Colleges doing social media right

14 07 2011

Whenever I see an article about higher education and social media, my ears perk up. So, last Friday, when Jason, my husband’s cousin’s son, tweeted a link to a Mashable article about ways colleges can improve their social media presences, I was all over it.

As I’ve mentioned before, our campus has a Facebook page  and our own YouTube channel, but we haven’t plunged into Twitter yet. And, while we tried student blogs with limited success, we hope to launch a university-wide blog this academic year. (Keep that under your hat, OK? I haven’t really told anyone about that yet.)

Reading that Mashable article got me to thinking: Which colleges and universities are already doing it right? Where could I turn to get (and maybe steal) good ideas and get inspired to help bolster our social-media efforts?

Student Advisor, in conjunction with HubSpot, has published a list of the top 100 social media colleges

You won’t be surprised to learn which ones are at the top; they’re the ones you’d expect:  Harvard, Stanford, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Brown, etc.

Topping the list is Johns Hopkins, particularly for its Hopkins Insider Blog, which is presented by members of its admissions staff. Second is Harvard University, which has its own social media Twitter group called Harvard Social Media, although Harvard hasn’t tweeted since April 15.

West Virginia University, which offers a list of Facebook do’s and don’ts, is No. 46 on the list. Last on the list is Emory University, which has its Emory 360 YouTube feature. 

This video, which opens with scenes from a Transformers movie, is titled “Transformers: Is artificial intelligence dangerous without emotion?” and features an interview with Paul Root Wolpe, professor of bioethics.

After looking the list over, it’s pretty apparent that the schools showcased are much bigger and have more resources than we do. But, I won’t let that discourage me. In fact, I was hoping you could tell me what neat social media initiatives you’ve seen colleges undertake. What about your alma mater?

Tell me. I really want to know.

(Since this is my last post for my Emerging Media and the Market class — unless something incredibly newsworthy arises that I just can’t ignore — I sincerely thank each of you who has visited and offered a comment or two. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to stop by. Izzie thanks you, too.)

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4 responses

14 07 2011
Liza

After clicking through many of the top 100, CMU and University of Oregon would top my list. I like the initial focus on laying out our social media “structure” (since we already do have FB and YouTube), then adding. And putting all the options in one place may be more user-friendly to the spectrum of familiarity with social media among our users.

14 07 2011
James Baldwin

Good post and great questions, Pat. I looked at that list, and what I want to see is not only the size of the insiutions in relation to the placement on the list, but also, tution cost, and finally, student to staff ratios. Of course these are the top 100. Most of these insiutions should be embarassed if they are not listed. One outsider did catch my eye: Oklahoma Christian University.

This was the only fairly small insiutions with a reasonable tuition (sticker price).

I am also interested in better understanding the scoring system. In some cases a systatic or strategic approach seems to have been the key to ranking. However, in others, one “hit” seems top have made all of the difference. See Macalester College(Saint Paul, Minnesota) for example, “President Brian Rosenberg’s clever self-parody made him a YouTube sensation.”

P.S. I did read the methodology section, which was weak:

“The StudentAdvisor.com research team continuously collects information on how active and effective each school is at engaging their audiences on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media tools, such as iTunes and podcasts. The ranking methodology also takes into account the size of each school’s population, as well as other metrics, to gauge overall reach and effectiveness. The team then produces a strictly quantitative score for each school based on this information, and updates the findings regularly.”

14 07 2011
Pat

James,
And that is why I wrote in an earlier post that you are one of the smartest people I know.
Thanks,
Pat

14 07 2011
Pat

Liza,

That’s a great idea,putting all of the options in one place. That would make it easier for our audiences.

Thanks. One vigorous belly rub for Izzie is on its way.
Pat

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