Over the years, more and more universities have been using Walls.io to set up social walls on their campuses or for specific events. Sometimes, it’s a large-scale project involving the whole university. Other times, individual colleges or even departments are using social walls for their particular needs.
We’ve even seen a handful of high school social walls and other examples from the educational sector. However, most of them are universities, so we decided to give you a roundup of some of these great examples and go through some possible use cases.
Let what our customers are doing inspire you, and learn how you too can use a social wall at your university, institute or department.
There are many use cases for a social wall in a university
Social walls for Open Days
Social walls for Signing Day
Social walls for Back to School/Freshers
Social walls for graduations
Social walls for special events
Social walls for fundraising events
Social walls for conferences
Social walls throughout the year
Permanent social walls
Social walls for showcasing achievements
Bonus: Tips for Universities
How a social wall benefits your university
With an ever-changing student body, with new students coming in every year and others graduating and leaving, universities must create a sense of belonging. A social wall is a fantastic support tool because it allows a tight-knit community to stay in touch over social media as well.
Social walls can help you:
- connect current students, alumni, parents, lecturers, university staff and even donors
- foster interaction and engagement on campus
- portray a positive image of the university to the outside world
A social media wall like Walls.io can pull posts from social media profiles, pages and hashtags and present them neatly in one place. The content wall can be curated and moderated.
There are many use cases for a social wall in a university context, and they each come with specific advantages.
Social walls for events
Throughout the school year, universities face both one-off and recurring events. It’s not uncommon to set up themed social walls for these to collect everyone’s impressions in one place.
Projecting the wall on a screen or displaying it on monitors is a beautiful and easy-to-implement way to show off content from across profiles or posted with a specific event-related hashtag.
You can set up a social wall for Open Days, for example, to reach out to prospective students and their parents and make them feel welcome as they visit your school. Hand out informational leaflets that point to the social wall and hashtag and display the wall somewhere on campus to catch visitors’ attention.
Monash University in Australia set up a social wall for the Science Open Day, allowing everyone to share their impressions and experiences.
The university specifically promoted the Open Day and its hashtag #ChooseMonashScience on the website as well.
Another important milestone of the school year is Signing Day. Social media is a perfect addition for Signing Day since people will be checking in from all over the world to share which university they will go to in the upcoming year.
A few years ago, Rackham Graduate School at the University of Michigan started using social walls to celebrate Signing Day.
The university embedded the social map, using our Map theme, on the Rackham Signing Day microsite. Any posts using #IChoseUMich popped up on the map at the geographical location they were posted from.
“Beyond the celebratory confetti, the campaign demonstrates two key values of how Rackham serves its students: We support the diversity of Rackham graduate students’ backgrounds and experiences. And we want to create a sense of connection and continuity among the new cohort, current students, and alumni.”Rackham Graduate School, University of Michigan
Check out our showcase interview to learn more about #IChoseUMich and how the university welcomes new students in style. Rackham was also our first customer to use the Walls.io Map theme!
Back to school and Freshers Week
Other significant milestones at universities are Back to School events and Freshers Week. The arrival of old and new students is often accompanied by a lot of celebrations and partying.
The University of Toronto welcomes its students with a social wall, which is a great place for sharing information with new students. Here you can see the University of Toronto Student Life Programs & Services account sharing the link to the student life app on the social wall. The app helps new students find their way on their new campus.
The highlight of most people’s university experience is when they graduate. So it’s unsurprising that a lot of our university customers have set up social walls to celebrate Graduation Day.
The University of Tasmania Graduation social wall is a great example.
A dedicated social wall gives students, parents and everyone else a chance to share and celebrate this day together. Proud parents and students can share graduation pics and see them pop up on the social wall.
Here, a student from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley shares their excitement about graduating.
Meanwhile, university staff can also use the wall to share information and official announcements.
The Graduation Team at Queen Mary University London uses the social wall to spread the word about where students will receive their certificates and other pertinent information.
When Gordon State College got a new president in 2019, it set up a congratulatory social wall for inauguration week. Anyone could congratulate Dr Kirk A. Nooks by simply using the hashtag #CongratsDrNooks on Twitter or the university’s Facebook page. The social wall was then embedded on the website.
The University of Massachusetts Lowell set up an #OPRAHatUML social wall for an event where Oprah Winfrey was a guest and interviewee.
Many other universities use social walls for specific fundraising events meant to raise money for scholarships, athletics teams, departments, repair funds, student unions, etc.
These social walls support the fundraising efforts by providing a hub for visual materials, support messages and donation appeals throughout the fundraising process.
For example, La Salle University in Philadelphia used a social wall during ExplorersGive Day of Giving in 2019. The wall was embedded on a microsite along with more information and a countdown timer for the fundraising event.
Social Walls also work really well for conferences taking place at the university. Bucknell University in Pennsylvania used a social media wall at their “Digital Scholarship Conference” to engage conference attendees.
Social walls throughout the year
A social wall can be a wonderful companion tool for university marketers, used for various events and happenings throughout the year.
New York University, for example, uses various hashtags and adapts the social wall to fit whatever is going on at the university at that moment.
Here we see the NYU social wall displayed on a screen on campus.
Sunita Devi, Director of Events and Operations at NYU, says. “We promote walls and hashtags during university-wide events such as Commencement, Grad Alley and Welcome Week and create themes across the building.”
