As students and faculty return to college campuses this fall, there is a new push to engage the educational community with social media tools. Yesterday Facebook announced its Universities on Facebook Page, featuring ads for discount products and details on how to involve your specific educational community through the use of Facebook Pages. While this attempt to get back to Facebook’s .edu roots falls well short of creating any type of comprehensive or custom solution for colleges and universities, but may suffice for dormitory connectivity, the announcement is certainly indicative of a growing need for educational institutions to establish a presence with social media.
So how are universities getting involved?
Research-inclined as this community is, growing statistics show that social media marketing have not gone unnoticed. Surprisingly, educational institutions are not especially resistant to social media involvement. This fall finds social media buzz words are on the tips of many administrators’ tongues, and statistics and success stories are finding their way into the educational mainstream.
In fact, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research recently released one of the first statistically significant, longitudinal studies on the usage of social media by college admissions offices, collecting data on the adoption of social media by all of the four-year accredited institutions from 2007 to 2008. Their results surprisingly reveal that educational institutions (41%) are leading Fortune 500 companies in use of public blogs (13%). (Source)