April Fools' Day Joke Drives Traffic to Radford.edu

Continuing what has become an April 1 custom, Web Communications injected a little humor into the university's website on April Fools' Day. Four memes took the place of the four student profiles that usually rotate on the homepage.

A meme is a unit that carries ideas or behaviors from person to person within a culture. The term has been adopted to refer to a specific type of imagery that includes a common graphic paired with text that often follows a specific pattern of phrasing. The cultural trend of using such graphics can be seen across many social media channels, including Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Reddit and more. The Radford University student community, like many college communities, has set up a Facebook group dedicated to posting such graphics.

The goal of the April 1 project was to lighten the mood in the middle of spring semester as well as drive new traffic to Radford.edu. The project was very successful in both endeavors. Some statistics of note:

  • 76 times the average number of visitors from social media
  • Eight times the average number of new visitors to Radford.edu
  • 52 percent more traffic than average to the website

In addition, social media were flooded with comments from students, faculty, staff and alumni. As one student said, "Everyone loves Radford's homepage today. It makes me proud to say I'm a Highlander!"

Apr 9, 2013
Web Communications