By Dave McDonald, Assistant Director of Social Media

After a year of hybrid learning, COVID-19 protocols, and social distancing, Commencement 2021 was a welcome celebration and finish line to a stressful academic year. As CDC guidelines eased, our class of 2021 was able to come together to celebrate their accomplishments and take their first steps into the next chapter of their lives as BU Alumni. However, with masks still required and viewers tuning in virtually, things looked a little different from previous years. Here’s a rundown of how the BU Social Media team tackled Commencement 2021.

Overall Trends in 2021:

Instagram continues to lead the way:

Year after year, Instagram…

By Dave McDonald, Assistant Director of Social Media

We’ve all been there. You post something on social media and sprinkled in with comments of praise and encouragement, a few negative comments appear. While a natural knee-jerk reaction may be to delete or hide them, as social media managers we know that allowing criticism on our channels is just as important as the replies that praise. However, it’s common to see responses that are spammy, off-topic, or offensive. In these instances, a strong set of community guidelines can be your guide when deciding how to take action.

What to include in your community guidelines:

Here at Boston University…

By Dave McDonald, Assistant Director of Social Media

There’s no denying it, TikTok is here to stay. With the platform rising as one of the most popular video-based social media channels for Generation Z, and the COVID-19 pandemic sending the app’s usage into overdrive, we officially launched the Boston University TikTok (@BostonU) channel in September of 2020 as an unprecedented fall semester began. Our goal? Use the platform as an outlet to embody campus life and the BU student experience through a variety of creative, lighthearted, trending ways, and express BU’s unique culture on our three campuses.

Why now?


By Dave McDonald, Assistant Director of Social Media

The way Generation Z engages with content on Instagram is changing. What was once home to beautifully manicured pictures and clever captions, is now a place for education, activism, and encouragement among peers. College students no longer just want to see congratulatory content, they want to learn from experts, and to engage with infographics that feature easily digestible, share-worthy content and information. With this in mind, we reworked our approach to the platform to better appeal to Generation Z and meet their content needs and expectations.

A new approach:

Using a combination of informational content…

Expert highlights top social media trends, tools, performance measurement approaches, and more

Image source: dole777 on Unsplash

Social media is a powerful, dynamic way for colleges and universities to engage with students, faculty, and external audiences. However, achieving impactful connections requires an informed and creative strategy, tailored to each specific social media channel and target audience.

Ahead of presenting at the 2020 Higher Ed Digital Conference, BU social media team member Molly Gluck pulled from her experience elevating faculty research and thought leadership to highlight the best and worst content trends in higher ed, social media measurement hacks, creative content ideas and more. Check out her full Q&A below.

1) What are the worst and best content trends in higher ed?

One trend higher education needs to leave behind…

By Dave McDonald, Assistant Director of Social Media

It all happened so quickly. One moment we’re sitting in our offices planning another exciting semester of social content. Then before we knew it, events were being canceled, students were being sent home, and Zoom became a part of our everyday lives. COVID-19 has caused so many of us to make sharp pivots in our daily routines. However, for the social media managers of the world, our workflow hasn’t changed much, but the content certainly has. Within a week’s time our social channels, once home to fun, pithy, and informative content became…

6 Experts Weigh In

2020 — a new year and endless possibilities. As we head into the new decade, we turn our thoughts to what’s next, what’s new and how social media will continue to evolve in the year ahead.

We’ve all followed the hype around the explosion of new platforms (TikTok anyone?). Read the studies about Gen Z flocking to more authentic, real-time video. And, followed the privacy issues and political hearings on Facebook. But, sometimes with social media it can feel that the more things change, the more they stay the same. …

What an honor! We’re excited to announce that Boston University is a finalist for the 4th annual Shorty Social Good Awards for our use of Instagram. Each year, millions of people participate in The Shortys to recognize individuals and organizations producing great content on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitch, TikTok, and the rest of the social web. Our weekly series on Instagram stories including #TerrierTuesdays, Hey BU, use of social videos, user-generated content and more helped us land a spot as a finalist. …

By Dave McDonald, Assistant Director of Social Media and Carol Duan, International Social Media Specialist.

Another year and another commencement has come and gone. Throughout the weekend, our Class of #BU2019 celebrated their accomplishments and flooded the streets of Comm. Ave in red robes as they practically strutted into a new chapter of their lives. The joy of our graduates was impossible to miss, especially on social, as we tastefully inundated our follower's social feeds with all kinds of content that had them tagging #ProudtoBU in their congratulatory posts to our newly minted alumni.

How did our team produce engaging…

By: Dave McDonald, Assistant Director of Social Media

Photo source: Social Media Examiner

When it comes to social media, we’ve grown accustomed to rapid change. Algorithms, site redesigns, and new features have all become a normal part of our relationship with social. So, when I arrived at Social Media Marketing World 2019 in San Diego, I was certainly expecting some curveballs. As it turns out, there were more than just a few.

As the CEO of Social Media Examiner, Michael Stelzner took the stage for the opening Keynote, he said: “It’s time to rethink everything.” Cue the paralyzing anxiety for everyone in the room. But…

BU Social Media

Tips, tricks, trends, updates & news from the social media team at Boston University

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