Social Media Scavenger Hunt a Hit

During USF Homecoming Week, students won hundreds of prizes in the campus-wide Social Media Scavenger Hunt.

Jenna Withrow returns USF Student Vanity Shields' student ID before giving her a prize on the first day of the Social Media Scavenger Hunt.

Photo by Amy Mariani.


By Jenna Withrow

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 1, 2011) – The University of South Florida broke social media records during its first-ever Social Media Scavenger Hunt last month.


The five-day event, which coincided with USF Homecoming SuperBull XV, encouraged students to explore the USF campus in a unique way. In an effort to promote Bull Pride before the Homecoming football game, students were awarded USF apparel and other prizes for interacting with the university through social media.


From Oct. 17 to Oct. 21, university representatives were stationed at mystery locations on campus. Throughout the week, students followed virtual clues to the locations. Those who solved the clues earned prizes.



USF students Faith Reynolds and Deborah Cecere won the grand prizes in the Social Media Scavenger Hunt.

Photo by Amy Mariani.


#CheckInUSF Tweets



Scavenger Hunt is on!!!! #USFHomecoming #CheckInUSF



#CheckInUSF was a success today! I wonder if the mystery locations will get more difficult... I certainly hope so! #GoBulls



As a transfer student I'm enjoying all this free stuff I'm getting from @USFNEWS @foursquare #CheckInUSF scavenger hunt.



Just got a pretty sweet usf visor from the @foursquare scavenger hunt! #CheckInUSF



I love how the prizes for the USF @foursquare scavenger hunt get better & better! #CheckInUSF



Woohoo! Lovin' the #USF prizes with the @foursquare Scavenger Hunt! #CheckInUSF

More than 130 students received prizes donated by the USF Bookstore, Dining Services, the USF Library, the Campus Recreation Center and the Marshall Student Center. Prizes included USF apparel, Dining Services coupons, Skullcandy ear buds and more. The grand prizes were an iPod Touch and HP Printer from the USF Computer Store.


To promote the university’s extensive social media presence, five social networks were used throughout the event: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Foursquare and Tumblr. As a result of the campaign, the University saw an increase of followers on each site.


Using Facebook, students received updates about the hunt and confirmed they would be attending on the official event page. On Twitter, participants tweeted about the event using the hashtag #CheckInUSF and received clues by following the official @USFNews account.


More than 700 viewers received detailed information through a promotional YouTube video. Followers of the USF Life Tumblr received updates about the hunt through multiple blog posts. Students checked in to the mystery locations on Foursquare to receive their prizes.


During the event, USF saw a record number of check-ins on its newest social media site, Foursquare. In a single day, more than 162 people checked in at the USF Bookstore, 129 at the USF Library and 320 at the Campus Recreation Center.


Throughout the hunt, participants met fellow Bulls and teamed up to solve clues. Students were not only exposed to USF social media sites, but also to parts of campus they may not have otherwise visited. Plans to host a similar social media event are already being discussed by University officials.


For more information on USF Social Media, visit


Jenna Withrow covers student activities and events at USF. She can be reached at 813-974-0331.