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‘Tis the season again! With graduations ceremonies around the corner, many colleges are looking for last-minute solutions to bring more fun and sharing to the ceremony through social media.  After all, a graduation is the perfect time to boost your students’ engagement.  Here are 3 tips to make your graduation ceremony more interactive and  enhance your other education marketing efforts:

1. Create a hashtag for the ceremony: Hashtags can be used for Twitter and Instagram and will allow you and everyone following the hashtag to share stories about your event. NYU used the hashtag #CongratagradNYU to have families and friends congratulate their graduates. No need to have your Graduation ceremony at the Yankees Stadium like NYU to make it fun!  A simple screen in the graduation arena/auditorium can be a fun way to add memories to the ceremony. The University of Central Oklahoma used the TweetBeam feature and thus tripled the engagement from last fall. This new way of visualizing Twitter loads tweets live from Twitter on one page that can be customized by creating walls for any topic. (In the example below, the keywords were “queensu2013” , for Queens University’s 2013 Convocation.)

Higher Education Marketing Tweet Beam

2. Ask your students to tag themselves: Ask students and attendees to use your specific hashtag to share pictures of the event on Twitter and Instagram. Then feature the shared pictures on Facebook and ask your grads to tag themselves. The University of Southern California posted hundreds of photos on its Facebook account within hours of the ceremony ending, with the simple message of, “Congrats to all our 2013 graduates! These photos were collected from this year’s USC grad social media campaign. See yourself or your friends here? Tag them in your comments and give them a big “fight on!” Everyone started liking, tagging and commenting immediately, keeping the party going way after the end of the ceremony. New tools are now available to allow attendees to tag themselves in very large crowds. Boston University decided to use Giga Tag that allows users to tag themselves, and share shots with their communities. Here is a peek at Boston University’s graduation ceremony Giga Tag.

3. Share your graduates’ personal stories on video that will be played at the ceremony: In the weeks leading to graduation, Boston College featured interviews of seniors that were about to graduate. They then created a video series, Class of 2013 Seniors to Remember. A great way to connect and bring electricity to your ceremony.

What will you do this year to make your college’s graduation ceremony more interactive?