What is the value of having a twitter account for your institution?

At the CASE Communications Marketing and Technology conference last week we talked a lot about twitter. Some of the attendees really questioned the value and some had to go back and make presentations on the the value. So I decided to tackle that question here.

What is the value of having a twitter account for your institution?

It’s Free
In today’s economy and the budget impact that will be felt by higher education “free” is the right price. Of course nothing is free it might take some staff time but the “cost” to get in is low impact even on staff time.

You can grow incrementally
There is no rule that states you have to tweet live for your institution or how many tweets you need to make a day. There are best practices but to get started you can start small and grow.  Push you RSS feed to your twitter account. Try to tweet one event live like commencement and see how it goes.

You can engage people
It offers a chance to engage people you might otherwise be missing. Maybe you have some alumni who have gotten hooked on twitter and are following the college account – but don’t want to get the e-newsletter. It offers people one more chance to be engaged and connected to your institution.

It’s not just about twitter
With the chance to pull tweets to your webpage I think maybe the largest opportunities with Twitter will be embedding live up to the minute content onto a webpage. Maybe the news article about commencement wasn’t so interesting but the chance to read about it live via a twitter feed to your site might pull someone in. Maybe that trip a student is taking and “tweeting” about is more interesting when a prospective student can read live what the experience is like?

Are there others to add to the list? Let me know.

2 Responses to What is the value of having a twitter account for your institution?

  1. Not even a week after my college’s twitter account was open, there were delays due to weather and transportation issues. So we were able to keep the community informed about operational issues just by posting to Twitter, and not waiting on the webmaster to post it on the website.

  2. Our new president is being inaugurated tomorrow, and since he’s very open to social-media marketing, we’re going to tweet the event. It’s an experiment more for us than anything, but inaugurations don’t come along that often, so we’ll try and see.

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