Posted July 1, 2010 7:50 am by with 3 comments

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At first look this kind of an announcement should followed by a sarcastic comment of “Really? I would have never guessed.” It only makes sense that colleges would be using social media since there is little question as to how involved their target market it. What is interesting is how their adoption outpaces that of the business world, especially the larger companies.

The study titled, Social Media and College Admissions: Higher-Ed Beats Business in Adoption of New Tools for Third Year was performed by Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D., Eric Mattson CEO, Financial Insite (hat tip to @chuckhester for the alert this AM via Twitter). The following chart may raise some eyebrows if it is indeed accurate.

With all of the benefits of blogging including audience engagement and SEO upside, it still appears as if big business in particular is just not buying in. The smaller a business gets the more likely it is to have a blog. This is probably attributable to more flexibility in smaller companies thus making the path to a blog quicker. Having said that I am also a little surprised that only 50% of colleges in the study are blogging. Maybe kids these days don’t like to read? I bet their parents do though especially when it comes to the cost of a college education these days ;-).

Another finding showed that college admissions are using a variety of different social media mechanisms to get out there but the bulk of these efforts are in social networking. Notably, Twitter shows up for the first time in the study in the three years of its existence.

Lastly is the adoption by colleges and universities of online monitoring or online listening. It’s certainly encouraging to see that these folks understand that there is a ‘conversation’ going on out there and they need to be on top of that talk.

I can tell you for certain that 73% of businesses of any size are not truly watching what is being said about, around, against or in favor of them online. Why? Your guess is as good as mine but the standard “We just don’t have the resources.” response no longer holds water. In fact, I believe it is the sign of a weak and poorly run company that is taking the ‘head in the sand’ approach to business. These days it doesn’t take as much as you would think to stay on top of these things. It does, however, take as much if not more, to mop up after a mess that could have been prevented.

How’s your business performing in the social media area? Where are you strong and where would you like to improve? Since there is not much happening in the world of Internet marketing before this holiday weekend why not share your take with us?

Lastly, if you would like a copy of this report you can visit this site. It’s free.

  • Great post, always like seeing stats to back up spoken trends such as social media.
    It is great to see so many colleges jumping on board and I think the trend will increase very much over the next few years. The problem is, colleges and other businesses understand they should get into social media, but they don’t really understand WHAT they should do once in. So even though some of these stats show they are using blogs or using twitter… are they using it right? I guess that is a WHOLE other ball game. BUT i guess at least they are working on it

    And as for as my business using social media, thats just about all I use besides networking offline for MyWants Inc. Just simply making the connections online is what I love. The more friends you have online, the better chance you run into one of them needing you or your businesses help.

    Something I would like to improve on…I would like to actually improve the frequency and timeliness of content we produce over our network of websites ( I think if you are consistent with putting out quality information, you will build a nice following who KNOW when to expect your information.

    • I think education niche can use social media with more ROI as most of social media user are students which use it regular base

  • Thanks for the useful information. I appreciate the post and look forward to more in the future.