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The whole city has been buzzing with excitement about today’s Inauguration. Visitors and locals alike are texting, tweeting, Instagraming, and updating their profiles to show off their excitement to be in the nation’s Capital for Barack Obama’s second Inauguration ceremony and celebration. George Washington University, in particular, is using the Inauguration to engage the community through social media in their #GWInauguralChallenge.

This new social media challenge is open to anyone and everyone. GW’s Associate Director of Digital Marketing Strategy Jon Hussey said, “We wanted this contest to be all-inclusive to engage the entire GW community, including prospective students who have never experienced an event like Inauguration Day and have a chance to see the sort of things that can happen only at GW.”

We think this competition is a great way to make use of all the social media available, while simultaneously promoting the #onlyatGW campaign and the Inauguration. The community agrees – with over 100 people registering on the first day, and now nearly 300 registrants in each category. The Making History website has also hosted over 10,000 visitors since the Challenge’s introduction.

Around campus, students, faculty, and other GW community members see promotional materials supporting the Challenge’s message: GW offers the members of its community a unique first-hand opportunity to experience historic events, like the Inauguration.

“We know that the whole world will be watching the Inauguration on Monday and hundreds of thousands will be participating on social media. We want to be a part of that social stream. We want the world to see a day in the life of GW on a day that could not be duplicated at any other university,” Hussey said.

The University plans to continue to make use of significant opportunities, like the Inauguration, to engage the GW community on social media. Hussey told us that the GW social media team is not only using social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, but they are also making use of services like Storify and UStream to bring social media and campus events onto the school’s website to also engage non-social media users.

We are looking forward to seeing how else GW will use social media to highlight the exciting opportunities that all Colonials get to experience by living through history in DC.

-Lauren Silva, Anchor Media Intern

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