Social media is one of the biggest outlets for getting information out to the public in today’s society – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram being among the most popular. Each social media network is uniquely designed to share different aspects of life happening nationally and locally.
Facebook connects friends and family through pictures, messages and wall posts. Twitter can post pictures and video, but is mostly used for a quicker turnaround of the latest news or gossip. Instagram utilizes pictures and video to show the newest information in a visual way.
Melissa Morris, social media specialist for the Division of Communications and Marketing, said the university is recognizing that students are receiving information through social media constantly.
“We recognize that people are most likely to use social media on mobile devices,” Morris said. “Key teen and young adult audiences are active on Instagram, which makes it an ideal place for Kansas State to communicate with those audiences.”
K-State has utilized all these networks and more to share the latest news with a wide variety of people. The university has had an official Facebook page since 2008, and a Twitter account since 2009. However, they had yet to get on the Instagram craze until this semester.
Morris said the students on campus have already created a large community on Instagram before the official K-State account was created.
“Before the launch, K-State fans had already cemented a K-State community on Instagram through #KState,” Morris said. “More than 30,000 photos have been tagged with #KState to date.”
The university is known for the promoting of being apart of the “family” through athletics and organizations. This has been emphasized even more through the social media outlets and the hashtags students use.
“We are embracing what K-State fans love about Instagram by sharing photos highlighting unique K-State features and engaging with content shared by the fans,” Morris said.
The new Instagram account, @kansasstateuniversity, so far features pictures of the happenings around campus, student activities and sporting events. Almost all of the pictures posted come from people who are fans of the university, students and people who live within the Manhattan community.
Cindy Hollingsworth, social media manager for the Division of Communications and Marketing, said the office chooses what content is distributed on the social media websites.
“For the general K-State social media channels that our office administers, we filter through the many great K-State stories, events and programs to choose what content will be shared on each of our outlets,” Hollingsworth said.
Social Media Services in the Division of Communications and Marketing was designed in March 2012 to manage K-State’s social media presence. Since its creation, K-State’s Facebook reach has increased nearly 50 percent and Twitter followers have more than doubled.
Hollingsworth said there have been even more advances in the social media outlets since then.
“In that time frame, we established a presence on Google+, increased the following on Foursquare, broadened the use of Pinterest, and our newest, launched Instagram,” Hollingsworth said.
While the social media outlets reach different groups of people, they all emphasize the events and friendships that happen at K-State and in the Manhattan community.
Brittany Husong, sophomore in communications studies, said the new visual impact of Instagram can attract more students.
“Instagram is a good way to show people how to get involved and give them a good visual,” Husong said. “For a future Kansas State student, they can look at the things K-State really has to offer for them in a fun and familiar way.”
The university and communications departments encourages all students to be following and interacting with all of the different social media accounts whether that be on Facebook, Twitter or the latest launched social media, Instagram.
“We love having K-State students be social with the university on all of the university social media accounts,” Morris said. “We encourage students to use #KState in their social media posts to join in on the K-State community conversations.”