As of October 2012, more than a billion people across the world were active users of Facebook. Twitter’s numbers continue to grow, with 200 million and counting. Among these figures are Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Social Media platforms are providing new and innovative ways for the Colleges to connect and interact with the HWS and Geneva communities through organic, genuine conversation.
Take a quick scroll through the HWS Facebook page, and one can see a vibrant representation of life in Geneva – colorful photos of hot air balloons on the Quad, hundreds of “likes” for Chaplain Lesley Adams’ birthday, and the thoughtful recollections of spring at HWS sparked by a photo of flowers blooming in front of Coxe Hall.
Students, alums and parents can check-in daily on Facebook, where a digital campus provides information on happenings on campus and in the Geneva community, as well as news from the Colleges and HWS alums across the globe. Not only does Facebook provide a space to keep all friends of the Colleges up to date, but it has also created a space where the Colleges can show their gratitude through giveaways and contests – everything from copies of the HWS coffee table book to sweatshirts and memorabilia.
Follow the Colleges on Twitter to get a front seat at major events on campus. Watch as the members of Koshare prepare for their standing room only performance, catch the Statesmen’s NCAA bid as it unfolds in real time, or participate in Homecoming Weekend from half the world away – all in actual time with live-Tweeting of major events.
Instagram, a social media app that allows users to post photos for their followers in a clean, quick format – replete with colorful and vintage photo filters – not only provides the Colleges with a way to exhibit the beauty of Seneca Lake or the Smith Lawn, but it also provides students with a means to connect with one another.
Looking through photos posted by students to Instagram, one can truly see the threads that interweave to form the fabric of the Colleges. With students as constant photographers, small details emerge – a piece of artwork hanging in a secluded corner, the lines formed by the light through the library window. All of these intricate pieces come together to create a full and dynamic portrait of campus life that perhaps a pamphlet or a news article might not achieve.
For those who are avid “pinners,” the Colleges are also active on photo sharing website Pinterest. A virtual pinboard, the site allows fellow users to “pin” and “repin” images and links to their own boards. Perhaps you are looking for inspiration on attire to wear to the next Herons’ lacrosse game? Check out the HWS Colleges “Purple, Green and Orange” board. Do you like to curate tranquil photos for those days where you seek design guidance from natural scenes? Turn to the Colleges’ “HWS at Night” board or grab wallpaper for your desktop background on the “HWS Wallpaper” board.
Even on-the-go, the Colleges are just a few finger taps away. The HWS Mobile App provides a quick and easy way to access the Colleges’ daily newsfeed, calendar and beloved This Week in Photos compilation. Available for all iOS mobile devices free of charge, the app is packed with information – from on-campus phone numbers to maps and athletics updates.
In a world where social media is almost second-nature, and often impersonal, Hobart and William Smith have created a personal connection with its alums, students, friends and prospective students. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram alike have provided a space for meaningful connection – for our community to share in its love and support of the Colleges. We invite you to join us and to “return to campus” – even if it’s only for a few moments a day.