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Snapchat Goes to College

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With 77% of university students saying that they use Snapchat on the daily basis, it’s no wonder that universities have quickly jumped onto this trend to unlock new opportunities for marketing, recruitment and community building. Unlike other social media apps, Snapchat is more personal, direct and unfiltered than its more established peers (e.g. Facebook and Instagram).

The app gives us the chance to show perspective students what life is like on campus through the viewpoints of various students broadcasting their everyday lives. On a more personal level, it allows us to reach out to students on an individual basis, responding to their questions and reminding them of events once they are on campus. Although Snapchat content is unique compared to other social media sources, it is still just as important to put out engaging content that leads followers to keep coming back. Here are some tips we have come up with for creating effective snaps:

It’s all about the People

Duke has so many diverse and interesting people from all over and Snapchat is a great way to showcase that. From yo-yo protégés to the many influential people who seem to always be strolling across campus, there is no shortage of action.


Rapid-Fire Snaps

Rapid-fire snaps are various snaps of the same event or task, normally taken is some kind of humorous way (e.g. “Courtesy of David Rubenstein or undercover Tim Cook…”).


Emojis are your Friend

Make Emojis part of your picture in a way that enhances the overall image. My personal favorite is a monkey hanging off the many campus cranes.

Draw Something

You don’t have to be Picasso, but drawing images makes your snaps more interesting. Try to play on current events or fun “Duke things” if you can. (Hint: You can add devil horns to just about anything)IMG_6460


One of the biggest benefits of SnapChat is seeing what s prospective and current student send back to us. Each of these is an opportunity to engage in a way that is personal and genuine, but still professional.

Dillon Patel is a economics senior and a graphic design intern at the Office of News and Communications.