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From the Inside

A Loughborough love-in

Estimated read time: 8 minutes

For his third guest column here on The Native, Loughborough University’s Liam Ross is bringing the love, with a behind-the-scenes look at two campaigns that will make your heart sing – one of which is now, officially, an Edurank award winner!

*Want to follow in Liam’s footsteps and be a future From the Inside columnist for us? Get in touch now!*

Those of you who are paying attention to my insider ramblings so far will notice that this isn’t a blog about my observations from working in HE as I hinted to at the end of my last post. But we’ve just waved farewell to February, the month where love was briefly in the air, so to celebrate, here’s some insight into a couple of campaigns my team helped run and support this month with a <3 theme. 

Heart 2 Heart

ICYMI, last year at Loughborough we ran our Spit Happens campaign, where in the space of 12 hours, we recruited over 2,000 people to join the Anthony Nolan register to help find matches for people suffering from blood cancer. The sibling of Spit Happens for 2018 was Heart 2 Heart, a campus-wide initiative to train over 1,300 people in giving CPR. 

Results from Loughborough University's heart 2 heart campaign

I’m massively proud to say over the course of 12 hours, we trained almost 1,500 people to give CPR, and that the digital squad not only all completed the training, but also played a part in this huge team effort to deliver on the promotion and execution of this campaign on social media. Big shout out to our School & College Liaison team & Loughborough Students’ Union who drove the majority of the event!  

The Loughborough University team hard at work
The SCL, LSU & Events team hold a final, frantic planning meeting. Photo: @WideningDave on Twitter

Covering such a lengthy event is no mean feat, so to keep a variety of content flowing smoothly in the run up and throughout the day comes down to an immense amount of planning. In the social team, one of our first steps was to create a Facebook Event & a Thunderclap campaign. Nothing revolutionary, but in the current climate of dropping organic reach, alongside importance of employee advocacy and how much we rely on our friends to share events & news, we felt these were important platforms to push. With a small investment of £100 to the event alone, we reached 38,000 people and got over 600 event responses. In comparison, the Thunderclap had a social reach of over half a million people; so if lots of stakeholders are involved in an event you’re running or supporting, it may be worth investigating. 

Loughborough University's heart 2 heart campaign

Our next step was to assign one campaign lead; Bethan, in this case. It makes sense for queries and comms to come through one member of the team. With 72 sessions happening across the day, it was important to plan out what content would be on which platform so that it was most relevant for the audience, and gave a different experience between Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram & LinkedIn. Bethan than assigned each task to a team member, so everyone had a picture of what they needed to produce and share. Overall, on social we reached over 1.1 million people, and our #Heart2Heart hashtag trended in the UK at around 10am, which isn’t too shabby, considering the hugely busy day for global social campaigns, and a social spend of around £250.

My top tip – Assign one campaign lead, have a strong grasp of the audiences on each of your channels and tailor your content to fit. 

#LboroFamily Stories – Edurank award-winning!

(Congratulations to Loughborough for winning an Edurank award!)

We at Loughborough seem to love Valentine’s Day to hook our campaigns onto. Maybe it’s the sense of the #LboroFamily on campus? This year, alongside Heart 2 Heart, we built on our successful, alumni focused ‘Love at Loughborough’ campaign from 2017. But love comes in many shapes and sizes, so for 2018 we branched out to include those who had found all sorts of ‘love’ during their time on campus; including friends made for life and family members who had sent future generations to study with us. 

The purpose of this campaign was threefold:

  1. Build engagement with an alumni audience via social on a emotive, personal topic 
  2. Source UGC for our #LboroFamily webpages & future social sharing
  3. Reach ‘lost’ alumni and source details & e-mail addresses for follow up comms & activity
Loughborugh University's valentine's day alumni campaign

Rachel in my team lead on the social around this, working with colleagues in our alumni engagement team to produce #LboroFamily Stories. It’s all about the cross-team collaboration! To compensate for the drop in organic reach compared to 2017, we added a tasty date or mate night prize, and set a small amount of cash aside for a series of paid Facebook promotions. 

Valentine's day promotion from Loughborough University

For me, with a UGC campaign, it’s absolutely crucial that messaging is crystal clear, particularly regarding how entries to the competition are submitted. A lot of thought went into the webpage, social and asset messaging, to communicate some relatively simple calls to action. 

Valentine's poem from alumni of Loughborough University
Goals – when you ask for stories but get a poem!

The content we received really speaks for itself. Everyone loves the opportunity to share their special moments in life, and we followed up with timely, personalised replies to the stories our alumni shared. We tracked all the entries to the competition as they happened, which enabled us to follow up via Facebook later, if entrants hadn’t submitted e-mail addresses or other details we had specified to count their entry.

My top tip – Examine your aims closely and create a campaign which ticks all the boxes. Ensure your messaging is utterly, unmistakably clear and go above and beyond to deliver a personal touch wherever possible.

What did you get up to on social this Valentine’s Day? I’d love to see campaigns you’ve had a hand in!

*Want to follow in Liam’s footsteps and be a future From the Inside columnist for us? Get in touch now!*