Tweet, Tweet: Researching How Colleges Use Twitter

One of my first assignments from Monmouth College Coordinator of Web Services Bryn Lawrence was to research how other colleges were using Twitter and apply that to Monmouth College. I was asked to come up with a list of tips for people using Twitter to promote athletics, alumni events, or admissions. I had used Twitter for the first time my junior year of college as a writing tutor. All of the tutors participated in a Twitter conversation and webcast for a talk on online tutoring. After using it for the first time, I discovered that I could follow my favorite actors and authors and feel connected to them, but I had never actually looked at college Twitter pages or thought about how Twitter could be used for promotional purposes.

I started my research with the list of colleges that Bryn gave me. At the top of the list were Ivy League Schools, I thought that it stood to reason that schools where so many people want to go would have good publicity. I started with Yale University’s Twitter and was very impressed by the writing on it. I also liked Princeton’s variety of posts. There were some question or survey posts that asked for student opinions. There were also tons of picture, video, and blog links to posts. My favorite college Twitter pages by far were for Wesleyan University and Cornell University. Both pages had fun, witty writing that caught the reader’s attention.

The report that I completed about how to use Twitter to promote Monmouth College ended up being five pages. I had ten general do’s and don’ts Twitter, and I had more elaborate explanations with examples from other colleges’ Twitter pages after those. I explained how and when to use the “@” symbol, how to retweet, how to use the hash tag, and how to catch people’s attention with tweets. Not only did this assignment make me feel more comfortable with tweeting for the college, but also I hoped that this report would help future people who were tweeting for Monmouth College to do it better.

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