Kent State reaching out to students through social media

Alicia Balog

Kent State has launched a social media portal that houses all its social media sites, using the sites to connect with a growing number of people who spend time online.

Lin Danes, director of web services and interactive media, said Kent State reaches out to current students, prospective students and alumni through social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr to keep people engaged in the university.

“Our primary goal is engagement, creating cross-conversation and interaction that can create a positive feeling about the university,” Danes said.


“It’s usually one of three different things happening on Facebook,” Danes said. “Either we post something that is happening or something that we want students or the followers to be aware of, whether it’s an event or a deadline. It could also be where a student has to post a question, and we respond. We reach out to the specific department on campus to find the answer. Or it could be a post where a student will ask whether somebody’s selling a particular textbook, and then other students will chime in.”


“Twitter is more one way. We certainly tweet a headline or an event or happening,” Danes said. “But interestingly enough, although we dedicate most of our time to maintaining the Facebook page and presence, whether it’s posting updates or events or responding to questions … most of our activity, probably around 90 percent, occurs within Twitter. And that would be students, faculty, staff or the general public tweeting about something happening at Kent State. So the bulk of our social media messages come by the way of Twitter but that’s probably where we spend the least amount of time besides the monitoring of the course.”


“A lot of people love photos and videos,” Danes said. “Sometimes people are more inclined to look at a picture or watch a video than they are to read an actual story, so Flickr image sets typically summarize or are connected to a success story that we’re trying to get the word out about.”


“Everybody loves a video,” Danes said. “They’re very viral. Sometimes people will find the video through YouTube itself or by searching a Kent State topic. Sometimes they find it through our home page. Sometimes they find it from our admissions page. We really load our videos in a lot of different places. And some of our most popular videos are really those that resonate with students and answer questions. ‘Where can I find a job on campus?’ ‘What is there to do at the Rec?’ Those kinds of videos are really well- received. They typically have more views than some of the others.”

Danes said the fanbase for Kent State’s social media sites has increased in the past year as more students like the Facebook page or follow Kent State on Twitter. Sarah McIntosh, freshman English major, said she liked Kent State on Facebook to receive updates and stay connected to the university.

“I think it’s a very effective way just because so many people are on it,” McIntosh said. “I think it’s almost easier than email even because everyone’s always on Facebook.”

Yet not all students connect with Kent State through social media. Rita Steckler, senior biology for pre-med major, said she didn’t like Kent State on Facebook because she doesn’t care about the messages that would pop up in her news feed.

“It would clutter up my news feed,” Steckler said.

Still, Steckler said she thinks Kent State connecting to people through social media is a smart idea.

“I mean, how else would they get to us? Mostly everything’s done on computers,” Steckler said. “We do homework on them. We check our classes, our email. I’m pretty sure most students have a Facebook. Most probably have a Twitter, so it makes sense.”

Contact Alicia Balog at [email protected].