Getting Your (Social Media) Game On

My “peeps” fall into two categories.

There are the people I went to high school or college with and then there are those who, like me, work in social media.

I’ve known the first group of people for 15-20 years. They attended my wedding, listened to my cringe-worthy rendition of Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” in college, and can recall, with surprising clarity, my ill-fated attempt to complete an entire season of NHL 94 (including playoffs) on the Sega game system over the course of a single weekend.

My social media peeps are much different. I’ve only known them for a few years and what they know about me–that I REALLY dig frozen Twizzlers, ABBA, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khanthey have gleaned from reading my blog posts. But, oddly enough, I see my social media colleagues more than the people I’ve known for decades. In some respects, this is intentional. I’ve made it a point to present at more social media-related conferences and, as such, I’ve spent a lot of time with my social media colleagues.

(To be fair, it’s been more difficult to connect with my long-time friends since we live in different states, have children, and are busy with work and family life.)

Last month, I met up with some of my friends in social media at the first annual “Social Media Strategies Summit-Higher Education,” which was held in Boston. The event was a great opportunity to see what my colleagues were working on and there was one particular presentation that resonated with me. It was “Social & Curriculum: Gamifying the Learning Experience” by Corey Pavdeen of T2 Marketing.  Corey’s presentation took a deep dive into gamification, which is defined as a “process of making systems, service, and activities more enjoyable and motivating. Gamification commonly employs game design elements which are used in so called non-game contexts in attempts to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, and flow.”

As social media manager for the Harvard Business School’s (HBS) Alumni Office, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to engage with our graduates so the week after the summit–inspired by Corey’s presentation–I launched a new game at HBS. I dubbed the contest, “Guess That HBS Scene” and the premise was simple. Each week, I would post a different campus-related photo on Facebook and ask alumni to guess what the image conveyed. The first alumnus/a who answered correctly each week would win a prize.

Read more here.


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