Twitter has proven itself to be an invaluable asset in marketing for higher education, connecting universities with their students, staff, alumni and brand ambassadors instantly. But which universities are making the most out of this powerful higher education marketing tool?
We took a look at some of the best Twitter accounts in HE (in no particular order):
University of Oxford
Starting with the top ranking university in the UK, the University of Oxford has an incredible 227,000 followers on Twitter. With such a substantial amount of influence, the University of Oxford has a large audience to keep engaged and posts a variety of content including images, videos, links to other networks and information about some of its latest research.
Ever wondered what Oxford looks like from the air? Watch our STUNNING new video of Oxford’s iconic skyline from above pic.twitter.com/rQ2aYtsqE9
— Oxford University (@UniofOxford) June 19, 2015
Another university that is consistently near the top of the QS World University Rankings is, of course, Harvard University. With a staggering 509,000 followers, Harvard University uses many of its tweets to post links back to its university website and online newspaper the Harvard Gazette. For a university producing so much ground-breaking research, there’s never any lack of fascinating content to post to its legion of followers.
Where Princeton University stands out amongst the big-name university Twitter accounts is its focus on offering real value to its followers; not just updates on all its latest research. While Princeton does tweet its professors’ innovative discoveries, it also tweets and retweets comments and debates from the many varying fields of inquiry involved. From innovative new works of art to matters of political debate, Princeton University uses Twitter to make its opinions clearly heard.
University of Manchester
The University of Manchester was found, in a study carried out by social media analytics company Brandwatch, to have the highest levels of engagement with its followers. With a quarter of its tweets sent to other Twitter accounts, the University of Manchester makes a real effort to connect with its followers as well as connecting them to each other.
Syracuse University is another of the most active Twitter accounts in higher education, usually bidding its followers, the so-called Orange Nation, a good morning and a good night. Syracuse tweets a whole variety of content, including links to research, live tweets of sporting events and images of the campus in great weather.
According to research from Twitter analytics tool Followerwonk, Plymouth University is one of the most influential HE accounts on Twitter due to its high ‘social authority’ score. This means that, relative to the number of followers it has and the number of tweets it posts, Plymouth University has the highest number of retweets of all universities in the UK. It regularly posts fun and engaging tweets with plenty of images and videos that encourage followers to share and retweet.
Like many universities, Purdue has multiple Twitter accounts for different departments; this allows it to post content which is more relevant to followers, and answer questions more quickly and efficiently. @LifeAtPurdue boasts plenty of school spirit as well as promoting the university’s brand by announcing events, concerts, sports games and enthusiastically retweeting students’ descriptions of life at the school.
Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University uses its Twitter account as something of a virtual cheerleader, with peppy and upbeat tweets about how great life is for A&M students (Ags or Aggies). The school plays trivia games with followers, announces giveaways and drives engagement with hashtags such as #MyTopCollege.
While Bristol University may not have half as many followers as the University of Oxford, what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in effort. According to the research carried out by Brandwatch, Bristol University is one of the UK’s most frequent tweeters. Posting an average of nearly four tweets a day, the university’s account covers everything from links to features on famous graduates to graduation ceremony updates.
University of Wisconsin-Madison
University of Wisconsin-Madison is ranked number one on Twitter according to Engagement Labs, due to high scores for ‘responsiveness’ and ‘average response time’. The speed at which the University of Wisconsin-Madison responds to interactions with its student body makes for a Twitter account which is both efficient and entertaining. The university regularly tweets cheers for its sports teams, prompt follower interactions on Twitter as well as other social platforms, and does a great job of building nostalgia and pride in their audience through photos of the campus.
Want to learn more about social media and see your university make it into the top 10? Download our latest whitepaper on Social Media for Higher Education: Best Practices for free!