Western tops university social media survey

By Communications Staff
February 28, 2014

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In the last year, there’s a good chance you’ve liked, linked, loaded, tweeted or tuned-in to Western via social media. And those numbers are starting to add up for the university.

Earlier this month, a study conducted by MediaMiser ranked Western tops among Canadian universities on Twitter.

According to the media monitoring and analysis service provider, Western was the top-mentioned Canadian university on Twitter. The University of Waterloo and Ryerson University followed in second and third, respectively.

Graphic1MediaMiser, Special to Western News

In addition, Western was the top school in terms of mentions per student – both by number of mentions per 1,000 students and by the university’s retweets per 1,000 students. Looking at at the total number of retweets (of tweets composed by the school), the top three universities were Western, Ryerson and Queen’s University.

When the study looked at tweets per capita for the top-mentioned schools, Western was again the clear leader with 199 tweets per 1,000 students (0.2 tweets per student).

When we compare to overall enrolment, Western was again No. 1 with 37 retweets per 1,000 students.

Graphic2MediaMiser, Special to Western News

“Social media is becoming more important in the day-to-day roles of many staff at Western,” said Terry Rice, director of marketing and creative services. “The efforts are being integrated with communications professionals across campus, managing multiple social media channels for their faculties and departments.”

MediaMiser’s study is the second in a handful of months to praise the university’s social media efforts.

In December, #engagementlabs gave Western high marks among Canadian universities for its Twitter and Facebook engagement.

In its survey, the social media consultants gave each university a percentage based on engagement, impact and responsiveness. Western came in second to the University of Toronto in Facebook engagement; Western topped Laurentian University in Twitter engagement.

Western’s 5-year-old Twitter account has crossed the 30,000-follower milestone while its Facebook page is very close to 40,000 ‘likes.’

With approximately 200,000 people subscribing to Western’s social media channels, no wonder the university is making a concerted effort to connect with its constituents about what’s happening on campus and around the world, said Melissa Cheater, digital content manager.

Based in Western’s Communications and Public Affairs, Cheater was hired in November 2012 to lead the university’s social media strategy.

“Western will continue to be ambitious in its use of social media,” she said.

While sites like YouTube and Tagboard remain popular, Cheater pointed to Instagram, which Western embraced as its newest social platform. More than 13,000 photos have been shared and tagged with the #westernu hashtag since Instagram’s launch less than four years ago. In the 41 weeks since its first post, Western has quickly grown to a community of 4,167 followers.


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