Social media utilization: weekly round-up 5

This is the fifth 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: http://iantangblog.blogspot.com/2013/09/explanation-of-semester-blog.html.

Today marks the end of the fifth 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 general University account continued to focus on what was happening around campus and heavily promoted Parents' Weekend and The Fray concert. It did a good job producing engaging content this week and garnered more Retweets and Favorites than usual. Because of the wide-range of topics, there wasn't a theme that represented the week.

The account did send out several tweets everyday while making sure not to cross the line to annoying. This can be shown because of the consistent interaction with the account. It used direct mentions and hashtags throughout. There wasn't too much special to note about this account.

The George Washington University Office of Undergraduate Admissions (@GWAdmissions)
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions continued to focus on their limited audience instead of the wider community as a whole. However, this week, it also had a very specific tweet aimed just at those applying at Early Decision.

Early Decision applications are binding and are designed for students most interested in attending a certain school. Many of the Office of Undergraduate Tweets get almost no interaction, yet this tweet received 6 Retweets and 9 Favorites, as well as a question. This is probably because the students most interested in attending the school are also probably more likely to pay attention to the Office's Twitter account and announcements.

Though the audience is limited, it does show the type of followers that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has and the content they should focus on. People who follow them mainly want updates to the application process. Because its Twitter handle is already so specific, its tweets should be as well. There is no need for it to cover as wide and broad of topics as it previously has because its audience doesn't care much about it.

The tweet only used a generic hashtag, but because it was so important and valuable to the people following the account, it naturally garnered lots of attention. This result probably would not have been the same when tweeting from the general GW account since most people there probably are not looking to apply for Early Decision. They are probably already part of the community.

This week, it didn't tweet about Parents' Weekend, but still garnered much attention. It could be problematic in that if they choose to only focus on the specific application process, there will be an endless cycle of following and unfollowing that takes place.

Peter Konwerski, Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Student Affairs (@GWPeterK)
Unlike Alumni Weekend when Dr. Konwerski changed his cover photo to a related banner promoting the special event, the same cannot be said for Parents' Weekend. The generic and typical University photo was kept. Furthermore, there was not one overarching theme to Dr. Konwerski's tweets this week. During Alumni Weekend, there was a dedicated hashtag on almost all of his tweets, which was "#GWAW13." Though he did use #ColonialsWeekend throughout the week, it was more sporadic and used less often.


The fact that he only used "#ColonialsWeekend" once in 6 consecutive tweets implicates that Parents' Weekend may be less important than Alumni Weekend. In fact, the use of the hashtag was not originally from Dr. Konwerski as well. The lack of focus on Parents' Weekend may be the fact that that specific audience is known to not widely use Twitter or any other type of social network besides Facebook. Parents have been known for "invading" Facebook over the past several years, but many still are not on Twitter.

Therefore, Dr. Konwerski may have wanted to continue engaging with the audiences that do use Twitter most, instead of direct his tweets at an audience that may not be there.

Though it made his account look all over the place, it was able to cover a variety of interests and groups of people, whether they were students or part of the University community. There were many tweets about events taking place on Twitter and the focus on tweeting content with a photo attached makes it more engaging to look at.

This week, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions excelled again at their use of social media. While they have typically been the least effective because of its lack of focus and being seemingly indecisive, this week, it doubled down on what the account was actually made for and received more interaction than usual. Because the account wasn't made for a broad purpose, the focus it provided this week actually worked in its favor.