Ithaca College’s How I See IC Series: Creative Engagement on Instagram

Michelle Ammirati by on Nov 11, 2015

Scrolling through the Ithaca College Instagram reveals a very active and vibrant community of students and the beauty of the greater Ithaca area. Standing out amongst the over 1200 posts on the account is the college’s How I See IC series. Over the course of the year, @ithacacollege enlists students as guest users to take over the account for the day.


How I See IC Series

The #HowISeeIC takeovers include a short description about the guest user, followed by their posts throughout the day. Guest users have previously included students on campus, students studying abroad or in study-away U.S. programs, clubs or organizations, and even a guiding eyes for the blind puppy-in-training.


Posts from a #HowISeeIC Takeover

Stemming from the How I See IC series, in 2014, the college added How I Saw IC during senior week with a plan to feature one graduating senior per day until graduation. The guest users included one graduating senior from each of the five schools at the institution. On the Thursday during last year’s senior week, the college added a similar feature called How We Saw IC, featuring #tbt posts from graduating seniors. Taking the idea even further, to engage alumni with the student body, Ithaca College started including a day in the life of alumni for a series called Life After IC.


How I Saw IC (Left), How We Saw IC (Center) and Life After IC (Right) Posts

By featuring current students, students about to transition into alumni and current alumni, the institution offers a creative way to engage multiple stakeholders in the collegiate experience. Not only is the method engaging, but it works perfectly for the strategic message channel – this type of takeover would be much less fitting on other social media platforms. Instagram offers a unique combination of instant pictures and nostalgic weekly throwback trends, which is the perfect landscape for the How I See IC and subsequent alumni series.

Though Ithaca is succeeding at its creative and unique guest user marketing technique, gaining more followers is an essential next step in keeping alumni engaged on less popular social media channels. Ithaca’s Instagram account has already mastered the best practices of creative engagement; it’s just a shame that more people are not seeing this innovative way to keep Ithacan’s all over the world connected. The college’s successes – and shortcomings – provide a learning experience for other institutions of higher education facing the same challenges within the social media engagement landscape.

For more information on Alumni Monitor and our research on alumni outreach and engagement, please contact Dana Peterson at dpeterson@corporateinsight.com or visit us at alumnimonitor.corporateinsight.com.

About The Author

Michelle Ammirati

Michelle is an Analyst for Healthcare Monitor at Corporate Insight. Read more