For many years, San Jacinto College’s social media efforts followed a regular calendar, tracking the start of the semester through graduation. The COVID-19 pandemic changed all of that. As we move into our new virtual learning reality, join us as we review the highlights from the 2019-2020 social media landscape
The San Jacinto College fall 2019 social content strategy garnered high engagement numbers during the annual Welcome Week events in August and the LyondellBasell Center for Petrochemical, Energy, & Technology (CPET) Facebook livestream in September. Employees took to social to share a school supply drive that benefited Pasadena ISD, while students displayed their identities during Hispanic Heritage Month and the National First-Generation College Celebration events. We highlighted internship success from the automotive technology program and the professional explorations of the paralegal program.
A semester content highlight came as a friendly skills contest when the San Jacinto Maritime Technology and Training Center hosted the 2019 Maritime Throwdown Competition Houston Regional Qualifier. For the holidays, the North Campus pastry chef program celebrated the season by creating its annual gingerbread village and thrilled our followers with their confectionary delights. Our entry to the 2019 Pasadena Holiday Lighted Parade won a top award and our carpentry team became viral sensations.
The crown jewel of the semester is always the graduation livestream, and the fall 2019 video set a record, reaching more than 7,000 Facebook users and receiving more than 4,000 views. The College ended the decade by asking folks to share how their lives have progressed since 2009. Check out #SJC10challenge for a few inspirational alumni stories. After the holiday break, the semester picked up full speed with a Lunar New Year celebration and a Valentine’s Day tribute honoring employees in long marriages.
Spring break passed, and news broke that the College would enter altered operation in response to COVID-19. Our normal semester strategy had to shift immediately. Students and the community flooded our channels with questions, and Chancellor Dr. Brenda Hellyer responded with a series of video announcements, which calmed many fears.
College Prep Professor Rene Leija followed suit, asking his students to participate in a video reminding them that we are all #inthistogether. Student leaders adjusted to their new reality, enthusiastically serving the community at the curbside food market. They were also instrumental in sharing their knowledge during our #SanJacLife Instagram takeover series.
As the semester ended, departments were ready to have some fun! The Student Engagement and Activities offices and the iConnect Centers hosted their most popular events via Zoom, giving students a chance to have prizes sent to their homes. When commencement time came again, we opted for a virtual ceremony streamed live through YouTube, a first for the College. Once again, the effort set a new record of 12,000 views, bringing an unprecedented semester to a celebratory close.
To cap off our year in social media, the Texas Social Media Research Institute awarded San Jac second place for the most innovative and engaging social media content focused on COVID-19 among the state’s community colleges. Thank you all for engaging with us!