Penn expands its social media landscape

Social Media Penn

It seems as if everyone is using social media these days, tweeting, liking, sharing, posting, updating, and such.

Penn is part of the dialogue, with more than 20,000 Twitter followers and nearly 50,000 likes on Facebook, which allow subscribers to keep up with the daily and hourly happenings in and around campus. But there’s much more to Penn’s social media landscape than just Facebook and Twitter. The University also has a large presence on the photo and multimedia driven platforms of Instagram and Tumblr.

Instagram is a free photograph-sharing network that enables users to take a photo, apply a variety of filters or effects to that photo, and then distribute it to others. Penn’s Instagram account lets followers view and share campus images and memorable moments from special events.

“I try to repost anything (that is) posted by anyone that reflects a positive portrayal of Penn,” says Matt Griffin, Penn’s social media manager. “If someone posts a great picture of the Quad on Instagram and tags it with #uofpenn, #upenn or #penn, I’ll see it, respond to it, and offer it to a larger audience.”

Launched in early 2007, Tumblr (absent an “e,” like Flickr) is part social network/part microblog. The social platform permits its users to post and share multimedia and other content via short-form blogs. Penn’s Tumblr page is one of more than 77 million short-form blogs on the site. 

Griffin says Penn’s Instagram and Tumblr platforms have seen tremendous audience growth over the past year, and he has developed strategies for making the sites relevant to a Penn audience. Only a month old, the University’s Instagram profile is already approaching 1,000 subscribers.

“It’s important to me that we really adhere to the social nature of these platforms,” Griffin says. “It’s not just about blasting our information into the universe. I want to engage our audience and let them know that Penn cares about their experiences and that they’re a part of this greater community.”

Originally published on December 20, 2012