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Social Media Now Mainstream in Educational Advancement


Social Media Now Mainstream in Educational Advancement

Sep 16, 2014By Michael Stoner

Download the report.

When it came time to write our annual white paper on social media and advancement, it was pretty easy to come up with the major takeaway:

Social media use is increasingly engrained in the work of alumni relations, communications, fundraising, and marketing professionals at schools, colleges, and universities.

The white paper, Social Media Enters the Mainstream, reports on findings from the fifth survey of social media in advancement. We conduct this survey annually with Huron Education and CASE. This year, nearly 2,000 respondents provided feedback on the tools they are using, how they use them, which are most successful, and how to measure return on investment.

Among the notable findings is growing recognition by advancement practitioners of the importance of social media to advancement. For example, 59 percent of respondents report that they were using social media in campaigns — not just for fundraising but for any “broader, planned campaign to achieve a specific goal.” In addition, 46 percent of respondents report that their institution’s chief executive uses social media in his or her official role. We released top-line findings from the survey earlier this year. 

The white paper includes three profiles of institutional executives who successfully use social media:

  • Anne M. Kress (@MCCPresident), president of Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York.
  • Paul LeBlanc (@snhuprez), president of Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, who also blogs at The President’s Corner.
  • Kirk and Noel Schulz, president and first spouse of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, are both active on Twitter (@kstate_pres and @kstate_1stlady).

There are additional appendixes  for those who want to look at the Survey Data by Institution Type and the Survey Data by Key Uses of Social Media. The latter shows groupings by those who rate their units “very successful” or a “model for successful use of social media” compared to those who rate themselves as less successful, units that handle their own social media compared to those that are less directly involved with social media, and institutions that use social media in fundraising compared to those that do not.

  • Michael Stoner Co-Founder and Co-Owner Was I born a skeptic or did I become one as I watched the hypestorm gather during the dotcom years, recede, and congeal once more as we come to terms with our online, social, mobile world? Whatever. I'm not much interested in cutting edge but what actually works for real people in the real world. Does that make me a bad person?