We’re social and you know it

Rankings are often subjective, we know. Still, it was nice to see IU Bloomington ranked as the No. 2 large school (and No. 6 overall) on a list of “The Top 100 Best and Most Collaborative U.S. Colleges,” recently published in the Huffington Post.

IU Bloomington was ranked the No. 2 large school in a recently published list of the "Top 100 Best and Most Collaborative U.S. Colleges."

IU Bloomington was ranked the No. 2 large school in a recently published list of the “Top 100 Best and Most Collaborative U.S. Colleges.”

Noting that many of today’s students are choosing colleges with “social media clout,” HuffPo columnist Vala Afshar set out to both identify the nation’s top schools (using U.S. News and World Report’s 2013 rankings) and then re-rank those schools based on how engaged they are on social media platforms. His conclusion: the best schools are the most social schools.

I might take it a step further and add that the best schools are the most social schools that are not just using the various social media technologies at their disposal but are using them to tell compelling stories while also building active, informed and engaged communities.

Using that criteria, IU is doing quite well. Whether it’s starting a dialogue with incoming and potential students through Twitter, sharing university news on Facebook or posting photos of our beautiful Btown campus on Pinterest and Instagram, IU continues to use its social media channels (which you can now find in one handy location) to deepen its connections with its many different audiences, including students and their families, faculty and staff, and, of course, alumni.

A nice example of how the university is using social media to build strong communities is happening right now as part of the lead-up to IU Bloomington’s annual Move-in Day, Aug. 21, which marks the official beginning of Welcome Week activities. At the request of IU Residential Programs and Services (@IURPS), new students are live tweeting their experiences moving into their residence halls and tagging their thoughts, tips and pictures with the hashtag #IUmovein. They’re also sharing stories and receiving updates through IU First Year Experience Programs’ Facebook and Twitter channels.

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