Social media utilization: weekly round-up 1

Last week, I chose three entities of which I would analyze and monitor for their use of social media. The full explanation is here: http://iantangblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/explanation-of-semester-blog.html.

Today marks the end of the first week since I have started tracking their utilization, each using Twitter. Even in just the first weeks, it is clear that the three entities have very distinct uses of social media, all aiming to contribute to the marketing of The George Washington University.


The George Washington University (@GWTweets)
This week, the official Twitter account for The George Washington University utilized social media very well to fulfill its goal of communicating with students and the general community regarding events that were taking place. It tweeted and retweeted numerous times about events that were taking place around the campus and those that are upcoming.

What was interesting about the tweets sent from this entity was that almost each tweet utilized some form of attached media, such as a photo, video or an external link. The photos made the tweets more profound and relatable, and I found myself remembering more about the event and specific tweet because of the photo that was attached -- it was not only a boring 140-character tweet. Also, when tickets were needed for an event, the link was attached, so followers didn't have to crawl the web to find that information. Even breaking university information, such as cancelled events, were first announced there, and sometimes not even announced via e-mail. This Twitter account applied ethos, in the way its tweets were composed and because of the reputation of the university. However, pathos and logos were not applied too often, as the tweets were mainly just facts.

Tweets from The George Washington University's Twitter account.

The George Washington University Office of Undergraduate Admissions (@GWAdmissions)
The official account for The George Washington University Office of Undergraduate Admissions covered a much more narrow scope than the official account of the university. Still, it served its purpose. It was interesting to note that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions tweeted significantly less than any of the other entities I monitored. Even when they did tweet, the majority of the tweets were directed at certain individuals, some who wanted to help the Office and others who made, or were in the process of making, their decision regarding The George Washington University.

To the general public, this account may have been pretty boring. Though they did advertise and try to recruit current students to host tours through their Twitter, the Twitter account for the admissions office was not as relatable and useful for a current student. The account works well for the limited audience it is targeted at, and therefore uses a great amount of pathos.

Peter Konwerski, Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (@GWPeterK)
The Dean of Student Affairs focused on communicating with the community of current students, and those related to the students. Almost all of his tweets were in response to those that had tweeted him about something related to the university. Dr. Konwerski utilizes the power of retweets to make the questions visible to everyone, since many may have similar questions, and attaches his response to each tweet.

To a student, and the broad university community in general, Dr. Konwerski's account was the most relatable. Students could tweet him to try and find solutions to a problem, or see if one has been answered. Of the three accounts, this one uses the most variety of hashtags, which can drive attention to the topics being discussed. On top of that, this Twitter account utilizes pathos more so than the general university account. Instead of tweeting out broadly about events, this Twitter account has the ability to have personal commentary and lend more details and insight from a university administrator. Tweets felt more personable, which is like talking to a live human for customer service instead of a robot.


All three Twitter accounts did, to the best of their ability, fulfill the goals that they created when they joined social media. Each marketed The George Washington University in some way, though each in different amounts and scope. Peter Konwerski, or the Dean of Student Affairs, probably was the standout among the three because he tweeted constantly, both to broadcast a message or to respond, but, his tweets were not deemed annoying because they were useful.