University Instagram captures college life through filters

As a few students rushed to classes at noon, photographer Betsy Manning took a few quick shots of the shadow cast by the Bell Tower. Manning is one of three professional photographers who walk around taking photos of life on campus, which can be found on Temple’s new Instagram.

As an initiative to promote and present a “slice of life” at Temple, the strategic marketing and communications department and other members of Temple’s marketing team have created the Instagram account.

“We began to experiment with Instagram back in 2012 with the Temple Made campaign,” Assistant Director of University Communications Hillel Hoffmann said. “We loved the images so much that we knew, at that point, that Temple had to be in the Instagram game. It was a fun way to capture authentic pictures of Temple.”

In 2012, Temple solicited photo submissions from the Temple community to find images that best represented the Temple spirit. After a major turnout of response photos, the efforts culminated into the creation of Temple’s Instagram account, which started two months ago.

Since its debut in late July, the account posted more than 80 pictures and gained 2,400 followers, translating to almost 40 followers a day.

“We used Instagram as a way to put a real lens on the university from the perspective of current students,” Associate Vice President for University Marketing Nicole E. Naumoff said in an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education. “They really embraced the concept of showing what our school was like.”

Many students, like freshman biology major Yulee Tea, think this “lens” shows what life is like on campus.

“From what I’ve seen, I think Temple has accurately portrayed itself for what it wants to be,” Tea said. “I think they are trying to market themselves as a multimedia, multicultural college campus, where people can go to get a quality education, and that’s totally fine.”

According to Klout, a social media analytic ranking system, Temple’s influence in the world of social media is wide reaching. Temple is the 26th most influential college on social media in the nation, ahead of Penn State, Cornell University and University of Pennsylvania. Temple’s marketing staff and strategic communications department have been working on increasing that score with the help of new forms of social media.

“Social media is an essential part of what we do in the way that we communicate what’s going on at Temple and how we share information, nuggets, pride and love for [it],” Hoffman said. “Instagram is only one part of that.”

In addition to photo sharing on Instagram, Temple recently created the Photo of the Week gallery, in which Temple photographers Betsy Manning, Joseph Labolito and Ryan Brandenberg pick one photo from a collection to present on Temple’s Twitter feed.

These outlets for Temple photography aren’t unnoticed by students like Meredith Getzfread, who follows Temple on Instagram and Twitter.

“I think [Instagram] shows how different everyone is, and that’s kind of the idea of Temple, that it’s so diverse on campus,” Getzfread said. “I love our campus, and I think that the pictures make it even better.”

Brian Tom can be reached at brian.tom@temple.edu.

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