Mississippi State among leaders in collegiate social media usage

Mississippi State holds a top social media presence among U.S. higher education institutions.

The university is ranked 11th on Facebook and 37th on Twitter, according to a report released late last month by Engagement Labs, a technology and data company.

Mississippi State and University of Florida are the only Southeastern Conference members found among the Top 25 on Facebook.

A Montreal, Canada, business established in 2008, Engagement Labs also has offices in New Jersey and the United Kingdom. Officials said their rankings are based on an eValue Analytic scoring system that somewhat mirrors benchmarking data of the longstanding New York-based Nielsen global information, data and measurement company.

“Social media helps colleges and universities on multiple fronts, including the acquisition of new students, staying in touch with alumni and building communities,” said CEO Bryan Segal.

“There’s not a huge barrier to (social media) entry, so it’s all about tactics,” Segal said. For universities and colleges, social media “is important for where they were, are and need to be with the demographics they’re trying to reach.”

Schools included in the report are categorized as Ivy League, for-profit and the NCAA conferences. A number of SEC institutions are found throughout the Top 50.

At Mississippi State, institutional social media operations are coordinated through the Office of Public Affairs led by Sid Salter, chief communications officer. The university’s numerous social media strategies are directed by Checky Herrington, the office’s marketing research analyst.

Salter said the land-grant institution is “growing in so many positive ways, not just in our enrollment, but also in the number of high-quality students who are choosing to attend MSU.

“The increased engagement that we’re seeing from faculty, staff, students and alumni is helping carry the momentum forward,” Salter continued, emphasizing that social media “is but one of the tools we’re using to let the world know that Mississippi State is a place where you can find more opportunities to lead, participate and excel.”

Herrington said research “has told us that people want to know more about who we are, and one of the best ways to communicate our identity is by telling our success stories to broader audiences. Our social media strategy is designed to give visitors a 360-degree view of the people, places, activities and accomplishments that define the MSU experience.”

Continuing the point, Salter said “as prospective students learn our stories, they’ll want to be part of the great things happening at Mississippi State.”

For the complete social media report, visit www.engagementlabs.com/press/baylor-university-texas-am-university-and-university-of-wisconsin-madison-graduate-with-social-media-distinction.

Followers of Mississippi State on social media now can get all of their university news in one place at www.social.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Sammy McDavid | Public Affairs

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