The Lobo Life runs on a model that allows students completely free experiences by exchanging the highest caliber content and digital promotion in return for the cost of admission, gear rentals, food, etc.
This model has allowed students, no matter the depth of their pockets, a way to experience the very best New Mexico has to offer completely free. The businesses and adventure destinations we work with in return receive all of the content I and other creatives produce as well as a feature on our website and partner posts on our Instagram, including story coverage during the actual experience.
Having founded The Lobo Life, I managed to invent a way for me to work with over 40 businesses across New Mexico as both a content creator and a consumer. The resulting partnerships have benefited UNM as The Lobo Life's institutional home as well as my own skills, as clients ranged from ski resorts to high end restaurants to the state's tourism department.
Partnerships established with businesses and organizations around New Mexico.
Over 500 posts created on Instragram and The Lobo Life Website sourcing images from student photographers, writing every caption from scratch, and using a consistent voice.
An estimated $18,000 is what it would have cost students to have the experiences The Lobo Life has provided to date without its model of content and promotion in exchange for student experiences.
I led 60 adventures including backpacking, snowboarding, and mountain biking.
Over 100 students were actively involved in The Lobo Life Student Org in its first year.
The Lobo Life's Instagram functions foremost as a spotlight on the experiences UNM students are capturing and sharing with #thelobolife. This model, heavily reliant on user generated content, clicked immediately with the full gamut of students at UNM and has maintained a continued level of engagement as The Lobo Life has matured.
One of the keys to the success of the Instagram has been the ability to caption content in a way that is relatable to the student demographic while maintaining the ability to promote external businesses and adventure destinations. The balance of visually excellent content, authentic captions, and major partnerships has continuously pushed The Lobo Life forward.
Along with the notion of user-generated content being central to the success of the Instagram, every adventure featured on The Lobo Life website features the profiles of the student "explorers" who attended. Each student gets to create their own profile complete with a bio, quote, and a link back their Instagram handle.
One of the major target demographics when launching The Lobo Life was to demonstrate to prospective out-of-state students (as I once was) that New Mexico is a genuine adventure destination. This meant we needed to show the state's appeal visually, but also educate prospective students on the geographic opportunities New Mexico presents. This was accomplished through the interactive map feature on The Lobo Life website.
As The Lobo Life grew and partnerships with major adventure destinations around New Mexico became more common place, video content became a necessity for showcasing the most dynamic adventures, stretching my skills along the way.
One of the heavier lifts for any social media manager is handling contests. The Lobo Life's photo contests we're just that, but served their purposes and then some. The first saw following grow by 500 followers and the second an additional 600. The approach taken, having open submissions, selecting a top 12, and then reposing those allowing the community to vote through likes, is an extremely efficient way of maximizing the engagement from the contest. The winning photos of both contests reached 1,000 likes, dozens of comments, and a reach of over 3,000.
The Lobo Life will by all indication live on long after my graduation. UNM's Marketing and Communications Department has dedicated two full time student employees to managing the responsibilities of the website, Instagram, content creation, and managing partnerships. The student organization is continuing on with a full team of leadership, including a President, two Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, and a Secretary.