Education

Social Media Earns YSU National Recognition

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — A focused social media strategy earned Youngstown State University recognition among the best in the state.

A report by Rival IQ, a developer of new media competitive analysis software, and the Up & Up Agency, a marketing agency that serves higher education, ranked YSU third in Ohio for its social media efforts, following the University of Toledo and the University of Dayton. Nationally, YSU ranked 173 overall. On Twitter, YSU ranked second in Ohio and 61 nationally. Click here to read the full report, which compared more than 330 Division I colleges and universities in the United States.

YSU developed its university-wide strategy to use social media to tell the stories of students, faculty, staff and the campus community, said Kati Hartwig, coordinator of social media and digital marketing. As the industry changes, the university adapts its strategy every six months to a year based on how audiences absorb information with each platform, Hartwig said.

“For Facebook, it tends to be through video. For Twitter, it’s through gifs, memes and even a heartfelt 240-character tweet,” she said. “Instagram is in the form of a high-resolution photo that gives our followers a feeling of nostalgia or familiarity, and on LinkedIn, our followers really enjoy news stories about the developments and changes we’re making on campus.”

The goal is to get users to engage with the content through likes, shares, comments, reactions or clicks, she said. YSU has more than 92,000 followers through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube combined. Still, she said maintaining a meaningful conversation with the followers is more important than the overall number. That includes responding to comments and encouraging followers to ask questions.

“We can post a flyer on Facebook to announce something happening on campus, but are we really drawing any attention?” she said. “As a public university, our social media channels are often looked at as public forums. The more meaningful conversations we can foster, the more meaningful our existence on social media will be.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.