Using a Social Media Challenge to Increase Engagement

challenge

In an effort to combat slower summer days at the recreation center, Stephen F. Austin State University Campus Recreation decided to launch the Summer Jack’s Challenge. According to Casey Bryne, a summer intern at SFA Campus Recreation, attendance drops with the start of summer and the Summer Jack’s Challenge seemed like the perfect way to counteract that.

The Summer Jack’s Challenge encourages SFA Campus Recreation members to take selfies during specific weekly activities, such as climbing at the rock well or attending a group exercise class. Then members post the selfies on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, tagging the SFA Campus Recreation and using #SummerJacksChallenge. Once posted, they are entered into a random drawing that week for a prize. Each week the activities change and the drawing starts over with a new prize.

challenge“The Summer Jack’s Challenge started because we wanted a program that would raise attendance at the Rec’s events and programs. We want to reach out to all of the SFA Campus Recreation members and show them all of the different facilities and programs that are available during the summer,” said Bryne. “We are here for the members and we would love to see more at our classes and events. Hopefully, someone can find something new they enjoy and they become regulars.”

SFA Campus Recreation originally got the idea for the program from the Outdoor Nation Campus Challenge, which tasked people to go outdoors, take selfies and post the pictures on social media. Prizes were given to the student with the most points. “We used that core concept and changed it where we gave the members specific activities every week,” explained Bryne. “Also you only have to do the activity once to be able to win the prize.”

If you are looking for a fun way to boost participation, a similar challenge could be the perfect option. To help, Bryne offered a few pieces of advice. “Definitely start planning the program early, keep the concept simple so that it is easy for you to implement and the students to complete,” he added. “Having good marketing and promotion is important so that people actually know about the challenge and what to do.”

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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