How Many Universities Embrace Social Networking? All of Them

Northwestern University HallIt’s not just college kids who are immersed in social media. The schools they go to are fully engaged with social networking too, “not only to recruit but to research prospective students.”

That’s the finding of University of Massachusetts researchers. Their report, Social Media Adoption Soars as Higher-Ed Experiments and Reevaluates Its Use of New Communications Tools, reveals just how much colleges depend on social media and notes, somewhat chillingly, “It is clear that online behavior can have important consequences for young people and that these tools can, and will, be utilized by others to make decisions about them.”

Today, 100 percent of colleges and universities studied are using some form of social media, the report says.

Facebook is the most common form of social networking being used with 98% of colleges and universities reporting having a Facebook page (up from 87% last year). Eighty-four percent have a school Twitter account (up from 59%) and 66% have a blog (up from 51%). Podcasting has risen from 22% to 41% in just one year. Admissions professionals are flocking to LinkedIn, with 47% on the professional networking site, up from 16% last year. The number of schools using MySpace has declined from 16% last year to 8% this year.

In the past year, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, blogging and podcasting are have all seen double-digit increases in adoption by university administrators. Clearly the days of mailing out those four-color brochures are long gone.

Source: U Mass