Most students are not on campus during their spring break, and on-campus advertising is insufficient. This breakdown in communication between the university and the student body at best conveys no information, but at worst could cause confusion and stress as students return to campus without knowing what’s going on there. To repair this breach in communication, universities could connect with students in seconds via social media during break. Here are 5 specific ways to better communicate with your students while they are on spring break.
200 million users on Instagram are constantly refreshing their feed to see the latest content. If a university has an Instagram account, this is an excellent way to convey information across an effective medium. Universities could share photos from alternative trips offered by the school and upcoming events on campus once the students return. This advertising may encourage students to apply to university sponsored spring break trips in the future.
Sending an email to students with an attached newsletter is an effective way to sum up a large amount of information. This newsletter could provide students with upcoming dates and articles regarding news on campus. This would replace a school newspaper that may have been distributed every week while the students are on campus. Articles could vary from new construction to sports games coming up. Having open communication with students over break will help them feel organized and ready to return once break is over.
Providing the student body with a common hashtag that could be used on social media would allow them to stay connected with other students and their university. Those who use the common hashtag could easily see the posts and photos of their classmates and the university during their time apart. Hashtagging a photo would also allow administration to be aware of the students’ spring break trips. If the university’s faculty used the hashtag as well, students and teachers could enhance relationships beyond the classroom.
1.23 billion users are on Facebook today, and smartphone users check their Facebook newsfeed 13.9 times a day. There is no better way to make content available to students than a post on the university’s Facebook page. This is also a great place to link to websites and post blogs, interesting articles and announcements. For example, a university could post on their Facebook timeline what time the dining hall and dorms open up after break.
Hiring students to blog about their experiences on university sponsored spring break trips would increase awareness and interest in such trips. For example, if students went on a trip to Europe, they would blog about their daily excursions and what they learned. Universities could also have professors blog about their breaks as well, creating a more personal relationship between faculty and student body.
These practices will not only strengthen the bond between students and staff, but they will create a sense of community that transcends the physical campus. Students can stay up to date with each other, campus activity and future events, staff can keep an eye on students, and the university can effectively promote their sponsored spring break trips.
Hannah Wikner—Content Creator