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Special Project

Special Project
From the 7th Annual Shorty Awards

University of Houston

Entered in Education


#GoCoogs. #CoogsHouse. #CougarRedFriday. University of Houston students, alumni and fans always find new ways to connect with their school and each other on social media. We're the first university to launch a Snapchat account to communicate with students. We maintain a presence on 11 social media platforms, and counting. Below you'll see four social media campaigns outlined that were hosted by the University of Houston in 2014. These showcase how UH successfully and creatively uses social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Strategy and Execution

At the University of Houston, we are constantly trying new ways to engage via social media. Here are four examples from 2014:

Cougar Red Valentine's Friday (2/14/2014) [Snapchat Scavenger Hunt]

UHouston's Snapchat followers were sent hints regarding the locations of five Valentine's Day cards hidden around campus. The 5 people who found the cards were rewarded with boxes of UH chocolates.

This scavenger hunt was an effort towards the following goals:
1. Increase Snapchat followers by 5%
2. Increase engagement by 50% on Facebook and Twitter to boost awareness and build affinity with students (future alumni)

With a total budget of $65 for prizes and materials, this event produced the following results:
Snapchat followers increased by approx. 10%
Posts to share the scavenger hunt winners' photo received:
53% more likes on Facebook than the monthly average per post
62% more impressions on Twitter than the monthly average per post
194% more engagement on Twitter than the monthly average per post

Houston Business Journal's Alumni Madness Competition (10/10/14 - 11/11/14)

The Alumni Madness spirit competition was a voter-based competition with three rounds of brackets. Users were asked to vote for the Texas university with the most school spirit. Universities with the most votes advance to the next round.

1. Win Houston Business Journal's Alumni Madness spirit competition
2. Successful call-to-action: increase click through rate of engaged users by 15%
3. Generate 75,000 impressions on UH social posts
4. Receive awareness in Houston through mentions by Houston Business Journal on their social media platforms and website

Encourage followers to vote for UH in the Alumni Madness competition by sharing the link to the ballot 13 times across several different UH social media channels. Also, announce when UH advances to next round in order to keep up excitement and keep the competition on everyone's radar.

1. Won Houston Business Journal's Alumni Madness spirit competition by receiving 71% of votes in final round
2. Received an 89% increase in the click through rate of engaged users on the posts promoting the competition compared to the click through rate of engaged users during a similar time frame
3. Generated 178,000+ impressions from UH social posts
4. Expanded awareness in Houston – HBJ announced University of Houston as winner of competition, helping us to reach their audience, approx. 34,000 followers across multiple social media platforms, and placement on the HBJ website

#FinalsMania Event: December 8, 2014

For Finals Mania we encouraged students to take a photo with a life-size cardboard cut-out of our mascot and post the photo to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, with the hashtag #FinalsMania to receive a raffle ticket to win one of 3 iPad minis.

1. Increase followers and engagement with the UH social media sites
2. Use of the hashtag #FinalsMania to exceed 75 times in order to raise awareness of the event and show support for student success

- Instagram
Gained 117 new followers on Instagram
234.3% increase compared to daily average of 35 new followers per day over the past month
- Snapchat
Gained 65 new followers on Snapchat
441.6% increase compared to daily average of 12 new followers per day in December 2014
Message posted received 1.8K opens and 17 screenshots
133.3% increase compared to average of 3 screenshots per message
Average opens for December =1.8K per message
- Facebook
77 likes gained on Facebook
13.2% increase compared to daily average of 68 new likes per day in December 2014
- Twitter
Four #FinalsMania announcement tweets got an average of 3,305 impressions each
192.2% increase compared to the average impressions of 1131 for all other tweets in December

Total posts by audience across all four platforms including the hashtag #FinalsMania: 153+

UH1UP Challenge (9/8/14 - 11/14/14)

1,088 students participated in the 2014 UH1UP Challenge, a task-based "scavenger hunt" hosted by the University of Houston. This initiative relied on game mechanics to help students find resources for success. Several tasks had layered circumstances, timing challenges, and off-campus commitments (like community service). Each task in the challenge also supported strategic goals for the university, including student success, affinity building, and community engagement. To play, students completed tasks and used their smart phones to submit photos of their activity to an app called Scavify. The app included a sharing component prompting participants to natively share the UH1UP Challenge photos via their own personal profiles on other social platforms. The 2014 UH1UP Challenge increased over the previous year by 115% in participation, and 87% in task completion rates.


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Entrant Company / Organization Name

University of Houston


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