Back to School Goes Social.


Social media has changed the way we communicate. We’ve studied this phenomenon, ruminated on it, strategized, contemplated and conclusively confirmed that social media has indeed changed our behaviors. The more we thought about it, the more we realized that these changes affected us quite quickly. Like, super duper fast.
Let’s flashback to 2007 to  demonstrate.
College freshman in 2007:

  • Walked around campus with colorful iPods (which were distinctively separate from their not-so-smartphones). Today, students don’t tote a phone and iPod in their pockets and backpacks (and they certainly don’t carry digital cameras). Instead, college students of 2012 are saving up their summer job money for the iPhone 5 to be released mid-September.
  • Made several trips to stores all over town to find the perfect bedding set, whiteboard, hangers and hampers. Now, online shopping takes a bigger piece of the pie – 34.6%, according to NRF’s 2012 Back-to-College Survey conducted by BIGinsight. College students are using social media and actively engaging in comparison shopping to find exactly what they want at the best possible price. Gone are the days of, “describe your bedding to me” as  Pinterest planning (for dorm room décor) makes collaborating with roommates and gathering friend’s opinions, SO much easier.
  • Went to their school bookstore and purchased a heavy load of expensive textbooks. Today students frequent used textbook websites, download electronic textbooks, or find other other ways to avoid ‘spending an arm and a leg on books.’
  • Posted party pics on FB the next day. Facebook albums are up! In 2007, the drill after an event or party was to post the photos to the proper Facebook album the next day and tag everyone featured. Now, there’s no lag time. With the instant nature of our favorite photo sharing app Instagram (conveniently connected to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr), photos can be posted in real-time.
  • Pulled out a paper map when they got lost on campus. Where am I? Which direction am I facing? Fear not, Google maps to the rescue. Just be sure to look up every once in a while, or you’ll walk right into a wide receiver.
  • Had to wait and see. Today students traveling near and far to go to school have several tools to discover their professor’s reputation (according to student reviews on Rate my Professors), the trends and styles that are “in” at their school via fashion blogs like College Fashionista, and what people are saying about student clubs + organizations on social media.
  • Printed everything. Several trees were harmed in the printing of syllabi each semester. Now, simply pull it up on a laptop, tablet or smartphone to scroll through.

From ‘meeting’ new roommates and classmates digitally before stepping foot on campus, to tweeting their plans and navigating campus via Google Maps, students these days have smartphones tethered to them at all times. They’re strategically using social media to ease their transition into college life. Oh, how times have changed!
If we forgot something that should be part of this list, tweet it to us @SocialLightUp!

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Background on The Social Lights
The Social Lights® is a social-first agency headquartered in Minneapolis that partners with clients to grow their business through strategy development, creative production, media buying, and social media management. Current clients include General Mills, Ecolab, Cargill, Caribou Coffee, Kwik Trip, Polaris and Massage Envy. The Social Lights was founded in 2011 and is a WBENC-Certified Women Business Enterprise. Learn more at The Social Lights.

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