August 11, 2009
Are universities wasting their time communicating to students via Twitter?
That's one interpretation of a new Nielsen survey finding that people under the age of 25, generally speaking, don't Tweet. Instead, the Twitter hype is being driven by an older demographic. One explanation is that teens and young adults care most about connecting with their friends, not shouting into the ether, and thus Facebook is their social media tool of choice. The implication for universities, according to this story in the Chronicle of Higher Ed, is that they may have been too quick to embrace Twitter as a marketing tool for students on the erroneous assumption that it's the best way to reach them.
'Twitter is definitely about having a broadcast medium to the general population,' [said Tanya M. Joosten, a lecturer in the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee's department of communication]. 'I don’t think that’s Facebook. And I don't think people under the age of 25 have any interest in broadcasting beyond their friends. But I think once you get older, beyond 25, I think people’s social circles become limited, and they reach out to things like Twitter to stay connected to the world and meet new people with similar interests.'
She added, “A lot of campuses are reaching out to communication technologies that are Web 2.0 just to sort of jump on that bandwagon, without too much data about how effective the medium is."
So are all those marketing and admissions tweets for naught?
'We’re attracting older students these days that are looking for a place to connect,'Ms. Joosten said. 'So if campuses are trying to connect with, let’s say, the 25-and-older crowd, then yes, Twitter is a very good marketing tool.'
August 11, 2009 | Permalink
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