Having a social media presence is an important part of running a solar team, and generally requires a dedicated social media manager. Social media keeps the fans happy, and it keeps the sponsors happy. Of course, for teams that do crowdfunding, the fans are also sponsors!
Some recent tweets in #ASC2018
A team’s university is generally an important sponsor too. To satisfy the university, a team must achieve both reputation and recruitment goals. For reputation purposes, a team must portray students who are hard-working, talented, and professional in the way that they work – qualities that future employers of graduates would like to see. For recruitment purposes, a team must portray students who are doing fun and interesting work – things that future students would like to see. These two purposes are not necessarily best served by the same social media platforms.
Nuon’s 2015 flightcase being loaded (photo: Jorrit Lousberg)
For industry sponsors, a quid pro quo for sponsorship is generally required. Often, this takes the form of showing how the sponsor’s product has contributed to team success. Classic examples include Twente mentioning their kangaroo-proof carbon fibre shell, Punch extolling the shipping expertise of DHL, Michigan explaining how their semi traverses the planet, and Nuon showing how their flightcase moves around (above). Having a superb photographer on the team helps with this!
Social media platforms being used by ASC teams this year are shown in the chart below. The proportions are quite similar to WSC 2015. However, Picasa is gone, Snapchat has arrived, and the Russian team is using VK.
For the actual team social media links, please visit my annotated teams list and click on the social media icons next to each team name.