Cheryl Slover-Linett Gives Co-Keynote Talk on Social Media in Higher Ed

April 22, 2011

Slover-Linett, the firm’s president, was in San Francisco last week for the annual CASE Social Media & Community conference. She and Michael Stoner co-presented findings from our second annual survey of how colleges and universities use social media tools to create and cultivate relationships with prospects, students, and alumni.

Building on last year’s study, we partnered again with mStoner and CASE (the Council for Advancement and Support of Education) this year to ask educational institutions about their social media initiatives in areas such as admissions, alumni relations, communications, and fundraising. More than 950 respondents provided feedback during February and March, sharing details on what social media tools they’re using, how they’re staffing social media initiatives, and what barriers they see on the path to success.

The 2011 survey findings show that more schools, colleges and universities are developing written policies to guide their use of social media, and more respondents feel that their investments in social media have value for the institution. Once again, Facebook is the most commonly-used social media tool, with Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube following at lower percentages. Since last year’s survey, though, the use of Twitter has increased.

Barriers to the effective use of social media in higher ed were also studied. Many institutions are still struggling to adequately staff these efforts and evaluate their impacts. On average, schools are more likely to have a handful of staff spending part of their time on social media than they are to have one or more people fully dedicated to it.

“There’s definitely some chaos,” Slover-Linett says of the way social media is managed in higher ed. “If the evolution of social media is like raising a child, we’re more or less at the end of the toddler years. We’re working with something that’s running off in a lot of directions, that we know has great potential, but we’re not yet sure what it’s going to look like when it grows up.”

To watch the webcast of last week's presentation, click here. You can also download Slover-Linett and Stoner’s presentation of findings here [pdf], and read a brief summary of the results here [pdf].

We’ll delve further into these findings at the CASE Summit for Advancement Leaders conference in Chicago in July, and we plan to publish a white paper on the study later in the summer.

For more information about our CASE social media survey, please contact Cheryl Slover-Linett by email.


Category: Higher education

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