Opportunities for social walls also include Game Days, where a social wall — especially if displayed prominently at the stadium — can really help boost team spirit.
Permanent social hubs
Of course, social walls don’t have to be temporary. There are plenty of reasons to set up more permanent solutions for your university and reap the benefits of a social hub. A good social wall can also help you raise the profile of your university.
Why not set up a social wall for the whole university? These walls usually run long-term and are a great place for providing information about the university, giving people an insight into what’s going on and creating a connection between students, staff, alumni, visitors, etc.
An excellent example is Case Western Reserve University. CWRU has incorporated a Walls.io social wall into the two-storey multimedia wall on campus. On top of contributions from students and departments, the university also offers event organisers use of the social wall — an important selling point when renting out the building as an event space.
“The Media Wall is also a nice selling point for conferences or workshops hosted in our venue. Oftentimes, these large events have a designated hashtag. We incorporate these hashtags into the wall, and event organizers love seeing content show up that’s specifically about them and their guests.”Case Western Reserve University
Check out our showcase blog post to find out more about how CWRU uses social walls.
Social walls aren’t just for active students. They’re also a fantastic way of keeping in touch with alumni whose connection to their alma mater is strong.
A social wall helps the university keep alumni in the loop, but it also allows former students to share their own stories and where they are in their lives right now.
The Boston University Alumni Association uses a social wall to update people, feature interviews with alumni, or simply to stay in touch with former students with a bit of banter.
The social wall is also embedded on the alumni association’s website with the words “There’s no better way to keep up with what’s happening at BU or in the lives of your fellow Terriers.”
Showcasing student achievements
You can also use a social wall to highlight the amazing things your students are doing — whether it’s charitable work they’ve completed over the summer, prizes they’ve won, or art they’ve created during their studies.
The University of the Arts in Philadelphia (UArts) has set up a social wall dedicated to students’ creations, collected under the hashtags #UArtist. The social wall is embedded on a subpage of the website where specific artists are featured in more detail as well.
How to run a social wall at your university
Whether you’re looking to set up a brand new social wall or want to improve your current setup, there’s so much we can all learn from what our university customers are already doing with their social walls.
Set up a microsite
A microsite is a neat way to keep everything about an event in one place. It’s a one-stop-shop for information and shows people how they can get involved.
For fundraisers, you can also add a countdown, the tally of donations so far, etc. And after the event is over, the microsite turns into a recap of the fundraiser and lays the groundwork for next year’s event.
Florida State University has set up a wonderful microsite for the Great Give, an annual fundraising event for the school.
FSU also embedded the social wall on the Great Give microsite.
Embed your social wall on your website
Of course, it doesn’t have to be a microsite. You can also embed your social wall anywhere else on your website. Simply adjust the look of your social wall to fit in seamlessly with your website design.
Here, we see the University of Toronto social wall embedded on the Back to School section of the website.
And here is Tiffin University’s general social wall, embedded on the website to give visitors some insight into what’s going on at the university.
The social wall is not tied to any particular topic, allowing the social wall to change and feature all kinds of posts throughout the school year. It works well as a long-term embed on the school’s website.
Embedding a social wall on a microsite or your university’s website is incredibly easy. Just grab the embed code from your Walls.io dashboard (you can tweak the settings to adjust how your embed will look) and paste it into the place on your site where you want to embed it.
Communicate your hashtag
What good are a hashtag and a social wall if no one knows about either of them? It’s important to properly communicate your hashtag to your students, visitors, staff, alumni and donors.
Here’s a good example from Macquarie University in Sydney pointing website visitors towards the graduation hashtag #mqgrads.
Meanwhile, the Graduation Team at Queen Mary University of London is explicitly encouraging students to use the #QMULGrad hashtag to make their posts show up on the social wall on the big screen.
There are lots of other ways to promote your hashtag and social walls as well: flyers, posters at an event venue or the cafeteria, newsletters, through student unions, on campus radio, via social media and many more.
Set up multiple walls
Sometimes it makes sense to go big, for example, when different departments are all planning to set up social walls. The Walls.io Premium account includes five social walls — setting up separate accounts for those would be less cost-efficient.
So share your social wall account with other departments (simply set up different people as admins for the account). Or, of course, if you don’t feel like sharing, you can always use different walls for different campaigns, goals or target groups.
Adapt your wall and go from Signing Day to Graduation Day
Now, we do know that not every department or university has the budget for an ongoing Premium account. And that’s okay. Because there are always other options. You don’t have to limit yourself, and you can still do all the awesome campaigns that you want to do.
Just keep one social wall and change how you use it throughout the year. Swap out the header, change your sources and hashtags, vary your background, change your social wall URL and go smoothly from Signing Day to Freshers Week and on to Graduation Day.
To change your social wall URL, go to your Walls.io Dashboard. Now simply change the URL in your Basic Settings panel and save your changes.
Many universities have one wall and switch how they use it as needed. Remember La Salle University’s Day of Giving social wall that we mentioned earlier? Later in the year, the university simply adapted the existing social wall for the commencement ceremony. With a different hashtag and a new URL, you’ve got a whole new social wall.
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Reap the benefits of a university social wall
I hope that you’ve enjoyed the varied examples of social walls from all our customers. We wanted to show you the many uses of a social wall but, of course, there’s always more that you can do.