Very few people are true social media experts, but almost every college — including 100 percent of the colleges in the infographic below and 92 of the top 100 colleges in the United States — is linking to social media sites from its home page. But do you really need to be an expert to successfully use social media as a marketing tool?
Most people engage in social media for personal use but often forget the rules when they use social media for business or marketing. Ground rules, such as listening more than you post and engaging with fans and followers, are thrown out the door, only to be replaced by bureaucratic guidelines.
According to Jeff Carrion, DePaul University’s digital media specialist, the biggest obstacle to successful social media is fear of engagement:
You just really can't be afraid of that these days, because you're not going to get the engagement. If you do social media without engagement, it isn't social media, it’s just plain media.
Now you need to look at ways to genuinely engage with people without gimmicks, because people are wise to that sort of thing. You can't be afraid to put your content out there. You can't block everything you put out about your university behind a password.
The fact that every school has created a Facebook page doesn’t mean it is being used effectively. The growth shown in the infographic below is impressive, but more colleges need to pay attention to authorities like Carrion, Karine Joly and Eric Stoller.
This infographic originally appeared on OnlineUniversities.com.