Third annual study of social media practices in higher education is released

May 29, 2012

The new report marks the third year of Slover Linett’s partnership with the communications firm mStoner and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) to conduct a national study examining how colleges and universities manage their social media activities.

The 2012 survey was distributed to CASE members in the US and other countries, most of whom are college and university professionals working in advancement, development, marketing, admissions, and other areas. This year’s response was the largest to date, with 1,187 respondents.

In the study, we ask questions about how the schools manage and fund their social media efforts and what kinds of outcomes they're seeing from those investments. As in previous years, the survey was designed and conducted by Slover Linett in collaboration with mStoner and CASE. Our analysis has helped colleges, universities, and independent schools to strengthen their social media practices and benchmark their own activities against those of their peers.

The summary of findings are published here, and the full report will be presented by Cheryl Slover-Linett and Michael Stoner at CASE’s annual Summit for Leaders in Advancement conference, to be held July 15-18 in Washington, DC.

The study was launched in 2010 with an outstanding advisory committee of leaders in the field. In addition to Michael Stoner, president of mStoner, our advisors included:

  • Rae Goldsmith, vice president of advancement resources at CASE;
  • Andy Shaindlin, Associate Vice President for University Advancement & Associate Vice President of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving at Carnegie Mellon University, and a blogger at Alumni Futures;
  • Andrew Gossen, senior director of social media at Cornell University;
  • Charlie Melichar, associate vice chancellor, development and alumni relations communications at Vanderbilt University.

Slover Linett’s vice president for higher education, Bill Hayward, is pleased that the findings from this unique study are finding a larger audience in the field. "Each year this study seems to fill a bit more of the void that’s out there about best practices in social media in higher ed," he says. "While nearly all schools use social media, there’s a wide range in how they use it and the results they generate. This study can help practitioners strengthen their programs and and simultaneously give us all a birds-eye view of the state-of-the-field.”

For more information about the social media study, contact Bill Hayward by email or by phone at (773) 348-9215. If you would like to receive an invitation to participate in the next wave of the study, please email us your contact information including your name, e-mail and educational institution.

Category: Higher education

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