The University of Miami was recently ranked eighth on a list of “top social media colleges” in the nation. The ranking is based on how well a university and its departments and divisions keep in touch with the students using outlets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Other colleges that were ranked by StudentAdvisor.com include first-place Harvard University, second-place Johns Hopkins, sixth-place Stanford University and the University of Florida, which placed ninth.
StudentAdvisor.com, a Web site that provides information about colleges across the country, noted UM’s five RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds, but criticized the state of its iTunes account because it “needs some updating.”
Miami.edu has a social media database online which provides links to UM’s various Facebook pages, Twitter and RSS feeds and YouTube accounts managed by different offices and programs around campus, from UMPD to the Richter Library’s Special Collections Division.
Creative uses of social media by the university are exemplified by the many Facebook pages developed as resources available to students. For instance, the Wellness Center’s Facebook page offers videos demonstrating different workouts.
Toppel also posts upcoming career events on its Facebook page, and the general UM Facebook page includes news updates and information about events on campus.
Some students are perplexed as to how UM was awarded this rank.
“The only social media that I’ve seen concerning the university are the Facebook groups that everyone joins when they get accepted,” freshman Elana Block said. “Everyone posts on those pages and it gets all of the freshmen excited about starting college.”
However, these groups are not the university-sponsored pages ranked by StudentAdvisor.com.
It is obvious by its rank that UM tries to use social media to reach its students, but many within the target audience do not actually use these resources. Although students may acknowledge the fact that UM’s social media tools exist, they do not always take advantage of the information the university provides online.
“I have seen the Twitter and Facebook pages for the different resources, such as housing, the Wellness Center and Toppel Career Center,” Zoë Brown said. “I can tell that these pages would be a useful and convenient resource to students looking for quick information about the different offices around campus. They would be able to check these pages while they are checking their own Facebook. I haven’t ever had the chance to use them myself, though.”
Alanna Zunski may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.