Penn State Grads’ Social Media Goes Viral

Penn State Grads’ Social Media Goes Viral


What happens when you allow excited Penn State Lehigh Valley graduates to put their Instagram posts and tweets onto billboards around town? That’s what Tri Outdoor wanted to find out when they embarked on a month long campaign with the university.To celebrate the 2014 graduates, Tri Outdoor, Inc. partnered with the University for a 30-day campaign featuring real time Instagram posts and tweets from the actual graduates themselves on two digital outdoor billboards around town.


Risky business? Not at all, according to Jason Wilson from Tri Outdoor.“This campaign really gave the local community the opportunity to be a part of Commencement with the students. On different billboards throughout the weekend, the public could see different tweets and posts and it really made the public feel like they were a part of the commencement festivities,” Wilson explained.

Students, friends and family used the hashtag #psulvgrad to have their content featured. Host accounts were used to control which posts appeared on the billboards, to prevent hashtag hijacking, and to cut off any inappropriate content before it hit the masses.

“Utilizing the power of social media on the digital billboards was an exciting way to engage the Penn State Lehigh Valley community during the 2014 commencement season. Our followers jumped 10% during this campaign and the personal feedback was 100% positive,” said Kate Morgan, director of university relations.

The campaign was possible in part due to the technology behind the digital outdoor billboards provided by Watchfire.

“Conditional content, the ability to use RSS or XML feeds and data from sources like Twitter and Instagram, is a great tool for digital billboard operators to set themselves apart from the competition in their market,” said Watchfire’s Vice President Darrin Friskney “Tri Outdoor’s groundbreaking use of this type of dynamic content speaks to their commitment to innovation and I expect we’ll see many more operators seeking digital boards with the capability to provide their clients with this remarkable tool to enhance their clients’ advertising impact.”