KSU is now following you

Allyson Eighmey

University uses Twitter, other social media

Would you accept a friend request from Kent State?

With the use of social networks like Facebook and Twitter growing on campus, this could be a question many students may face in the near future.

So far, Kent State has tapped into Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as a part of the university’s communication and marketing efforts. Lin Danes, manager of electronic communication and web content services, said the university’s Facebook page has received a great response.

Since being launched late last summer, the university’s Facebook page has more than 4,000 fans and includes videos and links to other Kent-affiliated pages. The page, along with Kent’s YouTube account, was not promoted until last spring after the university had time to create content for the sites.

“This past year has been focused on creating an initial presence through which we communicate the university’s excellence in action brand,” Danes said.

In addition to the university, on-campus organizations and various academic departments have also begun to use social media. Last year, the Kent chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America began to use Twitter and member blogs to reach both current and prospective members. The chapter also has a Facebook page.

For PRSSA, the goal of joining these social networks has been to inform current members of what’s going on and show potential members the benefits of the organization.

Katelyn Luysterborg, the chapter’s president, said its use of social media has helped set PRSSA apart from other groups on campus.

“I think we’re different because we’ve branched out into new social media tools like Twitter,” said PRSSA president Katelyn Luysterborg. “We use each tool for a different purpose, yet they work together to achieve our overall goals.”

The College of Communication and Information is leading the way into social networking. Jennifer Kramer, manager of PR and marketing for the College of Communication and Information, said the college currently uses Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Flickr. Kramer developed a social media plan for the college, which was implemented earlier this year. The plan is constantly changing to meet market trends and its audience’s needs.

Kramer said for CCI, the advantages of social media are seen even beyond Kent’s campus.

“We are connecting with people we’ve not reached before,” she said. “For example, disconnected alumni and high school students from out of state.”

Although many can agree that social media has its advantages, the effects are often difficult to measure.

“I think that most universities are at very similar points in their social media efforts because of the fact that it is still pretty difficult to prove return on investment,” Danes said.

Contact College of Communication and Information reporter Allyson Eighmey at [email protected].