Social media utilization: weekly round-up 4

This is the fourth weekly round-up in which I analyze and monitor three Twitter accounts that I have chosen for their use of social media. The full explanation is here:

Today marks the end of the fourth week since I have started tracking their utilization, each using Twitter. Again, it was 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)
The official account of The George Washington University focused on two things: the government shutdown (and how it impacted the school and students) as well as events happening around campus. Sadly, the tweets regarding events happening around campus focused on retweets and were not as helpful nor interesting. However, regarding the government shutdown and a few select events, the University thrust itself into the larger picture, and related the University to the entire DC community and problem that the entire country was facing.

Oddly, while the University used hashtags for generic world issues such as "World Bank" and "Global Poverty," it did not use it for the government shutdown. By not using those hashtags, the top tweet about the government shutdown received 4 retweets, 1 favorites while the bottom tweet that used hashtags relating to a bigger picture received 9 retweets, 2 favorites. Both are still low for a University account that has many followers, but it does show the power of hashtags.

The George Washington University Office of Undergraduate Admissions (@GWAdmissions)
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions focused on the School of Engineering and Sciences and the event they were putting on for prospective students. However, they did also tweet about other cool events happening around campus, while putting a marketing spin on it.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions used @Mentions more than hashtags. When compared to the tweet that the University tweeted, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions added the phrase "One of hundreds of events the @elliotschoolgw hosts..." While students already at the University may know this, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions was smart to add that phrase to attract students by showing the opportunities they may have here. With the fewer amount of followers, the tweet received 3 favorites.

What could be problematic is whether prospective students believe that assertion. There should be a list of other events that have happened in the past.

Peter Konwerski, Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (@GWPeterK)
After the Alumni Weekend passed, Dr. Konwerski immediately reverted his cover photo back to a generic GW banner that promoted the entire school rather than just one event. The immediacy of this helped in preventing problems about confusion as to when Alumni Weekend was for those visiting his profile as well as end the use of the "#GWAW13" hashtag.

Dr. Konwerski's cover photo.
Additionally, his tweets returned back to focusing on events happening around the University. He utilized "quote retweets" to address comments, concerns and questions of users on Twitter. A quote retweet is when you retweet someone's content, but also add commentary. With midterm season in full swing, Dr. Konwerski focused his tweets heavily on addressing midterms, as well as tools the University has in place to assist students.

As can be seen, Dr. Konwerski utilized no hashtags in his tweets, only retaining the one that the original user, @jacqueline_t25 had used. Instead, he @Mention-ed @GWTutors, a resource that can be utilized as a student. Dr. Konwerski's tweet does not require anyone to have prior knowledge and is very short in length. He uses the phrase "you know" to more personally connect with whoever tweeted it.

Though Instagram and Twitter's scuffle left Twitter users unable to preview Instagram photos right on Twitter, it is not an area that could be problematic in this instance. The photo certainly adds on to the tweet, but other users do not have to have an Instagram, or even look at that photo, to understand the tweet and Dr. Konwerski's response.

Still, despite the helpfulness of these tweets, Dr. Konwerski receives very little favorites and RT's. Mostly, it is from the original user. Therefore, the knowledge or interest about these services may be very minimal and Dr. Konwerski should continue to try and expand the interaction he receives.

This week, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions actually excelled by tweeting more about events happening around campus instead of just tweeting directly towards prospective students. While tweeting about those events, that could be happening thousands of miles away, it successfully involved those that were not present. However, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has been typically the worse at social media throughout the time I have been tracking. This is because it typically focuses on addressing student questions instead of promoting the school.