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  • Writer's pictureBianca Gurgel

Driving Social Performance with People-Centric Content: A Success Story in the Higher Ed Sector

Updated: Jun 4, 2023


As the Marketing Manager for Compass Group Canada at Simon Fraser University, I faced the challenge of boosting the reach and engagement of their student-facing Instagram account. The ultimate goal was to use it as a channel to promote the marketing initiatives of Compass's dining brands on campus. In this blog post, I'll share how I strategically leveraged people-centric content to organically double their Instagram following.


I developed an editorial calendar with a focus on engagement, reach and audience growth. This involved sharing daily engaging content, such as menu updates, fun/relatable posts, behind-the-scenes stories, staff/student features and student-only giveaways in partnership with established brands like Tim Hortons and Pepsi.

Recognizing that the target market of students aged 19-25 spent considerable time on Instagram, I crafted a strategy that resonated with them through people-centric, lighthearted, and engaging content. My ultimate aim was to position the account as a go-to source for campus dining news, promotions, updates, stories, and valuable information for the SFU foodie community.

In addition to the content strategy above, I implemented daily outreach to relevant accounts and utilized geotagging and location-related hashtags to reach a local audience around the campus. By employing these tactics, I ensured that our content was reaching the right audience and generating maximum engagement.

Below are some of my posts for the account (photography and copywriting were done by me).

Valentine's Day Cookie Decoration Event.

Women's Day Staff Highlight.

Menu Updates.

Holi Festival Team Photo.


In just three months, I achieved outstanding results through purely organic efforts. The Instagram following for the account more than doubled, with a remarkable 165% increase in post engagement and a substantial 212% boost in platform reach. These results exceeded expectations and showcased the power of people-centric content and strategic outreach in driving social media growth.

This project was a valuable learning experience that showcased the effectiveness of people-centric content in boosting social media performance. By aligning content with the interests and preferences of the target audience, leveraging partnerships, and utilizing geo-targeted social optimization tactics, I was able to achieve remarkable results.

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