#ThrowbackThursday: The Most Fun Way to Engage Your Alums on Twitter

It’s hard to log into Twitter at any time on a Thursday without coming across the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt. If you haven’t gotten on the #ThrowbackThursday bandwagon yet, hop on in! The hashtag is a bounding social vehicle for individual users to share memories, which means it’s a natural way for you to interact with your alums.

What is #ThrowbackThursday?

#ThrowbackThursday has become an endearing staple on Twitter, but its social media debut actually happened on Instagram back in 2011. Since then, more than 60 million photos have been tagged with #ThrowbackThursday and #tbt combined. That’s a lot of tags.

It’s really no surprise the hashtags caught on—who wouldn’t welcome an excuse to share funny old photos?! It’s an excuse especially welcomed by millennials who love nostalgia and are the majority when it comes to Twitter users.

Why should you join the fun?

Everyone from Bill Gates to Kim Kardashian has gotten in on the #ThrowbackThursday trend. Both #ThrowbackThursday and #tbt were among the top five twitter hashtags today.


It’s one of the most popular hashtag games ever. Because everyone can play.

The great thing is, when you think of sharing a picture from your past, one of the first places your memory lands is those good ol’ school days. So it makes sense that almost everyone who’s posting under these hashtags is sharing photos from high school or college or of friends and classmates from school. Posting photos is more fun when you share them with people who can relate to them. People like family and friends and classmates, who can also be the best source of these now outrageous photos (hindsight is 20/20).

The platform is primed for alumni engagement. You just have to join.

How do you start?

  1. Choose your social media outlet – Twitter and Instagram are the current homes of #tbt mania, but the trend is so popular that it’s starting to pop up on Facebook and Pinterest. You can choose one or all of these social platforms to spread your throwback love. Just remember to go where your alums are.
  2. Gather fun photos – With your platform chosen, it’s a matter of collecting great throwback content. Peruse school archives for photos of commencement speakers or retired professors in action. Browse the Facebook pages of alums who’ve liked your page. Solicit photos from your followers. Keep it interesting. Keep it G-rated.
  3. Pick your hashtag and stick with it – Once you’ve got great stuff, send it out! Both #ThrowbackThursday and #tbt have great traction, but #tbt typically beats out its longer variation. Character real estate is a commodity these days; no need to use up 18 characters with a hashtag when you can get the same point across with four. Whichever version you choose, stick with it to help your alums find and follow your whole glorious throwback history. Maybe one day you can throwback to your own throwback!

Here are a couple great examples we came across just today:

— Swarthmore College (@swarthmore)

— St. Paul’s School (@spsadmissions)

Already have a #ThrowbackThursday campaign? What’s your favorite post so far? How have your alums responded?

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