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18 things we learned at #SocialUofG

Estimated read time: 6 minutes

Last week, I was thrilled to be invited along to #SocialUofG – the University of Glasgow’s first ever conference about social media. It was one heck of a day…and not just because of Storm Ali wreaking havoc outside!

Set inside one the University’s buildings that looks more like Hogwarts than you’d imagine possible, we were treated to a fantastic day of insight, packed full of speakers from both within Glasgow’s walls and some externals too.

As this was – incredibly – an internal conference (despite having a lineup that people would genuinely pay money to see), there will plenty of you out there who would have loved to attend. As I was lucky enough to be there, it only seems fair to share some takeaways with you.

So, here we go…

Glasgow’s Vice-Chancellor *gets it*

The day was kicked off by the University’s Vice-Chancellor Anton Muscatelli, who is clearly a massive advocate of social media and the opportunities it offers. Having this backing is huge – let’s try and get more University leaders supporting what we do and getting involved themselves.

Story-telling>fancy tech

UofG’s head of social media Emma Gilmartin really summed things up perfectly…

They’re a really nice bunch

My keynote kicked off the day’s main agenda and it seemed to go well – thanks to everyone for being such a great crowd!

Instagram Stories – fun AND useful

First up in a panel about Instagram Stories was our current From the Inside columnist Katy Duddell, who has made brilliant use of the ‘Ask a Question’ sticker on York St John’s Stories. Not only have her Q+As been great for engagement, they’ve actually helped show up where YSJ needs to up its game and refine its messaging.

The c-word

The idea of cross-posting the same content to multiple channels is often frowned upon. But, according to UofG’s Kezia Falconer, it can still be effective. If it works for your audiences, then embrace it!

Snapchat is dead

Perhaps the biggest takeaway of the day came from Scott Kirby, a former UofG student social media ambassador and now a newly-elected sabbatical officer for the Uni. What was that takeaway? Snapchat is dead.

Use Stories for, you know, stories

Finally on the Instagram Stories panel was UofG’s Geneviève Wright who made the excellent point that you should get people involved who can actually tell and structure a story.

Libraries FTW

There was much love in the room for the social media efforts of libraries – they are just awesome. Louise Annan from UofG’s library made this very valid point…

Alumni skillz

Next up was Gemma Gillespie who, aside from having her own gif, has really nailed how to use social to connect with UofG’s alumni. Here are her top tips for doing so on different channels.

More work can be good

UofG’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences deduced to get involved with social media even though it meant adding plenty more work to the to-do list of the two people who job-share their comms role. Why did they do it? Because it actually made their lives easier.

Writers will be writers

Professor of Creative Writing Louise Welsh gave some fascinating insights into how UofG’s Creative Writing programme approaches Twitter. As you’d expect from a bunch of creatives, it’s fairly relaxed.

Unconference fun

As if #SocialUofG wasn’t cool enough already, they even pulled off their own unconference section. I led a discussion about podcasting and had much fun.

Three Ps

Professor Rory O’Connor shared his recipe for creating a great Twitter account…

Nailed it

While Becca Harrison showed how impactful the combination of great content and excellent timing can be…

Lightning round

The day was rounded off with a Pecha Kucha-style whizz through a bunch of cracking campaigns, which gave me no time to tweet and listen. So, in summary; they were all great.


There was a caption competition. I won 😎

When in Scotland…

Not related to #SocialUofG but, while in Glasgow for said event, I saw my first Irn Bru TV advert.


High five UofG

What a cracking day – thanks for letting me part of it!

Be sure to check out the #SocialUofG hashtag on Twitter for plenty more posts from the day.

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