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Social Media Contest

September 12th, 2017, by

by Karen Lynden

Winners of the Social Media Contest

Capturing the X-Culture Symposium Story:  Social Media Contest

The inaugural X-Culture Symposium “Social Media Contest” was designed for participating students invited to the Miami 2017 event.  The result was excellent, as hundreds of team and individual moments were recorded and cataloged using the Facebook hashtag #xculturemiami

Students photographed and shared their special moments of working together, workshop highlights, presentations, outings, and their favorite symposium experiences.


Congratulations to our Miami 2017 Winners:

  • Antonia James:  Photo Journalist Award
  • Laura Cobos:  Public Relations Specialist Award
  • Lisa Joyce Njoki:  Most Likes


From an administration perspective, here are the key take-aways: 


Brochure:  The brochures were valuable in communicating the contest to students.  We need to continue to print these in color, and include in the welcome/registration materials.


Timeline:  An electronic version should be sent out in advance of student travel so ideas and the buzz about participating can start well before arrival.  Now that we have past experience behind us, we can promote this contest on the “Facebook closed group” before the symposium.  This will encourage posts from students before the symposium begins, soliciting photos of home countries and students leaving airports from all around the world.  This will also help students think about the contest before the event, and maybe we will gain even more momentum and creativity in posts submitted.


Social Media Channels and Tracking:  The primary purpose of the contest is to create a buzz and capture the photos and stories for X-Culture.  X-Culture has a large Facebook following and in addition, students create Facebook groups.  Facebook closed groups are also used pre-conference.  While there are other social media channels students and X-Culture uses, adding other social media channels in the contest resulted in the same photos posted to different channels, and the possibility of students earning credit for same post across several channels.  Additionally, it is challenging to monitor multiple social media channels without using a fee-based tracking tool.  At this time, we would like to continue to use no-cost social media tracking tools so the funds we have for the symposium can be used for what we see at this time as “higher student impact” items (scholarships, prize money, events, etc.).  Perhaps as budgets grow, the contest sophistication can grow too.  It is in the spirit of X-Culture to use no-cost and low-cost, flexible tools, so the contest structure is in-line with this philosophy of using flexible and no-cost, or low-cost, tools and applications.


Award Categories:  After this first run, we have streamlined categories and lowered the prize-winning pay-outs.  This will better align with other symposium prizes.


Team Hashtag:  Not many teams used the “team hashtag,” yet a number of teams were using a hashtag, but the wrong one, and therefore we couldn’t track these posts.  Going forward, the team hashtag scheme has been simplified and we have added “minimum posting” rules for the team prize.


Thank you to all of the students that shared their photographs through the symposium hashtag!  Now we all can share the images and memories in one location for the event.


Want to see the Miami 2017 posts by students?  Visit Facebook & search: #xculturemiami  


By Karen Lynden

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Category: X-Culture Stories
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