As featured in AdNews.

The use of Snapchat has been ramping up globally with brands from McDonald’s to L’Oréal using the photo-sharing platform and now universities are getting on board.

When you have a bunch of millennials coming in droves to check out your university, there’s only one way to truly capture their attention – a geofilter based Snapchat treasure hunt across the entire campus, of course.

The University of Sydney invited high school students across the country to explore its campus for its 2016 Open Day. It wanted to connect with prospective students in an engaging way while amplifying the Open Day experience out to those who didn’t attend.

Teaming up with influencer platform Social Soup, Sydney University ran a Snapchat activation that saw hundreds of students take part in a geofilter-based treasure hunt.

The competition required prospective students to snap all six geo-filters and upload them to their story for Social Soup staff to judge.

social soup sydney uni

More than 1,300 students uploaded the filters, being viewed 126,408 times over 24 hours. Social Soup says the high engagement makes it one of the most viewed Snapchat live activations in Australia.

CEO Sharyn Smith says the activation was created from the recent Social Soup Snapchat study, which found 68% of 18-24-year olds were “never off” the photo sharing platform.

“We know from our recent research into Snapchat that students in the USYD age bracket spend a lot of time on the platform, and we wanted them to amplify their experience to their networks.

“We effectively created a campaign that increased the reach of Sydney’s Open Day to the right demographic five fold from the people visiting giving a high ROI of the event,” she said.

This isn’t the first time educational institutes have taken the avenue of social to appeal to students. Griffith University recently broadcast its 2016 Open Day live to an online audience in Australia and overseas. Read more here.

Social Soup also set up six student-created geofilters around the campus, working with Sydney University marketing staff to create on-the-day collateral to help participants find the filters and join in.

Sydney University social media specialist Jenna Bradwell said the Snapchat treasure hunt was a highlight of the day and saw huge interest from students.

“We have a well-established presence across other social channels, but had only been on Snapchat three weeks prior to the treasure hunt. Our followers on Snapchat more than quadrupled on Open Day as a result of that activation.”

Sydney University deputy director of marketing and communications says Snapchat was the “perfect platform” to demonstrate what it’s like to be a student at Sydney and the content integrated well with Facebook and Instagram.

“We wanted to leverage the interest from 16-18 year olds in our Open Day to experiment a little with what is still a relatively new social channel,” Lowe says.

The University of Sydney and Social Soup have now begun a four week Snapchat campaign aimed at cementing their new found position on Snapchat aligned with its ‘The things you learn’ brand campaign.

As featured in AdNews. September 16, 2016. Written byLindsay Bennett