How Universities Can Use Social Media

social media for universities

The days are gone and the era has passed when you saw social media as a passing fad. It’s more of a utility and a mandate today for most of us. It is incontrovertible how everything over the Internet has morphed into an assortment of prolific activities.

Social media is now a requisite to stay informed of events at your work-place or any other place which you believe yourself to be an integral part of. Even your physical presence in that place might not fetch you the information which you will be getting over the internet. Strange but true!

Internet and social media are being used in the best way possible, so far. There’s hardly any field which has not been influenced by Social media. It has even spread itself to become an important part of Education and Universities as well and why it would not be?

While Businesses use social media for advertising and other growth purposes, many organizations have come up with creative ideas for raising donations and strengthening their branding and trust.

Let us see how some educational institutions are using Social Media:

Attracting students:

More often than not, students are looking for well recognized colleges to join. This is where social media comes into the picture. This “recognition” can very well be boosted by Social media.

You might come across a senior student who is not aware of FYUP in Delhi University but definitely not one who is not on any Social networking site. Some students might not be interested in news but are definitely present on Facebook and regularly exposed to news on their newsfeed. Universities know their target, and definitely know where that target is and so the Universities have taken the social route.

 ORREY '13 Social interaction

 # A place to fit in:

Students look for a place to fit in. Universities have taken notice of that and use Social media like Facebook, twitter, You-tube videos, Instagram and much more to share the campus photographs, captures of College life and videos.

Students do not want to be just another face in the crowd and so Universities/Colleges make that interesting by sharing eventful stuff at social networking gaining student’s interest in them. Getting a spotlight on students from time to time is something which keeps them motivated to participate and perform.

Here is the picture of a PGDBM student on the Facebook community page receiving her Student of the year award:

 Management  schools sharing updates

Social media is no misnomer. A lot of organic connections are build over it without any deliberate efforts by the university by just providing the platform to stay connected like campus groups, Facebook office hours etc.

#Using Social media as a platform to broadcast events:

If students like to stay updated through Social media, then what is the harm? Most of the Colleges today make announcements through Social media to gain popularity. What might be better than streaming videos to broadcast the activities at the campus and using tweets, hashtags and facebook  status updates to gain attention from students which are not even native to that university or college as well targeting a wider range of students to take interest in them.

 Centre of management post on fb

Here is another example from DU broadcasting announcements through their Official Facebook page:

 DU facebook page

#For raising funds:

Many organizations have come up with smart ideas to raise the funds. Celebrations at colleges are an integral part of College life. Fresher’s party, farewell party, karaokes, treasure hunts, college fest, university fest and much more. Colleges create quite a hype amongst students through Social media whenever there approaches the time for some celebration. College fests are actually what contribute the most in it.

Here comes the college fest announcements on facebook and twitter updates and oh there, some rocking teen favourite singer. It’s a cherry on the top for teenagers and Colleges are there, with lot of attention and lot of funds.

 YouTube interaction by universities

#For education :

MOOC’s (Mass open online courses) have modified the education trend quite a lot. Many colleges publish their tutorials on web. This definitely has helped them in gaining popularity more than anything else. It reflects the importance which is given to education in the place and sincerity for it which is the ultimate aim of the colleges. MOOC’s published on the internet has benefited students as well as colleges. Colleges have earned the recognition and students can make up for the missed classes through those tutorials.

Here is the snapshot of the video MOOC by IIT’s:

IIT on YouTube

Another example from DU sharing study material on facebook page:

 DU sharing study material on FB

#For selection in to the colleges:

Referring back to the point that I had made earlier, since this generation has grown communicating on the internet, their social profiles reflect their interests and distastes quite clearly. Universities need to judge the students well. The criteria has shifted a little. It is not just about cracking entrance exams today. If you are applying to some well reputed college, you might not know but your social activities are sometimes tracked to make sure you are a potential student and +enrollments are done quite considerably on the same basis.

So, having a strong social media presence is what seems to make it easier for students and colleges to build a strong dynamic relation which earlier seemed to be a difficult task.

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