacturers, like Subaru, have had success advertising there, might it have been something in GM’s approach?

In 2011-2012, GM just plopped ads on Facebook like they would on billboards along I-95. Subaru has consistently used video, questions to get people to interact with them, and messages targeted at specific groups of users—like this campaign pitched at dog owners. Their Facebook campaign worked because it was designed to make people feel like they wanted to join the Subaru community.

Bottom line: if you start by examining your audience interactions, you’ll select the right social media tools to inform, to create conversation and to build community.

By Richard Gordon (@Mandorichard)

Behind the hashtag: Social Media Interns

Behind all the hashtags, Facebook photos and Tumblr posts, is a team of digital zealots dedicated to making the University’s social media innovative and dynamic. Several of us here on the social media team are student interns working to create informative, relatable, entertaining and funny content and projects. To give you a behind-the-scenes look into the world of a social media intern, we will be posting a series of blog entries this semester exploring what it’s like to be a social media intern and what we’ve learned from our professional experiences. But first, a brief snapshot of who we are and why we love social media:

Ashley Paulos (@BlueHenAshleyP)

Major: Marketing. Interactive Media and Advertising minors

Intern Position: Multimedia Manager

Aspired Career: Television or Music Industry 

Q: What is your favorite thing that you have seen on UD social media?

A: Me being crowned into the Homecoming Court in September of 2013! 


Alana Dolgin

Major: Organizational and Community Leadership with a concentration in music industry and music advertising. 

Intern position: Outreach Coordinator 

Aspired Career: Creative Marketing for Music Industry 

Q: What is currently your favorite hashtag on Twitter?

A: #knicksaremoreuslessthan. I am a huge New York Knicks fan and they have had a pretty rough season and it has definitely taken it’s toll on the fans. This was the hashtag trending after a recent game against the LA Lakers. 

Alexis Perez

Major: Mass Media Communication. Business Administration minor

Intern position: Special Projects Coordinator

Aspired Career: Public Relations Specialist

Q:Describe yourself in hashtags.

A: #italkinhashtags #allmyhashtagsarefullblownsentences 

Kristi Iannelli & Christopher Johnson

Majors: (Kristi) Political Science. Political Communication minor. (Chris) Professional Writing. Interactive Media and Advertising minors.

Intern Position: Content Managers

Aspired Careers: (Kristi) Social Media Manager for Political Campaigns. (Chris) Social Media/PR. 


Q: Give an example of one of your most popular tweets. 



Q: What is your favorite account to follow on social media?

A: @bonappetitmag on Instagram because I’m kind of obsessed with food photography and the photos (and food) they post are absolutely gorgeous. They also interact with their followers, which is really fun. 

Sarah Tompkins

Major: English & Mass Communication

Intern Position: Multimedia Manager

Aspired Career: Television or Music Industry 

Q: What’s the longest you’ve gone without logging onto ANY social media site in the last month?

A: 12 hours 

To see some of the content we work on producing, check out UD’s student run Blue Hen Says Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr accounts. 

By UD’s social media interns 

Digital Marketing and Millennials


Media has spent a lot of time trying to define millennials, consumers aged from their early teens to their early thirties. 

Like each generation, this generation is different from those it follows.  Pew Research recently highlighted six attributes of millennials: they have fewer attachments to religious and political institutions, they are more burdened by debt while remaining more optimistic about the future, they are delaying marriage, they are more racially diverse, they are less trusting of others, and they are not optimistic about social security.  

Teaching Digital Marketing, (the real title of the class is a tongue-twisting Information Technology Applications in Marketing), I find it interesting to learn the media consumption patterns of this group, via my students.  There is no doubt that how students access media impacts their world view as well as their consumption habits.

This semester’s survey results were a wake-up call; Mobile is for real, these guys love Apple, Facebook does remain important while their social media activities are spread amongst multiple networks, and is a very important retail site.

I surveyed 97 students.  The class I teach is a required Marketing elective, and the majority of students are seniors. 

Of the 97 students:

96 have a smartphone, of which 91 are Apple smartphones, the remaining 6 were Android-based smartphones.  The one student without a smartphone has an iPod.

95 students listed Facebook as one of the social networks on which they are active.  The average number of friends on Facebook for each student is a staggering 900.  Of the two students who are not on Facebook, one is a foreign national, active on networks from his /her own country, the second is not active on social media at all. 

Of the other social networks on which students participate, 80% of them listed Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.  64% listed LinkedIn.  Vine seemed to be on the decline, and Foursquare was only mentioned a couple of times. 

In terms of e-commerce, all students have purchased something online.  When asked to list their top three e-commerce sites, Amazon was mentioned 75 times.  E-bay came in second, 25 times, and no other site was mentioned by more than 10% of students.  More than 70% of students have made a purchase via their smartphone.

In terms of media consumption more generally, students spend about 3.5 hours a day on their mobile device, an hour longer than they spend on their PC.  On average, they access their mobile device 40 times a day, signaling the ubiquity of the device and its importance for media and marketers alike.

It is no surprise that this is the most connected generation.  Our students grew up with the internet, and it is becoming evident that the adoption of mobile devices, which has experienced the fastest adoption of any technology device in history, has gained steam ahead of the most optimistic expectations.  The internet is now ubiquitous, and it is reshaping marketing and communications at fundamental levels.  It is also very interesting to follow.

