They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Turns out, a picture might also be worth a thousand opportunities for reaching out to your campus community. Using campus photography in new, interactive and dynamic ways can help attract more people to your campus, including prospective students and parents.
Most schools have thousands upon thousands of photographs taken over the years. With the advent of digital photography, the library of pictures has probably grown exponentially. The vast majority of these pictures go unseen by anyone, relegated to photo libraries on computers, forgotten after the best one or two pictures from an event landed in a newsletter or web page.
Instead of letting this incredible asset of campus photography go to waste, schools can reach into their photo libraries and use them to attract people to their online properties. Pictures attract potential students and engage current students and alumni in new ways.
There are numerous applications for creating instant slide shows and videos from photo libraries. You can then post these slide shows anywhere in your online story. Create a slide show highlighting campus life for the admissions page or a video tour of the residential buildings for the housing page. Athletics pages will benefit from slide shows of games, practices or the facilities. Individual academic departments could create slide shows of students engaged in hand on learning like science labs, community service or internships.
Using campus photography to create slide shows provides more of an interactive experience for prospective students than a single photo on a web page. The slide shows bring them into different parts of the campus and shows them a wider array of activities. If you are looking for some solutions to creating slide shows you should check out Animoto, SoundSlides and Flickr options on photo galleries.
Interactive Campus Map
Campus photography can also enhance your interactive campus map. Pictures in your map allow students, parents, community members and prospective students to see into your facilities like never before.
A PDF map illustration is boring, two-dimensional and not very user friendly. An interactive map with photos creates a three-dimensional campus tour for finding event information. You can even do things like add seasonal pictures of each building depending on the time of year. Post pictures or slide shows of recent events to show the diversity of activities. Each picture on the map brings potential students deeper into your school and makes them feel like a part of the community.
How many times have you liked and then shared a friend’s photo on social media? Sharing photos via Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and other sites is one of the best ways to generate viral content. And you never know what picture from your vast library of campus photography will strike the right chord with your social media followers.
Recently Tim Nekritz shared a story about a picture of a sunset posted on the SUNY Oswego Facebook page that generated 275 likes, 48 shares, 28 comments and untold private discussions. Pictures of a gorgeous fall day, the first snow fall or tulips budding at the start of spring could be the picture that goes viral on your social media page.
You shouldn’t relegate your vast troves of campus photography to a dusty laptop and photo database somewhere. Instead, make your online presence more interactive and invite your campus community deeper into your school by sharing your photos through slide shows, on your map and on social media.
Kyle will be presenting more on interactive maps on Feb. 28. See below for more information.
Photo: Online Photography School