Social media at colleges demonstrates remarkable ingenuity and innovation across the U.S.
- Andy Jones
- On May 1, 2012
StudentAdvisor.com’s Spring 2012 Top 100 Social Media Colleges© rankings demonstrates the varied power of social media in colleges and universities around the world today. Harvard University (#1) has risen back to the top of the rankings displacing Johns Hopkins University (#2). Both schools have extraordinary social media communities and continue to innovate and execute their social media strategies exceptionally well.
“The algorithm for the Top 100 takes into account student populations ranging from over 67,000 at Arizona State University (#45) to 1,100 at the University of Hawai’i – West O’ahu (#55).”
The University of Kentucky (#7) proves they are not only excellent on the basketball court by winning the NCAA 2012 title, but that they are also actively engaged through social media. According to the university, the social media elements of their “see blue” admissions marketing campaign targeted at prospective and incoming students have even been embraced by the faculty, staff and alumni on their own accounts. In addition, they had remarkable social media outreach during the NCAA March Madness Tournament. When the Mayor of Lexington, KY declared Friday, March 30 – Monday, April 2, 2012 as “Big Blue Days”, the university alerted their social media community far and wide of the momentous recognition.
The latest Top 100 Social Media Colleges list published today features a new member to the Top 10: The University of Washington – Seattle Campus (#9). The university is actively creating programs focusing on social media such as Video Bootcamp: How to Shoot, Edit, and Upload Video to the Web. They believe video is fast becoming a “lingua franca” for web communication.
At St. Mary’s College (#88) students used the class of 2015 Facebook page to find the perfect roommate before ever setting foot on campus. Every Monday in April, Morehouse College(#99) hosted “Morehouse Mondays” where admitted students ask questions via Facebook to admissions and financial aid advisors. Full Sail University (#19), added over 75,000 community members on Facebook and Twitter since September.
“Social media has revolutionized university engagement,” said Dean Tsouvalas, Editor-in-Chief, StudentAdvisor.com. “The algorithm for the Top 100 takes into account student populations ranging from over 67,000 at Arizona State University (#45) to 1,100 at the University of Hawai’i – West O’ahu (#55).”
Tsouvalas continued, “In addition, the use of image sharing social networks, like Pinterest and Instagram, has exploded in popularity. The schools on our list do an incredible job of harnessing the power of social media to keep their own communities informed and show the world what they are all about.”
wrote a case study on social media crisis communication called “Snowmageddon at Seattle U”.1 Marquette University (#74) is one of the most innovative users of Pinterest with organized pinboards for alumni, campus life, basketball and other student interests.
Mount Holyoke College (#77) has begun almost exclusively using social media for alumni fundraising and is piloting a new mobile payments app that enables students to pay for purchases around campus. Oregon State University (#67) has created an amazing video called “Social Life’s a Beach,” that humorously reviews social media best practices.
At the California Institute of Technology (#78), they hosted their own TEDx event with student speakers and University-related talks. Videos from the TEDx Caltech event have accumulated thousands of views on YouTube. And when Elon Musk delivers Caltech’s commencement address you won’t have to be on campus to watch as it will be streamed online.
The “Presidential Prerogative”, the blog by President Robert Henry at the Oklahoma City University (#93) and his hilarious video of the “stealth candidate” for Provost is surely “must see”. At St. Johns University-New York (#39), they used social media to announce scholarship opportunities.
Rounding out the Top 100 is Biola University (#100) with their upcoming digital ministry conference that features a session titled “Becoming Social Media Savvy Without Losing your Soul”
At the Top of the List:
1. Harvard University (up 1)
2. Johns Hopkins University (down 1)
3. University of Notre Dame (unchanged)
4. Columbia University (up 1)
5. Stanford University (up 2)
6. Ohio State University-Main Campus (down 2)
7. University of Kentucky (down 1)
8. Louisiana State University (unchanged)
9. University of Washington-Seattle Campus (up 6)
10. United States Military Academy (down 1)
Rankings methodology: On a daily basis, StudentAdvisor.com tracks thousands of colleges and universities on more than 100,000 data points in a statically valid study to determine their respective social media uses. Data tracked is total Facebook fan counts, total number and effectiveness of Twitter followers, taking into account adjustments of school enrollment, among other factors including other social media engagement at each school.
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