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@WeAreFGCU: Students market FGCU through Instagram

Screenshot of last week's @WeAreFGCU instagram page.

Screenshot of last week’s @WeAreFGCU instagram page.

Florida Gulf Coast University students can share FGCU from their own perspective through the @wearefgcu Instagram. The account not only promotes school spirit, but showcases FGCU’s diversity.

A little more than a year ago, James Greco, FGCU’s graphic artist and marketing specialist, decided to start the @wearefgcu account after attending a webinar on social media for higher education. In the beginning, Greco had to handpick students to run the account. But as word spread, he started getting requests from students interested in posting on the site.

“There is a big demand for it,” Greco said. “From a prospective student standpoint, people will make comments like ‘Oh, I can’t wait to go here.’ I have reached out to a few people who have been following the account since before they came here.”

Lisa Ray, a senior majoring in communication, was the first student to run the account. On the one-year anniversary of the account, she participated again.

“I wanted to touch on the different areas on campus,” Ray said. “I do work in admissions, so I get an idea of what students are interested in, but I also want to show them things they may not see when driving through campus. I want them to see all that FGCU has to offer.”

Students are often picked to run the account if they are involved with an important event occurring that week. Greco said that he also searches #FGCU, and if students are posting great pictures of the campus and show a lot of school spirit, they can get invited to run the account.

Kira Toussaint, an FGCU student athlete on the swimming and diving team, was asked by Greco to run the account while the team was at its conference meet.

“I was really excited about it,” Toussaint said. “I could show the school how well we were doing. When I came back to school, people came up to me and were like ‘Congratulations on conference.’ It was cool to have more attention for swimming and diving.”

The only downside to having control of the account was that it was cumbersome to post four or five pictures a day on the site, according to Toussaint.

Despite the upkeep, Ray believes the account attracts students for a firsthand account of what it is like to be a student at FGCU.

“The diverse perspective really does show the variety of what it is like at FGCU,” Ray said.

The account is currently booked for the rest of the semester. However, it is looking for students for the summer. If a student is interested in running the account, they can email socialmedia@fgcu.edu from his or her FGCU email address. In the subject line they should put “WeAreFGCU” and then include his or her first and last name, major, anticipated graduation date and Instagram username.

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