University Business - May 2012 - (Page 6)

E D I TO R ’ S N OT E A Useful Ranking Tool A fter A somewhAt slow stArt, higher education institutions are increasingly taking advantage of social media to market themselves and keep constituents aware of what they are doing. A recent social media adoption study conducted by the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth shows usage rates are increasing steadily in every year. for example, university twitter usage jumped from 59 percent in the 2009-2010 school year to 89 percent in the 2010-2011 school year. similarly, facebook usage increased dramatically from 61 percent in 2008-2009 to 98 percent in 2010-2011. Blogging— still seen as a solid news distribution platform—has held steady at just below 50 percent usage. so what’s the return on investment for these social media efforts? how does all that interaction play out as far as brand recognition, or the all-important “buzz”? the global language monitor’s the last eight years. “mit did so by the How can colleges and ( trend largest distance ever measured in the topper mediaBuzz sheds some light on universities show a return history of the trendtopper rankings.” the subject. And, as such, it may be the (Although the report mention’s mit’s on investment for their most useful “ranking tool” a school can openCourseware platform as a reason use in its recruitment, marketing, and for the positive buzz, it is more likely social media efforts? development efforts. they meant mitx, oCw’s recent sucthe survey uses data from social cessor, which got worldwide attention media, blogs, and more than 175,000 print and electronic media last month.) others on the university list included the University outlets to gauge brand equity of 215 universities and 200 col- of Chicago in third place, Columbia University (N.Y.) in fourth, leges. this information provides near real-time movements of an and University of Wisconsin-Madison in fifth. the full list of institution’s reputation or brand equity in the same way that con- universities and master-degree granting institutions can be seen sumer products are gauged. think Nielsen ratings for higher ed. at the result, they say, is “a non-biased analytical tool that provides on the list of top colleges for social media use, the University a gauge of relative values among various institutions, as well as of Richmond (Va.) was ranked first, followed in order by Wilmeasures of how that value changes over time.” liams College (mass.), Smith College (mass.), Bucknell Univerthat’s a useful tool to have, especially when gauging the im- sity (Pa.), and Union College (N.Y.). the coplete glm list of pact of media attention, like the backlash of a scandal, for ex- liberal arts and colleges focusing on baccalaureate instruction can ample. in the case of Penn State, the school dropped out of its be seen at usual top 10 ranking after recent scandals caught the nation’s atstill, it should be remembered that even the 415 schools tention and outrage—but it still maintained a high position on noted in the surveys represent about a tenth of all the higher eduthe list. this, perhaps, reflects a level of loyalty that is the essence cation institutions in the country. the challenge is on for the rest of brand equity. “significantly, only 3.42 percent of the global of them to fight their way onto future lists. citations were considered of negative sentiment, so Penn state held onto a high ranking,” writes glm. in the survey of universities, MIT topped the list, followed by Harvard. “this was the first time a technical institute topped the rankings,” writes glm, which has conducted the survey for Write to Tim Goral at 6 | May 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of University Business - May 2012

University Business - May 2012
Editor's Note
College Index
Ad Index
Behind the News
Human Resources
Education Gateways
Big Ideas
Reaching Higher
Admissions Goes Social
Learning Disabled Students Welcome
Who Goes There?
Computing Trends, Today and Tomorrow
Money Matters
End Note

University Business - May 2012