CSU reaches Rams on social media, wins awards

Rachel Musselmann

On Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Youtube, Colorado State University’s social media team is reaching out to students.

Kimberly Stern, director of social and digital media at CSU, wrote in an email to the Collegian that the social media platforms her team uses create an image and a reputation for CSU and reach over half a million people. CSU Social was awarded a Webby award this year for content created with Dr. Temple Grandin on Reddit.

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(Photo credit: Jamie Rankin.)
(Photo illustration: Jamie Rankin.)

“The Webby’s are the Oscars of the Web,” Stern wrote. “CSU social media is right up there with Mashable, Buzzfeed and Grumpy Cat.” 

Gretchen Gerding, director of communications for the college of health and human sciences, works closely with CSU Social to create social media content specific to her college. She participates in a social media committee made up of college communicators, CSU athletics and CSU event planners. 

“It has been really great for us to work with (CSU Social) because they’re experts, and they can can help us professionalize and grow,” Gerding said. “As a committee, we can share best practices, what works and what doesn’t.”

Gerding said CSU social also invites social media administration inside CSU to share their high-quality content. 

“We can have our own voice as a college and tailor to our own social media audience, but CSU has done a great job at bringing us all together,” Gerding said. 

The goal of CSU Social is to meet audiences on digital platforms they are already using in order to share the “Ramily” identity, Stern said. 

“We meet our fans where they are,” Stern wrote. “That may be on Snapchat or on LinkedIn. Innovation is key to our strategy and we are always looking for relevant channels to connect with fans.”

Students’ relationship with CSU social media begins as soon as they are admitted, when Stern’s team shares their #ColoStateBound posts on Instagram and Twitter. Stern said CSU Social aims to include student-created content in their posts, and the ProudToBeACSURam Instagram account is run by a new CSU student every week. 

“The ProudToBe Instagram account is a very cool thing because it’s the University through the eyes of students,” Stern said. “There’s so many walks of life here, and we wanted to capture that.” 

Senior zoology major Lauren Swanson ran ProudToBeACSURam Oct. 26 through Nov. 1 and created a total of nine posts detailing experiences CSU has offered her, including photos of her work with the Veterinary Teaching Hospital and shots of her roommates. Swanson said the popular platform is booked by students months in advance. 

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A post made by Swanson on the ProudToBeACSURam account.

“I really like the idea of ProudToBeACSURam,” Swanson said. “You can find out what students see in CSU.” 

CSU’s professionally-run Instagram account was recently named the number one college Instagram in the world by HubSpot. Instagram and Snapchat (CSUCAMtheRam) tend to be the most popular with students, although Facebook and Twitter receive a lot of positive feedback, Stern said. 

Recent content has included a video of the bison herd release into Soapstone prairie and a meme reminding students of add-drop deadlines. In the future, Stern said she sees CSU social as an important part of the University’s identity.

“We will always have a place to foster a vibrant community,” Stern said. “It may not be Facebook, but this kind of technology has staying power.” 

More information about CSU social media, including information on running a social media account, can be found on their website. 

Collegian Reporter Rachel Musselmann can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @rmusselmann.