At the heart of Harvard University is its students. Our social media accounts worked alongside our Harvard Gazette news website to showcase their incredible stories. Our key objectives included:
1. Illustrate and address the diversity of experiences at the University and communicate those in a way that is approachable, inclusive, and empowering to all
2. Help to foster a culture of inclusion within the campus community
3. Show how students are making an impact in the world
4. Share relatable and relevant digital stories to our global audiences
With these goals in mind, our digital, editorial, and creative teams collaborated to bring unique stories from our students to platforms like Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our news website.
Our digital, editorial, and creative teams produced and shared dozens of student stories and several campaigns over the last year with the goal of highlighting the diversity of experiences within the University and the impact our students are making in the world. These stories included:
Bloomberg Harvard City Initiative: Mapping Poverty in Laredo: Harvard students embedded themselves in mayors' offices around the country in a new fellowship program targeting local challenges.
Elsie Tellier: Since she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, Elsie Tellier '19 has lived with a reality that has forced her to make the most of every moment.
21 Colorful Crimson: The 21 students who comprise 21 Colorful Crimson, a group of singers, filmmakers, songwriters, and producers, celebrate their creative talents and diverse backgrounds through music.
Dear Graduate: For a student, graduation is one of the most exhilarating, emotional days in her life. But for the parents and guardians of those graduating, the learning began many years earlier—and they had front row seats to see it all lead to Harvard.
Sand Artist: Dasha Bough '21, who came to campus from Montana by way of Russia, is a self-taught sand artist who has immersed herself in the arts and humanities.
Our focus on student stories also sparked two social media campaigns:
#MyHarvardStory: This campaign highlighted the transformative experience of Harvard through stories and photos submitted by students and alumni. Using Instagram posts on the @Harvard account, the series featured first-hand quotes from students and alumni reflecting on Harvard's diverse community, opportunities Harvard afforded them, and how Harvard has changed them.
#HarvardUnwind: In this series, we interviewed students taking a break around campus with questions like, "What's the most important thing you brought with you from home?" and "As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?" We asked questions big and small to share stories from the people that make up Harvard, showing a lighter side of campus.
Through these inspiring student stories, we aimed to connect our global audiences with students on campus, making Harvard more accessible to all.
Over the last year, Harvard has produced and published videos across web and social media platforms totaling over 2 million views. Our @Harvard Instagram recently reached a major milestone, surpassing 1 million followers. We've had steady growth in followers and engagement on Twitter and Facebook.
Because of our focus on telling student stories, we've seen incredible feedback from both internal and external audiences. Our posts have helped to foster a culture of inclusion within the campus community and also showcase how Harvard students are making an impact in the world.