Capital U. embraces Social Media on Campus

We give you Interactive Know-How

Capital University is a private liberal arts college located in Bexley, Ohio and is one of the oldest and largest Lutheran-affiliated universities in North America. It offers Bachelor’s, Master’s, and First Professional degrees and over 60 majors and 39 minors, with double majors and majors with special emphasis.

Capital U. Embraces Social Media on Campus

Capital University: Will You

Recently Capital University launched a campaign called ‘Will You‘, engaging students by asking them to submit their short and long-term goals, all the while emphasizing that Capital is a hip, goal-oriented campus that not only listens to their students but encourages their voices to be heard.

Pop quiz. What will you do? Today? This year? In a lifetime? We asked around, and found out that Capital students are quick with confident response. We’re committed to lifetime goals (and our to-do list, too).

The site is then hooked up with Facebook and Flickr (and apparently Twitter as well, but that there might be additional filters for posts from Twitter – probably to ensure that things like the Skittles disaster don’t happen), streaming live photos and wall comments straight onto their site.

Capital U. Embraces Social Media on Campus

Speak Up (Facebook)

Capital U. Embraces Social Media on Campus

Say Cheese (Flickr)

Capital University Vs. Skittles
The Capital University site is much better executed than the full embrace of social media via Skittles for the following reasons:

  • Capital University used this as a campaign, not their entire website. This is huge. You don’t see social media broadcast all over the main page of the website. They utilized it as a tool in their recruitment arsenal as opposed to defining their entire brand as Skittles did. This allows them to be seen as hip and connected university to high school students (the target of this particular campaign) who embrace and use social media daily, however still maintain full control of their main site where they might have more diverse visitors.
  • Capital University streams it onto their website rather than linking to their featured spots on social media sites. This is a key point although it might first seem like only a difference of who is hosting the same content. If Capital wishes to, they can easily further filter the steam of social media, removing obscenities and invalid responses to their question(s). Whether they utilize it or not, pulling in feeds rather than simply linking to the site allows for a bit more control on what is shown on their site.
  • Capital University has everything on one page with no confusing navigation. Sometimes less is more. After all, do you need to see the latest 15 posts that people have written about your brand on Twitter/Facebook, or will 5 (with the ability to scroll to see more) suffice? Personally I say that giving just a little hint of your content is better. If people really want to see more in a particular medium, Capital then offers links to those pages, giving visitors only a taste at their site. Not to mention that the user remains immersed in the Capital experience, as opposed to being taken to several different websites with only the familar (yet somewhat annoying) overlay of the Skittles navigation (whose bad points are discussed here).

The only real negative that might be able to be said about the Capital U. site over the Skittles site is that what they did was not drastic enough to receive all that media attention. This one can really go both ways though as not all of the Skittles coverage was positive.

Looking back upon the two sites, you see a very different implementation of social media. Skittles embraces social media entirely and blindly while Capital University utilizes it with eyes wide open and a little more control. While both applications of social media are to be commended, Capital University’s campaign site is definitely the smarter business approach. While engaging your clients/customers is great business, losing control of your brand completely isn’t.

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