If you want students to engage on social media, offer up some neon swag

College students come running when they hear the word “free.” You’ve seen them weigh themselves down at career fairs, shoveling pencils, pens and caramel candies into their pockets by the handful, BostInno reports. That said, Suffolk made an insanely smart move when they needed to lure the incoming Class of 2017 over to their social media channels: they bribed the fresh-faced freshmen with some neon-colored swag. The University bought 500 tank tops to test their theory, and tabled them at three of the school’s five orientation sessions. The fluorescent tops sarcastically read, “I followed Suffolk on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/LinkedIn and all I got was this lousy tank. #Suffolk17.” Meaning, students couldn’t leave with swag in hand if they didn’t follow one of Suffolk’s four featured social networks first. In an email, Joshua Walovitch, Suffolk’s director of digital and social media, acknowledged that schools might not feel comfortable exchanging tanks for some love on social media, but several of the students followed more than one channel in an effort to keep up-to-date on all things Suffolk.

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