DIGITAL MARKETING OFFICER at Aston University (2012-2014)

Daniel invented Social Media at Aston.

David Farrow, Executive Director of Marketing, Strategy & Communications, Aston University


My Role

Digital Marketing Officer (Social Media Specialist)

The following is a portfolio of campaigns and projects I have been working on at Aston to give you some perspective on the statement of how invented Social Media at Aston University. This list is not exhaustive.


My main role was the day to day management of Aston University’s Social Media channels. This included Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Flickr as well as the other web tools for the purpose of attracting new students and keeping current students engaged. I also produced graphics, photography, and assisted the team with the management of the website.  I also organised monthly digital marketing and social media surgeries to help staff across the organisation get to grips with social media and digitial marketing tools. 




Student Engagement

Generating and maximising user generated content for Marketing purposes

Working in a small team, a key strategy for the university in keeping fresh and engaging content for the student was to encourage user generated content and create talking points for students. In 2012 I started the university Instagram account and developed competitions to keep the students sharing their experiences at the university around the hashtag #astonunilife. The university now has a few thousand followers and quite possibly one of the largest UK University Instagram followings in the UK. The hashtag #astonunilife has become a focal point of conversation for the students and even staff at the university.

Get involved in the #astonunilife twitter leaderboard.

A photo posted by Aston University (@astonuniversity) on



Twitter Takeover Project

In an increasingly competitive market, students are taking longer to make decisions about which university they will be attending. March to May is a crucial period of conversions across the sector. In response to this, I designed the Aston University Twitter Takeover project whereby students were invited to tweet and instagram for a day each from the official university social media accounts. The aim of this was to provide an authentic voice of the students instead of the corporate marketing messages. This proved very successful for engagement and the project was repeated in 2014 across the different schools. 


Maximising Twitter and Instagram Social Media Channels.

takeover page banner









Ask me about Aston

Brand Awareness

Facebook cover photos of our social media following as prime advertising space.

Aston, is a very small university in comparison to most in the UK and budgets available for brand awareness or advertising is very limited. ‘Ask me about Aston’ was a mini brand awareness social media project designed to encourage students to change their cover photo to something Aston University related. At the end of 2013 when the first year students were going home for the Christmas Holidays, we designed personalised cover photos, with the first names of all the first year students. We uploaded these to facebook an invited students tag themselves and friends in the images. Numerous students took up the offer and posted them as their cover photos. This initiative was so successful that the University continues to repeat it at Graduation time and when they have new students.




Digital Marketing/Social Media Surgeries

Aston Univeristy employs over 1000 members of staff. Each staff member to an extent have the potential to represent the university brand both online and offline but I felt that there is opportunity to leverage this further. In response to this, I facilitated the monthly Digital Marketing and Social Media Surgeries for staff who wanted to get to grips with digital, enable collaboration across the various departments and to engage them in the agenda of the university’s central digital communications team.

Internal Communication

Consulting staff to help them achieve their digital marketing objectives.

IMG_0797 IMG_0799


Microvids + Social Video

Video Production

Social Media Content Production

Recognising the growing trend of Micro videos and opportunities available using YouTube as a platform, I began to produce micro video series of Instagram and Facebook. These videos were used to welcome new students and engage current students again by offering an authentic voice.


Jenkins shares his favourite food. Try it on Open day. #AstonOpenDay #astonunilife

A video posted by Aston University (@astonuniversity) on


Skills: Design, Digital Media