We’re all at it – why there’s no need to make campus porn your dirty little secret

campus-porn-blog

Hello, my name’s Dave and, like many of you reading this, I’m a campus pornaholic.

How’s that for an awkward opening sentence?

**NB this post originally appeared on the excellent NetNatives blog – make sure you check it out**

Now, before you get too uncomfortable, start sweating that this blog has suddenly jumped off into a cliff into lake NSFW and feel the urge to click back onto somewhere safe and dull – like LinkedIn or your intranet – let me reassure you that you can keep scrolling in confidence; campus porn is nothing to do with what the dirty part of your mind probably jumped to first.

In fact, it’s an art form we’re all indulging in and have been doing so for some time now – and there’s no shame in doing either, as our audiences are lapping it up and those campus porn barons out there are being rewarded with big, juicy EduRank scores.

So, if I’m not just being rude and using it for click bait, what exactly am I on about when I say the words campus porn? Well, quite simply, it’s posting images and videos of your institution’s campus and campus buildings on your social media channels.

I first heard it termed campus porn in a fantastic keynote speech by Emily Morris from Columbia University during this April’s CASE Social Media and Community Conference, and it certainly pricked the ears of the entire audience.

It turns out we’re all at it – everyone in the room admitted to having produced at least one piece of campus porn at some point in their career.

And this lust for a bit of campus porn was not restricted to that conference; it seems that, wherever you look across higher education social media, campus porn is everywhere.

Well, it is the internet after all.

If you want proof, look no further than the latest EduRank scores – once you start clicking and ex-ploring the high-flyers’ social profiles, you’ll soon find so much campus porn that you won’t know where to look.

High-end campus porn at Oxford

If you like your campus porn to have some production values, cop of load of what Oxford have been putting out – a beautiful, aerial view of their very picturesque city.

You see? Even a mighty educational institution like Oxford has gone all-in on campus porn!

Oxford always sits at or very close to the top of the EduRank charts, so it’s well-worth looking at their feeds to see what you can learn from them. What have I learned from doing just that? Campus porn is very much on the agenda.

User-generated campus porn

It doesn’t all need to be high-end though; another popular sub-genre of this addictive art form is undoubtedly user-generated content, which, without wanting to push this metaphor to breaking point, is the readers’ wives of campus porn. So many institutions are getting incredible results from sharing images of their campus captured by their students. My favourite from last year was, without doubt, the University of Glasgow’s curation of shots of their campus as the leaves changed colour for autumn.

As it happens, they’ve just put a call out for submissions for this year – expect plenty of stunning, autumnal examples of campus porn

Looking back over the last 12 months, Glasgow sits proudly in the EduRank top 10 and it’s campaigns like this that will help their performance hugely. The added bonus of using something that everyone gets a kick out of – like campus porn – as their hook will only help their cause.

Story-telling

While, admittedly, it’s not the first thing people want from their campus porn, the story can be important too. Having some semblance of a story can make your content stand out from just being another beautiful picture of your campus. Manchester is so addicted to campus porn that they’ve turned it into a year-long campaign, where they’re sharing some every single day.

This campaign is brilliant because, aside from being highly engaging, it is telling the University’s story one day at a time and will have coming back again and again wanting more. It is also entirely dependent on user-generated content, so does a fine job of keeping their followers involved and interested.

Manchester is another institution that always performs well in the EduRank charts, and this kind of campaign that mixes an easy-to-enter user-generated call for content with a healthy of slice of what their audience loves – campus porn – is a sure-fired way to keep their engagement scores high from month-to-month and maintain their position as an EduRank high-flyer.

Why bother?

Now, you might all be thinking that, when it comes to the kind of content you could be putting out on your institution’s social media channels, campus porn is a bit soft.

I disagree.

I actually see it as something that should be a core part of your content strategy if you want to build an engaged audience.

Yes, content centred on your amazing research is hugely important, but if everything you post is deadly serious it will quickly become a big turn off. You need to strike a balance between the harder stuff and the fluffier stuff, which is where campus porn can help.

I would argue that up to three quarters of your content should be from the softer side, which gives you plenty of scope for including campus porn in your plans. Your audience is highly likely to engage with this type of content, which, in this world of algorithms in which we now live, will keep your page in people’s newsfeeds, giving you far more chance of being seen when you really want or need your followers to catch your post.

Also, campus porn is a fantastic way to celebrate your campus and show some pride in your institution – as well as highlighting the photography skills of your students if you go down the user-generated route – and that is something we should all do more of. It will make you feel good, your students will love to see it, your alumni will be thrilled too and it’s a great way to show off what your campus really looks like to prospective students too.

And a bit of campus porn will do your EduRank scores no harm at all – remember, these scores are heavily weighted in favour of how your content performs, not how many followers you have. As if there wasn’t enough innuendo in this post already, clearly size doesn’t matter – it’s what you do with it that counts.

So, don’t blush, stop being embarrassed and get your campus porn groove on – it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

**Don’t forget, I’d love you to follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and connect with me on LinkedIn too.

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