Social networking pays off

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I love a challenge. It all started at a very young age for me. My sister and I were always in a competition — racing to the car to ride shotgun, reading the most accelerated reader books, hitting the most free throws, and the list continues on and on.

Last year after being accepted to Hanover College, I received a t-shirt, duffel bag and key chain in the mail. It also contained information about a contest, which required me to wear my Hanover shirt, take a creative picture, and post it on the Hanover College Admission Facebook page. If my picture received the most likes, I would receive my first year books for free. I was up for the challenge and went straight to work planning out my strategies.

A picture you can find on Hanover College Admission's Facebook page explaining the contest.
A picture you can find on Hanover College Admission’s Facebook page explaining the contest.

The first thing I needed to do was plan where I would take my picture. My family and I were attending a Hanover basketball game, and I noticed the panther right in front of the scorer’s table. It was the perfect place for a Kodak moment.

I immediately uploaded my picture and realized I was not alone in this contest. To my surprise, many other prospective Hanover freshmen were thinking the same thing.  I needed to get the word out about my picture and fast. There were other students who had more than 400 likes, and the totals were increasing by the minute.

I reached out to all my Facebook friends and family asking them to like my picture. After a few likes, I had another strategy. I needed them not only to like my photo, but also share it on their page.

The photo I uploaded to get free textbooks for my freshman year!
The photo I uploaded to get free textbooks for my freshman year!

The great thing about living in a small community is everyone is willing to help. My friends and family were involved.  My parents, who are teachers, had their students get involved, too.

My picture was plastered on the walls of many Facebook users for the entire month of February. The likes and shares started to accumulate and soon I was leading the race.

The persistence of my community, friends and family paid off. I won the contest! I ended with almost 1,800 likes and about 300 shares.

Here is a video of Admission Counselor Bobby Wade announcing my victory.

As I was browsing the Admission Facebook page, I noticed this contest is going on right now. My advice to future students is get everyone involved in this process. Do not be afraid to ask people multiple times to help. It is not an individual project but a community project.

You will be surprised at the excitement this will generate on Facebook. My family and friends logged onto Facebook multiple times throughout the day, checking the number of likes. It was fun, but the outcome of the contest was even better.

Free books at the Hanover College Bookstore can make such a big difference in college expenses. That’s why I want to encourage you to post your photo, spread the word to whomever you know, and get them to like and share your photo.  Best of luck!

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