Kansas State University



Using Instagram to host university-wide photo challenge


Looking for a way to engage with students on the university’s Instagram account while creating a fun way to integrate social media into the university’s “Week of Welcome” activities is how the #KStateWOWpix photo challenge was created. Keep reading as we share the challenge from a social media management perspective.

Challenge details

At the beginning of each semester, the university hosts a series of events to welcome students to campus. During the Week of Welcome for the Fall 2014 semester, new and returning students were asked to post a photo corresponding to the daily challenge with the hashtag #KStateWOWpix, as well as that day’s assigned hashtag. Any individual who participated on a given day was eligible to win the daily prize of a $50 K-State Student Union gift card. Challenges included selfies displaying the Wildcat hand sign and photos showcasing something they love about K-State, their newly decorated living space, a K-State tradition, their purple gear and a representation of their college, department or future profession.


Daily winners were selected by Division of Communications and Marketing staff along with K-State celebrity judges, including K-State President Kirk Schulz, women’s basketball head coach, Jeff Mittie and Student Body President, Reagan Kays. Five of the top photos from each day’s hashtag were sent to the campus celebrity judges for selection of each day’s winner. Select photos were also featured on university social media channels and the K-State website. At the conclusion of the week, the six winning daily photos were compiled into a Facebook photo album and fans were asked to “like” their favorite photo. The photo with the most likes was named the grand prize winner and awarded an iPad mini. The photo challenge ran from Sunday, Aug. 24, to Friday, Aug. 29, 2014.

Challenge successes


Our university president, Kirk Schulz, kicked off the photo challenge by asking students to participate in the first day of the challenge during the New Student Convocation ceremony. Students appreciate President Schulz’s active social media presence, and the ceremony provided the perfect opportunity for him to promote the photo challenge and to get students excited to participate.

During the week of the photo challenge, the university’s Instagram following increased by 600 followers and engagement increased across all social media channels. The challenge allowed students to share their favorite parts of the university and get excited about seeing their photos featured on the official university social media channels earning hundreds of likes. The challenge provided the university with great content to share and the opportunity for genuine interaction with students. The contest involved many aspects of campus including individual academic colleges, housing and dining, athletics and administration.

See all of the posts submitted for the challenge via the #KStateWOWpix tagboard.




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