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Just how popular is social media among faculty and admin?


Social media is a staple for college students, but is it also gaining popularity with faculty and administration?

social-media-facultyAccording to recent higher education reports, social media isn’t just for the young folk anymore—it’s quickly rising in popularity among academics for two main reasons.

The first reason why Facebook and Twitter use is rising among faculty and administration is to engage alumni and prospective students.

According to a report by Best Colleges Online, higher education institutions use social media to engage alumni (83 percent), maintain their image and brand awareness (77 percent), and promote student recruitment (38 percent).

The second reason, and perhaps why social media use is more than just a passing fad, is that faculty and administration are motivated by the prospect of academic sharing. More motivated, even, than Inc. and Fortune 500 CEOs.

(Next page: What current studies tell us; the new rising social media platform)

Best Colleges Online notes that other goals include engaging faculty and staff (43 percent), engage current students (55 percent), and crisis management (22 percent).

At the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, top administrators have embraced social media as much as students, and for the same uses.

“Our president is very active on Twitter,” said an IUP spokesperson. “He is very engaged on campus and attends many campus functions and tweets pictures of the event; he shares interesting articles he reads that he feels are relevant to students and staff; and he’s even tweeted back and forth with other state system university presidents.”

Being able to interact with colleagues and other professionals is not only a fun activity, it’s becoming critical to maintain relevance and keep up with the digital masses.

This growing trend is revealed in data from a recent UMass Dartmouth study.  Researchers found that over half top university officials from four-year accredited universities use Facebook and Twitter more frequently than Inc. and Fortune 500 CEOs.

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The report also reveals that universities now have multiple social media accounts representing specific departments.

For example, Indiana University of Pennsylvania has a number of Facebook and Twitter accounts for departments from the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology to the Journalism Department.

“They share information for students in their department: activity schedules, reminders, interesting articles, relevant news, et cetera,” the IUP spokeswoman continued.

“And breaking it down further, a few professors have their own personal Twitter accounts, and they engage with other professionals in their fields.”

While the most used social media sites for education are Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn is also quickly rising in popularity. The professional networking site provides faculty and administrators with a place to share common interests.

Jaccii Barmer, a current graduate student at Towson University, is an editorial intern with eCampus News.

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