The masters of social media in higher education

“What was once used for flash mobs and general communication between college students and parents has now become an essential component of college life today,” Tsouvalas said. “At colleges around the country, social media has the pulse of pop culture while providing a real world temperature in real time.”

Louisiana State University, ranked eighth by StudentAdvisor, tells students via Twitter which of its 23,000 parking spots are available throughout the day. The handle @LSUParking has more than 500 followers, according to the university.

Tufts University was ranked No. 68, grabbing national attention with a recent effort to post the campus’s lunch menu to its official Twitter feed.

The StudentAdvisor ranking made note of the size of social media icons on West Virginia University’s home page. While most Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube icons are subtly places in the corner of a college’s website, WVU displays the symbols front and center, and several times larger than usual.

WVU was also credited for posting a comprehensive list of Facebook do’s and don’ts, which reminds students not to forget that “once you post something, it may live forever, even if you take it down,” and that risqué Facebook posts “may jeopardize [your] chances for a job, or [your] scholarships.”

The social media rankings compared more than 6,000 colleges and universities nationwide, and trimmed them to a list of 100 by analyzing information showing how “active and effective” schools were in engaging students with well-known social media, along with podcasts and other online tools.

StudentAdvisor’s social media rankings come nine months after another national ranking identified colleges and universities with the most visible presence on Twitter.

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