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Jun 13 2012

4 Colleges That Understand Social Media

Follow some of the best higher education marketers on the web.

Social media is quickly becoming one of the best marketing tools for colleges. Not only is it effective for recruiting new students, but social networking also allows schools to engage with alumni, boosters, parents and current students. The target demographic of most colleges just happens to be the most engaged with social media. But does that mean it translates into an effective marketing strategy? The answer is yes, according to eSchool News:

Massive social media advertising campaigns have proven effective for colleges and universities large and small, and a new analysis shows that institutions that invest the most in social media ads spend less per student on marketing than do campuses who stick to traditional strategies.

Read the full article here.

With so many social media sites available, how would a marketing department even begin? Because people tend to lean toward one site or another, the safest bet is to be active on several. Here are five schools excelling on four of the most popular sites.


Harvard University is leading the way for colleges that are looking to microblog. Harvard has more than 125,000 followers, and they are active on the site all day, every day. Of course, they also take advantage of Facebook, where more than 1.7 million people have “liked” the page. On both sites, the university keeps the posts simple, featuring students and faculty members as well as articles from the student newspaper. Follow them on Twitter to watch them in action.


The words “college” and “Facebook” will be linked forever, because Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg originally built the site for college students. The biggest social networking site in the world is still the most powerful marketing tool for colleges when it comes to social media. The University of Florida has built an impressive fan base of more than 445,000 people. They talk sports, share photos and make sure students know about events on campus. Become a fan to see how it’s done.


Google’s social networking site is young, but it’s gaining traction in all demographics. In addition to the traditional value gained from social media engagement, Google+ offers the chance to alter search results for users who follow certain pages. This is an opportunity that should not be overlooked. Get on this site now and start posting! Check out Johns Hopkins University and Colorado State University to get an idea of how people are using Google+.


It might not seem relevant at first glance, but Pinterest is growing fast. Ole Miss is an example of a school that is using this site properly. They have boards for DIY dorm projects, tailgating ideas and even Ole Miss fashion. If you are creative, Pinterest offers a way into the hearts and minds of students and alumni alike. 

How is your school using social media?

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