Category Archives: twitter

Best Time to Post Facebook and Twitter Content

From: Raka Creative


Moving Away from Email

There have been a number of statistics released in recent years showing the drastic decline of email usage among digital natives, aka current university students. With the popularity of texting, mobile apps and social media students want their information in bite-size pieces; little snippets they can read on the go. This means as we correspond on behalf of the institution we need to consider the amount of content included in our messages and focus on disseminating just the most essential information. Think of it as: “they probably won’t read beyond the third line, so get it out in two.”

Here’s a great quote on the decline of email communication from We Are Social comScore 2011: It’s  a Social World:

Not surprisingly, the ”digital natives” are moving away from emails in favour of social networks: email usage among 15-24 year olds has dropped by 42% over the last year whereas usage of social network grew by 34% in the same time period. Social networking sites now reach 82% of the world’s internet users, i.e. 1.2 billion people around the world.

Gone are the days of 5 paragraph emails where you can provide long introductions, program overviews, hyperlinks to multiple pages of your website and prose about how great your institution is for them. Instead of sending one long correspondence every few weeks think about sharing your information with students more frequently, in shorter, bite-size pieces.

Several suggestions on how to do this:

Facebook: Create pages and groups as necessary to support the communities you want to engage. Many institutions create a new page for each incoming class. This online space is a great way for students to engage with their future classmates and then keep the discussion going after they meet face-to-face at orientation, start classes, and to plan social events. You as the administrator can post important information and encourage a discussion via the comment and like features.

The chat feature is a great tool for quick interactions with individual students. I like to call the chat feature the new version of “open door policy.” If you have the chat feature enabled and Facebook open on your browser at the office students will see you online and may drop you a quick note or question via FB chat. I have advisers who tell me that sometimes these “quick questions” can turn into a 20 minute chat session. My suggestion is to have a rough time limit (which you don’t necessarily need to tell the student about). If you have been going back and forth for more than 5-7 minutes, ask them to make an appointment to come in so you can give them further, undivided attention.

Twitter: Create those winning taglines that have a hook. The 1-2 line text can then be followed up with a hyperlink to a website URL for more information. Here are few examples:

1. “Submitted that scholarship application? The deadline is just 5 days away!” [insert hyperlink here]
2. “Register for your classes early and receive a $10 bookstore gift card.” [insert hyperlink here]
3. “Signed up for the New York City trip? Only 5 spots left!” [insert hyperlink here]

For example 1 include the link to your institution’s online scholarship application.
For example 2 include the link to the online registration website.
For example 3 include the link to the activities page where students can sign up for the trip but also see what other events are coming up.

You could then encourage students to tweet back to you when they have followed the link or completed the call to action. If you see students signed up for the NYC trip after your tweet, tweet them to thank them for signing up and tell them how excited you are they are participating.

Text Message: In the US text messaging is usually an additional cost for students so receiving promotional content that bears a cost to the receiver the is not the best way to win over your audience. The good news is that many phone operating systems are moving to free text services within their own platform. For example, RIM implemented Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and recently Apple created iMessage for iPhone OS5 users. This allows free messages to be sent to phone owners on the same platform.

This doesn’t mean you need to roll out a blanket advertising campaign and text every prospective student in your contact list, rather receiving a short personal message from you about their application process or class registration might be a great way to prompt them to ask you that looming question about scholarships that has been on their mind.


On a fun, and partially related note, here is an interesting article from the New York Times, Everyone Speaks Text Message, on how Text Messaging is actually creating language development. Another positive outcome as a result of technology advancements.

How Twitter Can Increase Your Website Traffic

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.

Check out the screen shots below.

Read Twitter and Facebook as a Daily Newspaper

Featured on Mashable as one of the 5 Most Innovative Uses of an API back in November provides links shared on social networking platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, to be displayed in an easy to read newspaper-style format.

This API seems built more for Twitter users since people can be following thousands of Twitter handles and the content steam can often become overwhelmed with hyperlinks. Generally many users have less Facebook friends and aren’t just posting article links, but the service has an option to sign in with your Facebook account as well.

From the Mashable review:

Connect to your Twitter (or Facebook) account or choose a keyword or Twitter list as the basis of your new newspaper. will then generate a summary of the most popular and relevant links based on your keyword or friend list, and it will be updated every day, week or month, depending on your preference.

With just a few APIs, has figured out a smart way to curate the most popular links on the web.

