- Published on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 10:49
More and more users are joining Twitter, especially teenage prospective students. Albion College uses Twitter as a direct engagement channel, responding to and retweeting student and campus organization tweets.
Twitter also serves as the campus newsfeed, with posts providing periodic updates throughout the day. Because Twitter serves as a stream of information, more posts are better -- but not successive, one-after-the-other posts.
As a channel, Twitter skews to prospective students, current students, and recent graduates. Therefore, we keep the College’s voice on Twitter more casual and fun.
Retweeting is an effective engagement tool on Twitter. Students, and especially prospective students, enjoy being retweeted by the College’s account.
Specifically, on Twitter we tend to:
- Retweet prospective students who announce that they are attending / have chosen Albion (usually with a comment like, “Great to have you!”)
- Retweet athletic successes from @gobrits or individual team sports, using the hashtag #gobrits!
- Retweet student and alumni photos or comments that show campus in a positive light
- Retweet random or funny student comments as a part of our “Random tweet of the week” feature
Typically, the College follows students who have interesting things to say on Twitter. If they are usually negative or crude, we will not follow them. We also follow prospective students who have committed to come to Albion.
Campus organizations, other colleges in our athletic conference or the GLCA, individual athletic teams, employees of the college, and alumni are also good targets for following on Twitter.
The College also keeps tabs on emerging trends (like #albionproblems) and College-based fake accounts (like @albionpartystories).
As of now, the College uses SproutSocial as its Twitter management platform. SproutSocial allows us to schedule tweets in advance, keep updated on new followers, and develop monthly reports for Twitter activity.
Because we are able to schedule tweets in advance, we can think weeks or months in advance about upcoming college events, promotions, or initiatives. Because of the constant flow of information on Twitter, we can also post more than once about promotions or events.
Also, some general strategy points include:
- Space tweets out at least an hour or so. Retweets can occur in between.
- Post prospective-student tweets after 3 p.m. (when they get out of school). The later (8-10 p.m.) the better
- Wednesdays feature posts about the value of a liberal arts education, usually from third party links/articles.
- Random tweet of the week: Thursday afternoons.
- Using Instagram to post to Twitter allows us to (a) have a photo to show and (b) doubles our efforts.
- Typically, we tend to send more traffic to the Albion College website when providing links, but often -- say, if an alumnus/alumna appears in a news article -- we’ll post to third party sites where appropriate.
- Use Twitter’s “favorite” tool to archive important, useful, or positive tweets -- especially if they will be used for tweets in the future.
- When students ask questions on Twitter, research the answer and get back to them. Use Twitter like a service phone line. Ignore insulting or complaining tweets (and there are a few).
If a student tweets a concerning comments, such as abuse, suicide, or criminal acts, Marketing/Communications will take a screenshot of the tweet, along with a URL to the tweet, and send the link to the College’s Campus Safety department and Student Affairs leadership.
Key Takeaways From Albion's Twitter Presence
- Twitter has a younger audience; therefore, we can be more fun and engaging on the site
- Retweeting is one of the best forms of engagement
- We follow obvious tweeters, like students and campus organizations, and those who have a connection with the College or higher ed
- We use strategic posts to advance the College’s communications initiatives
View Albion-related Twitter accounts on our Social Media Listing