For anyone who is curious, you can take this survey to determine how Millennial you are. 

By Alex Brown (@alexbrownracing

Social media and health promotion

As a health motivated individual I am always looking for new workouts, quick recipes, and easy tips to live a healthy college lifestyle.  I have found that Twitter is a great resource for a lot of this information.  There are endless accounts that focus on health and wellness, some more clinical and news based like the Center for Disease Control, to more youth friendly accounts like Fitness and Nutrition where motivational pictures and quick tips are commonly posted. 


An account I find very applicable to living healthy, specifically at UD, is the Healthy HENS twitter!  Healthy HENS is the student wellness organization here on campus and is committed to helping students in the aspects of health, exercise, nutrition, and sleep.  Via Twitter, Healthy HENS spreads the message of living healthy on campus by promoting events, such as free yoga presented by an RSO or their own events like the current campaign “12 Weeks to the Beach.”  This is a great resource to help students stay in the loop about what healthy events are going on around campus and has personally helped me to get involved more.  Last semester I went to a free health screening, learned about healthy recipes you can make in the microwave, and attended free Zumba classes put on by Healthy HENS.  They also retweet national organizations with credible health information, as well as more light hearted accounts like “Healthy Monday” that tweets positive quotes to start your week with. 


Social media is a large part of our lives as college students.  Healthy HENS is motivating us right here at UD to be healthy and get involved around campus.  Follow them today @HealthyHENS and you can get involved too!

- By Sara Wienclaw (@TheClaw14). Sara is a Health Behavior Science major in the class of 2014 as well as a Healthy HENS peer health coach. 

5 Things I Learned During Social Media Week


Lists work.

That’s just one of the nuggets of information I absorbed (straight from the mouth of BuzzFeed’s VP of Agency Strategy and Industry Development, Jonathan Perelman @JPerelman) in mid-February when Meredith Chapman (@mediameredith) and I spent three chilly days at the Social Media Week conference in New York City.  

Being surrounded by digital professionals from tons of different industries only solidified my belief that digital content—and the way we engage with it as humans—will continue to change just about every aspect of society.  

 So in the interest of practicing what I preach, here is a succinct (I’ll try my best) recap of the five most important lessons I absorbed at #SMWNYC—in list form. 

1.) Things designed to be shared will have higher value.

For an example, look no further than BuzzFeed, which has built an entire brand around creating sharable content. In fact, you can access the ‘social lift’ metrics that BuzzFeed authors themselves see by typing in buzzfeed/dashboard/the rest of the URL for a particular story. Social lift…now there’s a metric you don’t hear everyday. Users share content they feel is relevant to their own self-identity and subsequently, the content reaches a larger audience. 


2.) Social media can capitalize on and fuel ‘fandom.’

Reps from VH1, MTV and Comedy Central discussed the idea of fandom – a group of super fans whose behaviors and passion go beyond the norm. The fandom for any brand—including UD—is extremely engaged on social media. ‘Listening’ to this fandom provides incredible insight on what your audience wants and where they want to see it. 

3.) Social media distribution has changed the ‘content experience.’

We must understand what platforms our audience is using. We must ask ourselves, “What’s the medium of this content?” and we must take into account that social media has altered the way we interact with traditional media. People take pictures of ads on busses and subways only to share on their social media accounts. Watching the Oscars or the Super bowl with a ‘second screen’—a mobile device or laptop—is becoming increasingly common. 

4.) Real-time marketing is tricky

After witnessing the Holy Grail of real-time marketing thanks to Oreo, it seems that every brand is trying to get in on the action. But it turns out that it’s extremely difficult to have an authentic viral moment. Many brands tried to replicate Oreo’s success during this year’s Super bowl, but I personally felt that most attempts seemed forced and one dimensional. Audiences can see right through content that’s not organic and authentic. Real-time relevance can be achieved, but the key is picking the right moments. Contrary to popular belief, successful viral moments often result from integration into a larger strategic communication plan. It turns out Ellen’s celebrity selfie at the Academy Awards wasn’t completely spontaneous. 

5.) The captive audience no longer exists

With people consuming most of their news online, they have a myriad of platforms to choose from—as opposed to reading a limited number of stories in the newspaper delivered to their doorstop each morning. A panel of prominent investigative journalists argued that more choices leads to better content. Outlets must make sure they are delivering top-notch content to attract viewers and compel them to share it. The increasingly visual nature of the digital landscape has also forced outlets to incorporate design strategy into their content to engage viewers. For some of the best examples of an outlet leveraging visual elements as part of their distribution, look no further than the Wall Street Journal Facebook page.

What does all this mean for the account managers (or the ‘DJ’s that keep the party going,’ as one presenter suggested) at UD? It’s proof that digital content is a delicate balance between functional information and emotional information; between listening to your audience and engaging with your audience; between pre-planning and reacting to the conversation. There are no exact formulas or user manuals to guide today’s digital content creators. It’s part of what makes the field both challenging and exciting. 


By Kelley Bregenzer (@KelleyBregenzer