By Hannah Neumann
With over 165,000 alumni worldwide, Baylor is amping up their social media performance for homecoming events, to ensure that those who cannot attend will be able to indulge in the experience.
“It’s an incredible opportunity to communicate with our people, the Baylor family, all over the world,” said Jeff Brown, director of social media communications.
Brown said with an increase of social media following and the Baylor homecoming hype, they are working to bring even more coverage than normal for the weekend.
With social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest, the university has increased its social following to over 240,000 collectively.
Brown said they’ve already began coverage of homecoming by sharing photo galleries of homecoming from past decades. He said as the weekend progresses however, they expect to start live posting the primary events, as well as retweeting others’ posts and pulling their photos into galleries.
“We’ll be sharing photos and updates from the various events primarily because we know we’ll have thousands of alumni here on campus, but the majority of alumni still won’t be here, and this is a chance to take homecoming to them.”
“We’re really just trying to share the experience with those who can’t get back to campus, and to also maybe boost the experience of those who are here,” he said.
San Antonio freshman Jenevie Guerrero said she is going home for the weekend and is sad to be missing her first Baylor homecoming.
“I’m beyond sad that I won’t be attending, but I know at least I’ll be kept up to date both by Baylor’s social media and my friends’ accounts,” she said. “Everyone loves to tweet and post pictures of my bears so I’ll be looking for all of their posts while I’m home.”
In the 2013 Student Advisor ranking of the top Social Media Colleges, Baylor ranked no. 16 in the nation and first among the Big 12.
Baylor alumni Joe Holloway said he attributed the rise of Baylor’s brand to its expansive social media coverage and larger following.
“The rise of Baylor in academics and athletics coincides with the rise of social media in general, so those two things happening at the same time create a robust social media environment around Baylor University,” Holloway said.
He said he follows every baylor account, and looks forward to homecoming whether he can make it back or just follow through the accounts.
“I haven’t made it back every year since I graduated in 2009, but there are very few opportunities for me to see a good chunk of the people I hung out with at Baylor all in one spot and all for one reason,” Holloway said. “And that is homecoming.”
Holloway said with as ubiquitous as social media is right now, he has been able to follow most of the happenings at Baylor not just on homecoming, but year round, something Brown said he’d hoped for.
“We hope this gives people a reason to come follow us and see what we’ve got going on and that they’ll stick with us,” Brown said. “That they’re not here just to see what’s going on at homecoming but that they’ll continue to follow us and engage year round.”
Brown said the suggested hashtag for the weekend is #Baylorhomecoming, and that Baylor can be followed on several social media sites. Tweets with the hashtag will be posted at the game on the big screen.
“The students and staff who are in charge of the accounts do a great job of putting important information on there,” Brown said.