Social Media Goes to College: How Universities Are Putting The Sites to Work

In this social media obsessed world we live in, universities can no longer stand on their slick brochures and fancy websites alone. And it seems they know it, considering a 2011 study found that 100 percent of universities surveyed used social media in some fashion.

Well, they’re obviously using it, but how?

Attracting students

Today’s students are savvy about where they get their information. They’ll forego the printed literature and look to the web for the real lowdown on a school. The 18- to 24-year-old crowd expects everyone to have a social media presence. And their younger counterparts, high school students, will expect it more. Having grown up on social media, both groups see it as much a necessity as fresh water.

With that said, universities use social media sites to convey what students can expect from the school’s social and academic offerings. It offers them a glimpse into the exciting life they can have on campus and what success they can hope to obtain from attending the school.

ADMINISTRATOR TIP: Teens and young adults can smell sanitized copy from a mile away. Keep it real or don’t bother.

Building school spirit

Many schools have cracked the code for leveraging social media to not only complement but also improve campus life. Sites have become hubs for finding out what is going on on campus. Many universities have established separate pages for their sports team and some have gone so far as to create pages for the school mascot.

Embracing the many niches of the university has allowed many schools to build communities within the overall, far-reaching campus as well as make students feel more connected as a student body.

ADMINISTRATOR TIP: Let the students talk. Not only are they the ones actually living the campus life, they tend to have more school spirit than anybody.


Sure schools use social media sites to talk to their students, but it goes far beyond that. Schools have found that parents follow their children’s school on social media. It’s an effective tool of allowing parents to see the day-to-day happenings in the school community.  Social media sites can offer a place to start a dialogue with parents or other invested community members. Schools can get feedback on anything from dorm life to proposed policy changes. It’s also an effective tool for gauging the parental climate on a controversial topic.


Well, there you have it. Schools from elementary’s to college campuses are using Social Media to bring attract students, build school spirit, and communication. Can your school use Social Media to better their communication with current students, or even potential students? We think so.

Thanks for reading,

Drew Larison