Utilizing Instagram to Strategically Plan, Execute, and Build a Brand Image for an Academic Program
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AbstractDo social media platforms, such as Instagram, provide a unique opportunity for college programs to connect with their students (prospective and current), faculty, and alumni? If so, what are the best practices that can guide the creation of an engaging Instagram page for an academic program in a university? These are the questions that the authors of this project sought out to answer. Most top universities in the country, both private and public, have Instagram accounts. These institutions utilize Instagram to create and maintain an image for their academic “brand” and to build long-term relationships with their followers. They even run separate pages for individual academic programs and that is what the authors of this project explored by creating an official Instagram page for SUNY Oneonta’s Fashion and Textiles program in the Human Ecology department. The purpose of the Fashion and Textiles Instagram page (@fashion_sunyoneonta) was to inform and connect with current students, faculty, alumni, and prospective students about all things Fashion and Textiles. To accomplish this, the student presenter of this project ran the page under the guidance of the faculty member in the program through an independent study course. The objective of this presentation is to share the strategy employed to develop a successful Fashion and Textiles Instagram page with the intention of providing a model for future students, faculty, or staff who may take over the operations of the page. This presentation is also intended to serve as a model for other academic programs that wish to set up and run an official Instagram account. In this presentation, the authors will go into detail on how they used programs such as Excel, and Canva to create and organize weekly posts for the Instagram page. The presentation will illustrate the effort that goes into planning each post, while showing various analytics and content, along with the mistakes that were made along the way. One major accomplishment of running this page was learning the proper communication skills it takes to run a social media account for an academic program. The page also prides itself on gaining 205 followers in just 13 months. The Fashion and Textiles page also has a certified account following the page, this account is Fantastic Fungi from the hit documentary on Netflix “Fantastic Fungi.” The evolution and accomplishments of the page in just a year had surpassed all expectations, but the greatest accomplishment has been being able to showcase how incredible the Fashion and Textile program, students and faculty at SUNY Oneonta really are. The approach and strategies behind these accomplishments will be discussed in this presentation.
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