According to BostInno, MIT is the most buzzed about university online. Mashable lists it as one of the top 10 social media-savvy universities in the world. Here are eight social media tactics that make social media at MIT so great.
Twitter: hashtags for events
Dedicate a specific hashtag for an event. Attendees can share what they find memorable, inspiring, funny, or interesting about the event in pictures and words. Tweeters can search for the hashtag and immediately read what is being posted about the event. It is a form of collective note taking. The MIT Media Lab does this well with #MLTalks; for example, the #MLTalks hashtag was used when Joi Ito and Reid Hoffman talked at the MIT Media Lab on April 4.
Tumblr: collaborative photo journal
Some events take place all over campus. This was true for MIT’s Campus Preview Weekend (CPW). Therefore, a Tumblr blog was set up so prefrosh and students could post images from the many events happening around MIT that weekend.
Facebook: bring them into the space with cover photos
Facebook pages provide space for a logo and a large cover photo. This cover photo takes up a lot of space and gives the first impression to a visitor to the page. MIT Libraries uses a photo that makes one feel like he or she is in the library. MIT Sloan Executive Education uses a photo that makes you feel like you have stepped into a class. These are great cover photos for giving a visitor to the page the feeling of being there in person.
Blogs: what life is like here
A great way to show the human side of a university is a community blog. The MIT Admissions blog is a great example of this. Students from different years and departments write about their experiences at MIT throughout the year. Here’s a post that gives you a great idea of the quirkiness that happens in the dorms.
Flickr: historical archive
Flickr is great for photo archive collections. For example, MIT Libraries show off their beautiful black and white photos from the Kepes-Lynch Photograph Collection.
Google+: ‘about’ section
Use the ‘about’ section in Google+ for more than just a minimal bio. After all, this content is searchable on Google, meaning people using Google as their search engine would likely to find your page, even if they do not have a Google or Gmail account. Professor Hiroshi Ishii of the MIT Media Lab has an extensive biography on his profile.
YouTube: playlists that give back
There are a lot of promotional videos out there, especially business YouTube channels. Make your university YouTube page look less commercial and more focused on education and bettering the world. MIT’s main YouTube channel has almost 100 playlists full of publicly-accessible videos for learning differential equations, biological engineering design, calculus, optics, etc. There are even homework help videos. Try this playlist on Linear Algebra.
Soundcloud: play back the live experience
Although much of the content on Soundcloud is music, universities can take advantage of the platform’s functionality by posting lectures, podcasts, interviews, and other content that gives the listener an experience with the sounds of campus. CoLab Radio, part of MIT Community Innovators Lab, records sounds related to CoLab Radio’s mission of the open sharing of ideas dealing with aspects of city and regional planning. Take, for example, this podcast: ‘God’s Plan: Is there a connection between faith and city planning?‘ in which two professors talk about how faith-based groups impact communities’ structure and function.