Your students are an infinite, often untapped, source of talent and content.
You just need to know where to dig for it.
Our guest this week on Enrollment Growth University was Lougan Bishop, Web and Digital Media Manager at Belmont University. Lougan leads a student-driven social media team at the university, who are helping redefine how and why social media is being used at a collegiate level.
Lougan gave us a peek into just what sets his street team apart from grassroots guerilla marketing by creating relevant and engaging content.
Here are the highlights from our interview.
Recruiting Your Student Street Team
If you’re leading a social media or web team for your school, chances are you’re wearing more than just that hat and rely upon a team to help curate and produce content for you, but if you’re new to the role, it can be hard to know where to find the right people.
Lougan shared us with how he finds (and retains) talent for the Boulevard Team, the students he’s gathered to both hit the pavement to find great social media content and also breathe new life and ideas into an ever-changing medium.
Facebook groups are used to help find and connect incoming students. Lougan has the current Boulevard team monitor and moderate the groups, giving incoming students that added touchpoint of interacting directly with existing Boulevard students.
For existing students, Lougan takes advantage of various student events to get the word out about their team, usually through an interactive booth, which he tries to staff with current Boulevard team members when possible.
It’s important to Lougan that students be given credit for the work that they create and post via Belmont’s social media, whether it’s a video or photo gallery. If it goes live, students are given credit, which is great incentive for other students–especially more established students who are looking for new opportunities on campus.
Creating a Conveyor Belt of Student Talent
Lougan is so successful in recruiting passionate individuals through these various channels that his Boulevard street team is run purely by student volunteers, who see the experience as an opportunity to learn and grow beyond just what they are studying for their major.
Unfortunately, every passionate and dedicated individual will, inevitably, graduate, but don’t let that stop you from seeking out those highly engaged students–they hold the talent, quality, and motivation necessary to kick off a “conveyor belt” of like-minded students.
The Boulevard team is split up into four pods–each pod responsible for a specific type of content, like video or music, with pods being led by the more senior students.
Not only are these pods great for continued variety of content, but they have been structured in such a way that talent is drawn out of new students who have joined the team, while fostering an environment that creates future leaders. As students graduate, younger students step up to fill their spot and the conveyor belt rolls on.
Student-led mentorship, with Lougan’s oversight, has been invaluable tool in recruiting and retaining top talent year after year.
Why Your University Should Build a Street Team
What started as an experiment with Lougan engaging the input of two students in an effort to prove that collaborating with the right students can create something fresh and amazing, turned into the Boulevard street teams he oversees today.
These student-driven street teams are helping give Belmont a more authentic voice across their various social media platforms. As students, they know what other students are interested in, which leads to curating great stories and even producing new content that connects with their peers through the various Boulevard pods.
Above all, street teams have been a way for the Boulevard team to experiment to see what works, what’s engaging, and what trends need to be phased out, all the while building community and keeping students connected to the heart of Belmont.
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