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Jon-Stephen StanselJon-Stephen Stansel, Digital Media Specialist at the University of Central Arkansas, is one of the 12 presenters of the 2019 Higher Ed Content Conference.

In this 4-question interview, Jon shares with us thoughts on content creation process and measurement, interesting higher ed content and a favorite tool.

1) What does your content creation process look like?

Like many schools, our social media department is a team of one. So, I create the bulk of the content myself. Whenever possible, I try to recycle assets created for other areas, reformatting it to work in each social network. For example, I might take a graphic element that was designed for a print piece and turn it into a GIF sticker or a Snapchat filter. The idea for our GIPHY channel came from this method, when our photographer had a photo shoot with the mascot for another project. I said, “Hey, while we’ve got the mascot here, let’s grab some video and create some GIFs” and it became one of our most successful projects.

2) How is the performance of your content measured at your school?

For us, it’s all about engagement. We want content that our audience is going to interact with. For the GIFs, it’s a little difficult to measure as GIPHY’s analytics tools are anything but robust. So, we have to rely on our social listening skills to see how they are being used by students organically. We’ve even polled students on Instagram to see what kind of GIFs they’d like to see. In fact, that’s where we first got the idea to have GIFs of the president! It’s what the students wanted!


3) Name 3 pieces of higher ed content that made you envious or proud?

Texas A&M’s GIF Photo boothTexas A&M’s GIF Photo booth was such a cool idea. And to turn their mascot into the Nyan Cat on the branding of the booth was such a great touch. It was really a fun and clever way to have students spread their brand message. @TAMU has really taken their social media to the next level over the past few years. They’ve brought onboard some top talent and love to see what that team creates. As the kids say, that team is “squad goals.” (Do the kids still say that?)

The University of Florida’s GIPHY channel is the gold standard for university’s on GIPHY. The sheer amount of content is mind-boggling and it’s all unique and authentic. They’ve really found a way to stay on brand without limiting themselves or their creativity. It’s fun and authentic.

University of Houston has really been killing it on Twitter lately. They have found that sweet spot of weird and quirky without going overboard and alienating followers. They’ve developed a fun almost “anything goes” voice that is really taking their engagement to the next level. Their style isn’t for every school, but they’ve made it work for them and I love seeing what they do.

4) What’s your favorite new tool for your work with content?

GIPHY, of course! I love being able to easily create and share university branded GIFs. And because GIPHY is used for GIF search on almost every platform, including text message, our audience can use our GIFs almost anywhere.

A conference focusing on higher ed content?

The Higher Ed Content Conference is a must-attend event for higher ed content professionals and teams looking for new ideas and best practices.

Read below what a few of your higher ed colleagues who attended the past editions of the Higher Ed Content Conference say about the experience.

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