In the digital age it is easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of content people are sharing on the world wide web, so it is a great service when companies find a way to bundle relevant content and make it more user-friendly. I have heard comments by users that scrolling through Twitter feeds can be a time-consuming process to find links from their followers they want to open.  With the original articles posted as tweets and posts show up on an online newspaper page, complete with photos and content. Each post includes the user name of the original tweeter or poster so you can see who that specific person is following and what topics and content are being tweeted. Plus the interface makes it a lot more enjoyable to read the content.

You can also subscribe to a specific user’s, embed an issue link, and automatically tweet promote your own updates to your Twitter followers.

The great news is that provides their service in multiple languages, and is continuing to grow their language offerings. On their home page you can view the site in English, German, French Spanish, Japanese, and as of last week, courtesy of the Blog, Dutch and Portuguese. I always appreciate sites who devote development to sharing content in languages other than English.

Here’s intledtech’s

Feel free to post your link in the comments below.


Image Credit

The Most Influential Colleges on Twitter

The Most Influential Colleges on Twitter, based on research done by Klout.

The list below is the 12 most influential higher education institutions on Twitter based on a Klout score of 1-100, measuring click, comments and retweets.

  1. Stanford University – 70
  2. Syracuse University – 70
  3. Harvard University – 64
  4. University of Wisconsin-Madison – 64
  5. University of California, Berkeley – 56
  6. Butler University – 56
  7. Tufts University – 55
  8. Temple University – 53
  9. University of Minnesota – 52
  10. University of Texas at Austin – 52
  11. Marquette University – 52
  12. Indiana University – 51

Tip to Improve Your Institution’s Twitter Presence: Follow these schools on Twitter and monitor the contents of their tweets, how they engage their community, and what their followers retweet & comment on.

Twitter | Connect and Share

It seems fitting this blog will launch with a post on Twitter as it has been the catalyst for the birth of this space. Last week at the annual NAFSA conference my colleagues, and new Twitter friends, encouraged me to create and share this online technology forum after I discovered the number of people who are interested in learning more about how to leverage technology, specifically as it relates to the field of International Education.

Originally, I was going to fit all things Twitter in this post, but as I started writing I realized there are far too many Twitter-related topics for one article, so I thought it best we do a sort of Twitter Series: Twitter and Beyond via a number of posts. This way we can focus on various topics that relate to Twitter, such as:


  • Why Twitter?
  • Using Twitter to Connect with Students
  • The Various Uses of Twitter
  • The Face of Your Account; Tweeting on Behalf of your Institution
This post will focus on Twitter as a conference connection tool as based on my recent personal experience at the NAFSA annual conference.

I have to be honest and say that while I’m an early technology adopter I had a few false starts with Twitter. I couldn’t quite get my head around how to leverage the service and what it could offer me both personally and professionally.
I’m here to tell you even an old techie can learn new tricks, and hopefully my anecdotal experience will inspire you to do the same.

I started my Twitter account several years ago and had only tweeted very occasionally, but committed to tweeting on a regular basis at the annual NAFSA conference in Kansas City. I am here to say that Twitter completely revolutionized my conference experience. This was my 5th annual conference and, as usual, there is never enough time for everything. Twitter helped provide quick text bytes (140 characters) of information and events going on around the conference center.
Basically, an interactive, real-time, dynamic conference schedule.

The NAFSA organization itself had several people “tweeting” content as well as the countless NAFSA participants who are active “twitterers” sharing bits of content from sessions, conversations with other conference participants and general observations regarding their conference experience. (Note: if I have lost some of you with all this “Twitterspeak” a great online resource of Twitter terms is Mashable’s glossary Twitterspeak)

Through this interactive, real-time web of information I was able to receive updates on sessions I couldn’t attend or leave a meeting to head to where the “action was happening.” In addition, I walked away from Kansas City with a whole new community of International Education contacts (at least 25) who I would have never met had I not been reading/responding to their NAFSA conference tweets. That’s at least 300% more than I could have had meaningful interactions with at a conference reception.

In essence, you have to ask yourself: how can I use my time most effectively and maximize my educational experience? In a packed 4-day conference with 7,000 of your colleagues Twitter helps you disseminate and take away information you never would have gleaned simply by sitting in sessions flagging pages in your conference schedule. Add a new dimension to your professional development experience and try tweeting at your next conference. I doubt you’ll regret the new community and information you end up with at the end.

If you have another Twitter-related topic you’d like to read or write about, let me know in the comments section below.

In the meantime, I leave you with a few Twitter-related links:
How To Set Up A Twitter Account
KCNN’s Twitter Basics
Mashable’s Twitter Guidebook

A few other useful Twitter glossaries can be found at:

If you’re interested in further information leave a comment on this post or tweet me! @mhizon

Looking forward to seeing you in the twittersphere.