Get your gadgets ready

Ferris’ first SocialFest wants to get students connected

SocialFest 2012 is a festival geared toward getting students connected with Ferris’ campus using various social media outlets such as foursquare and YouTube.

This is the first year of the event. Sandy Gholston, News Services and Social Media manager, said, “SocialFest 2012 is the result of a truly collaborative effort led by Ferris State University’s Social Media Team, a group comprised of people from a number of different offices within our campus community.”

Gholston said, “One of the great things about SocialFest 2012 is that the collaboration has included a great deal of input from our students, and that is important because the event is primarily for them.”

Amber Balmer, coordinator of Communications and Social Media, said a lot of offices are involved with setting up and coordinating events for Social Fest.

Gholston said students will have opportunities to become more familiar with a diverse range of social media platforms used at Ferris. Students will be able to learn more about what services are offered from different offices on campus. One way students will be able to learn about these services is through the foursquare scavenger hunt.

With the foursquare scavenger hunt, students will get to “check in” at various locations throughout campus. They will get opportunities to win a variety of free prizes.

Another notable contest is the YouTube Film Festival. With the festival, students are encouraged to create videos to describe their experience at Ferris. Those who enter the contest will be eligible to win $200 cash cards.

“We’re very fortunate that YouTube and foursquare are already very popular platforms for our students,” Gholston said.

“One thing we really want to emphasize is we’re actually just looking for what people post everyday on YouTube. We just want you to tell your story: Why you want to be a Bulldog, where do you live, what do you do day to day, what makes you proud to be a Bulldog; it’s supposed to be fun, quick videos that describe what your campus experience is,” Balmer said.

For the foursquare scavenger hunt, Balmer said she encourages all students to participate, even if they don’t own a smartphone. She said they would provide students who don’t own a smartphone with a piece of paper to participate in the scavenger hunt.

“We don’t want people to be hindered; you can still come out and get the free giveaways. We have a different means for you to participate,” Balmer said.

Gholston said, “We believe SocialFest 2012 will educate students about social media, help them learn about best practices with social media, teach them about what people and services are available to them on campus, provide increased exposure to our social media platforms and encourage interaction between faculty, staff and students around campus. And students will gain opportunity to have more fun with something that is already fun: social media.” n