How Ridley College increased its social media presence with a fun competition and simple employee incentive — the Influencer Award.
If you are a marketer in an independent school, it is likely you feel challenged to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders while staying on top of daily school activities or events. Some of you may find yourselves torn between photographing the finish line at Sports Day or meeting a pressing deadline back in the office—but there is a solution. By empowering and incentivizing your faculty and staff to post to social media and tag your official accounts, you can provide audiences with an authentic 360-degree view of your school without straining resources.
When Ridley’s Communications Department of three was responding to an increased volume of projects, it became apparent that we needed to find creative solutions to being in two places at once.
In Winter 2018, when Ridley’s Communications Department of three was responding to an increased volume of projects, it became apparent that we needed to find creative solutions to being in two places at once. For years, we had been attending events (big or small, on or off campus) while meeting tight timelines, and it became clear that our community of social influencers could help.
Within weeks, we began to see perspectives of the school we would have otherwise struggled to showcase.
After securing an inexpensive golden hashtag trophy from a popular interior design store, Ridley launched the “Influencer Award” competition. At an all-employee assembly following the Christmas holidays, we motivated faculty and staff to up their social media games by consistently posting authentic and creative content and tagging Ridley’s official handles. In return, the Communication Department promised to crown a winner each month; giving them public praise and a ballot in a year-end draw for a mystery prize (GoPro Session camera).
Within weeks, we began to see perspectives of the school we would have otherwise struggled to showcase. Faculty and staff began to post captivating content: from video of our rowers on the water at sunrise, to photos from service-learning trips to Malawi, to ah-ha moments in math class. We began engaging with our employees digitally and sharing this genuine “insider” content, which created an organic digital rapport.
In the first six months, the Influencer Award saw a 51% increase in mentions, 63% spike in impressions…all with only 7% increase in employee participation. These metrics indicate that over time and with more active influencers vying for the award, Ridley is poised to recruit even more social mavens keen to provide a fulsome picture of our remarkable school.
Get more brilliant ideas and brain food. Subscribe to our newsletter.
Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing, Ridley College
Andrea Carisse is currently the Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing at Ridley College. After completing her Masters of Arts in Communications from the University of Ottawa, Andrea worked as an Account Director and Digital Strategist at Banfield Agency where she managed national and international brands. Her past experience also spans journalism and sports marketing.