Every college is apparently using social media, search engines, and blogs. Literally. According to a new study by UMass Dartmouth, 100% of colleges and universities surveyed are using some form of social media.
But are students listening? Is all this widespread adoption actually making a difference? The study digs for the truth behind all the buzz around social media in higher education. After reading through the report (PDF or DOC), there were more than a few key facts that I found interesting and thought you might too. Below are excerpts from the longer article available here.
- Most of the people running the social media for schools aren’t super familiar with the actual blogging platform. Most schools say IT departments set the blog up and then hand it off.
- The people who manage the blogs are typically admissions offices, marketing offices, and public relations.
- When asked if they allow comments, most school bloggers say they do. The biggest reason is to encourage conversation.
- 44% of schools have a social media policy in place. That’s up from 32% last year. Don’t have one? Check out the Edudemic crowdsourced social media policy!
- Of the schools not using a particular social media tool, most say they’re going to in the future. In other words, everyone will be using every tool sooner or later. Crazy.
- A lot of schools use search engines and social networks to research students. 13% for search engines, 19% for social networks.
- Why do schools use social media and search engines to research students? Most say to find out more about “the student’s activities or interests.”
- 1 in 3 schools say social media is more efficient in reaching their audience than typical media.
- 68% of schools surveyed say they ‘listen’ to what’s being said about them online. That’s actually down from 73% last year. Wild! Who wouldn’t want to monitor what people are saying about your school? This figure is quite surprising to me.
For a broader look at this study, check out this useful infographic from Best Colleges Online.