Provides a unique perspective through the lens of students
If you've ever wandered around campus and have seen students interviewing students, it's a good bet that it's a member of the CSU street team looking to get the "inside scoop" to later share on social media for all to see.
Created by University Marketing Social Media manager Anthony Pero, the goal of the street team is not only to become brand ambassadors for the university but to build upon creating a space dedicated to being a welcoming environment for all students. And while the social media accounts may say "Cleveland State," Pero says they belong to the students just as much, allowing them to create and express themselves in a way their fellow Vikings can support.
"Utilizing a street team helps create brand awareness from peers vs a brand, which is why you'll see more ambassador programs and incentives from companies for real people who own their products and share a video or review," he said. "In a way, each street team member is an influencer, and when they share anything positive about CSU, it is more authentic when it comes from their accounts compared to us posting positive news and highlights."
Take it from student Russell Lang, who has not only jumped in head over heels and has embraced the street team role with unbridled enthusiasm, but he has looked at it as a chance to do something special each time he has the opportunity to think about the content he wants to create.
"It is invaluable to student life because it creates a diverse and engaging environment on campus while fostering collaboration between students and the school," he said. "That, in turn, boosts school spirit and fosters a sense of community among us students."
Lang has been handed the creative controls when it comes to brainstorming ideas that are informative and unique, such as what experiencing life first-hand on the CSU campus looks like through the lens of a student.
"The most exciting thing I've done as a member of the Street Team was to create a reel about my favorite class, Wetland Ecology," he said. "This class emphasizes engaged learning and allows us to assess the health of various wetlands hands-on; canoeing in Old Woman Creek was one of my favorite moments as a CSU student, and sharing a reel with the campus was just the cherry on top."
Of course, the street team would not be where it’s at without student involvement. That’s why Pero says students should consider participating, especially if they are passionate about social media creation. Not to mention, it has contributed to helping attract new visitors to the photography page and created opportunities for him to collaborate with other prominent Instagram accounts.
"Utilizing a street team helps create brand awareness from peers versus a brand, which is why you'll see more ambassador programs and incentives from companies for real people who own their products and share a video or review," he said. "In a way, each street team member is an influencer, and when they share anything positive about CSU, it is more authentic when it comes from their personal accounts than when we post positive news and highlights."
Pero said that any student can participate, and along with it being self-driven with no deadlines, it gives students experience who are interested in marketing or social media campaigns and is a great entry point for students looking to build expertise in those realms and have something for their resume.
"It can be as simple as taking a picture you love of campus or a picture with friends or making a day in the life video and adding CSU as collaborators on Instagram along with simply following us on social media, sharing, liking, or commenting on our posts and submitting proof by emailing me at email@example.com," he said. "My goal was to make the process as simple as possible to get involved and that there would be no pressure since everyone is so busy with schoolwork but might be looking for something to be involved during the school year."
While a role with the street team is currently unpaid, any member who joins and submits their proof for points can redeem them for CSU swag, CSU CAB VIP access and merchandise, a special lunch with President Bloomberg at Viking Public House and many more exciting opportunities. Pero says he is in the process of looking for departments or local partners to get involved with helping us expand rewards and prizes for students.
Lang's love for the street team drives his passion to contribute and spread the word about how great it is to be a part of something special.
"Collaborating with the Cleveland State Instagram account has been a significant benefit to my own page. It not only helped attract new visitors to my photography page but also created opportunities for me to collaborate with other prominent Instagram accounts," he said. "By establishing an enjoyable and professionally rewarding team, Anthony has contributed to a more vibrant campus culture."