In 1962, your grandparents visited college campuses and physically enrolled in classes. Now, all you have to do is hop on Twitter and determine everything a school has to offer in 140 characters or less. Sure, websites can show which clubs to join, possible majors to declare and on-campus events. But social media outlets like Twitter take that information a step further. By following a university’s Twitter account, students can directly interact with school officials. You can ask questions or experience a campus-wide fundraiser in real-time. It’s a no-brainer, who wouldn’t give their dream school a follow? We examined the number of Twitter followers, the type of tweets and level of interaction to find you which universities are most worthy of your follow.
[table class=’table table-striped’]
3,Massachusetts Institute of Technology,@MIT
5,Ohio State University,@OhioState
6,Texas A&M University,@TAMU
8,Indiana University Bloomington,@IUBloomington
9,University of Michigan,@UMICH
10,University of Wisconsin-Madison,@UWMadison
This university has pride like none other. While many fail at the art of bragging modestly, UW-Madison proves through retweets from current students and big name publications like TIME, that whether it be their gorgeous sunsets or their outsourcing of the top CEOs, they are proud of their accomplishments. John Lucas, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Communications at UW-Madison, believes that social media is key to connecting with their on-campus audience.
At 127,000 growing followers and an average 4 tweets per day, it’s easy to stay informed with the use of popular #badgers or #UWMadison hashtags.
As a part of the #UMSocial mission, the University of Michigan’s Twitter account acts as a social space for collaboration with all of its campus. Boasting a whopping 154,000 followers, the school caters to all. Catch up on students’ summer activities, learn about the latest research and alumni accomplishments. Or follow live tweet conversations through #UMichtalks which invites followers to discuss topics amongst each other that center on university groups or events. The most recent? Detroit Public TV aired Love, Life & Loss, a University of Michigan documentary about a choral song that uses the dying words of seven Black men. By simply live-tweeting reactions using the #UMichTalks hashtag, the university makes it look easy to be a wolverine virtually anywhere.
The students make Indiana’s account stand out. Their “Day in the Life” tweets feature IU students by linking to a Storify blog about students’ experience on campus. One student was featured during her day as a New Student Orientation leader. Who needs shows like Laguna Beach, when you have Twitter and a mobile device? Not to mention the constant praise given to faculty, students and athletes on any exceptional accomplishments, followers will quickly learn that you won’t get lost in the pack on campus. The IU Bloomington account dishes out an average of 7 posts per day to their 163,000 followers. But hoo’s really complaining when each tweet packs as much humor and valuable insight as its student body?
Columbia University’s Twitter team packs a lot of information in a seriously succinct punch.
[udcquote author=”William McGuinness, Social and Digital Media Strategist at Columbia”][Columbia’s] Twitter account tries to represent the discourse inherent in academia and how our many schools develop new knowledge.[/udcquote]
We’d say it does so flawlessly. Garnering 175,000 followers may not seem like an easy feat, but when you update followers around 5 times a day on the latest global science, health and research news, it’s understandable why the account gets so much traffic. “I try to introduce our followers to the smartest people and the brightest, most promising ideas,” said McGuinness. Talk about an indicative reflection of what to expect if you join the school.
They say that Texas A&M University is home of the 12th man, a figurative representative in support of the Aggie football team on game day. Well, it could be argued that the 12th man lives on Twitter too. TAMU’s Twitter account houses just as much school spirit as its campus. With popular hashtags of #tamu #12thman #tamu20 and #tamuusc circulating the space, the Twitter team is able to retweet all that catches their eye with an average of 3 posts a day.
[udcquote author=”Nick Wilson, Texas A&M Social Media Strategist”]The beauty of Twitter is the relationships and one-on-one conversations you can have and we try to take advantage of that. It’s important to closely follow trends, what’s happening around our university at all times of day, and sharing content when it’s fresh and when people want to see it.[/udcquote]
No wonder why 192,000 users follow the Aggie team.
Ohio State’s Twitter account houses all the info you could ever want from a Big-10 university. Covering everything from updates on campus and current global events, to retweets of OU Alumni, current student activities and sports news, this account maintains a well-rounded breadth of OU knowledge. Tied with Texas A&M University with 192,000 followers, Ohio State’s Twitter moves remain all-inclusive. With tons of media and humor infused in its tweets, OU’s average of 6 updates per day feel like a breath of fresh air to its followers’ feeds.
Of course with a big name like Princeton comes big Twitter responsibilities. Keeping 212,000 followers entertained may not be easy, but somehow Princeton does it without trouble. Giving users updates on all the campus has to offer and interacting with retweets is one method the university has perfected in securing its high Twitter status. What sets Princeton’s Twitter account further apart from others may lie in its visually appealing content that accompanies its 140-character tweets. The short and sweet video clips highlighting the energy of the campus allows users to physically see what it’s like to be a #PrincetonU tiger and not just read it from a post.
As a world leader in research and education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has a lot to live up to in the social media realm. That may be why their endless science, technology and campus tweets helped them reach 349,000 followers. The institute even takes advantage of national holidays like the #NationalWeekofMaking by documenting its efforts in the White House initiative via photos and tweet updates. From future engineers to scientists, students were able to flaunt their skills. There were panel discussions and makerspace events all with MIT’s social support. Posting between around 6 times a day, MIT Twitter stands out as not only a reflection of its innovative campus and leaders, but also as a hub for general knowledge seekers. Why sift through journals on parallel programming when you have an easy access link on MIT’s Twitter page?
The light from this sunny, Californian university radiates from its Twitter account. If 421,000 people are following your account, you must be doing something right. As its reputation precedes, Stanford oozes historic excellence, innovative discoveries and a world class faculty and student body. So why not flaunt just that through the Twitter-verse? By posting anywhere from two to six times a day, Stanford ensures that its followers stay up-to-date but not overloaded with information. These factors, coupled with helpful links to academic and trade press articles correlating to its global research efforts, makes Stanford’s Twitter account more than just short glimpse into the mind of a top-notch university.
Harvard takes the #1 spot in many things: Ivy League status, academic excellence, alumni roster…but could Twitter popularity be another win for the already successful school? Guess so. Harvard stands as the Beyoncé of university Twitter accounts with 631,000 followers. Even one tweet about the weather is bound to receive over 75 likes. The university caters its Twitter-genda towards conversations on recent research, global initiatives, alumni updates— even their Father’s Day post had a health and wellness spin. As the best university on Twitter, Harvard facilitates the expansion of academic and global conversation, much like that of a popular news site. While Twitter may seem like just a silly social media platform to express yourself on, Harvard illustrates the possibilities and impact universities can have with the mere use of 140 characters.