Twitter and microblogging have definitely been embraced at a much slower pace than some of the “full” social networks. The demographics of Twitter users are limited to fewer countries than ubiquitous sites like Facebook and YouTube and generally isn’t as popular among the higher education target market of 18-22.
Yet microblogging can be very effective for blasting short messages of information as well as links to content on the web. Since we all want to post on a variety of platforms to ensure our message is heard wherever our students might be virtually “hanging out” many people now use social network aggregators, such as TweetDeck or HootSuite, that allow a user to send one update to multiple social networks simultaneously.
At my institution we generally recruit students from Asia for undergraduate programs. This market is definitely not classified as a top user group amongst Twitter but I still find having a microblogging content stream to be very useful.
What we have done to take advantage of the Twitter platform, while not necessarily having hundreds of followers, is added our Twitter feed to our Video & Media website page. Our IT department created a feed box that shows our 3 most recent tweets that appear on the page in chronological order. For basic search engine purposes this allows the content on this page to continually update and change, two keys to increasing hits to your page. This feed box feature allows realtime message updates (and active hyperlinks) on a static website.