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?

Now, before you get too uncomfortable, start sweating that this blog has suddenly jumped into Lake NSFW (not safe for work) and feel the urge to click onto somewhere safe and dull, like LinkedIn or your intranet – let me reassure you, don’t worry. You can keep scrolling in confidence; campus porn has nothing to do with that dirty part 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 so either. As our audiences are lapping it up, 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 exploring 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 a 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 found out 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; another popular sub-genre of this addictive art form is undoubtedly user-generated content. So many institutions are getting incredible results from sharing images of their campus, captured by their students. My favourite from last year was, without a doubt, the University of Glasgow’s curation of shots from their campus as the leaves change colour for autumn.

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

Looking back over the last 12 months, Glasgow sits proudly in the EduRank top 10, and their campaigns, like this, help their performance hugely. The bonus of using a hook, which everyone gets a kick out of, will only help their cause further.

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

Manchester is another institution that always performs well in the EduRank charts. This kind of campaign mixes an easy-to-enter call for content, with a healthy slice of what their audience loves. This is a sure-fire way to keep 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 social media channels, campus porn is a bit soft.

I disagree.

I see it as something that should be a core part of your content strategy; if you want to build an engaged audience. Yes, content based 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 on the softer side, which gives you plenty of scope for including campus porn in your plans. Your audience is likely to engage with this type of content, which, will keep your page in people’s newsfeeds, giving you far more chance of being seen.

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. 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.

Finally, all of this will help your EduRank scores. 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.

Article by

Dave Musson

Head of Content