How Well Are Schools Using Social Media? [Infographic]

Is social media a distraction for students or an integrated part of college life? This infographic shows how schools have joined their students on sites like Facebook and Twitter to make college campuses even more social.

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth conducted a Social Media Adoption study to see how social media is used in higher education. Not surprisingly, one hundred percent of the colleges and universities studied were using social media in some form.

The most common tool used was Facebook, which is used by 98 percent of the schools that participated in the study. The other tools used were LinkedIn, Twitter, blogs and message boards. The study, which lasted three school years between 2008 and 2011, showed some especially large growth rates for Twitter and LinkedIn in the last year.

LinkedIn recently enhanced its student profiles to include organizations, projects, awards, test scores and courses taken to make that first job out of college more attainable. Twitter users reported that professors used the microblogging site to make announcements about class schedules and tests.

Professional networking, outreach to current and potential students, and school pride were among the reasons listed for engaging in social media.  The Harvard University Facebook page, for example, includes articles from the Harvard Gazette, an ad for the “Tour Harvard Yard” mobile app, and pictures of life on campus in a folder titled, “As Seen at Harvard.” The posts drew comments from many hopeful applicants, as well as a few students.

The most social schools were John Hopkins University, University of Notre Dame, Ohio State University, Columbia University in the City of New York, and of course Harvard University, which was the school Mark Zuckerberg was attending when he created Facebook. None of these schools made Princeton Review’s list of top party schools in 2012, so the party must have moved online.

The infographic comes from Online Universities and includes some of the do’s and don’ts of social media at school. Take a look.