Social Media Strategy, Social Media Crisis

Infographic: Just 59% of Colleges Have a Social Media Crisis Plan

The marketing and admissions departments at colleges and universities have the amazing opportunity of using social media to reach their students because it’s the internet generation that’s applying and attending their institutions. Research has shown, however, that while 99% of use email as part of their emergency notification system, only 56% actually have a social media monitoring plan in place which could help them become aware of crises sooner than any other form of communication.

This new infographic from Online Colleges explores some other statistics about social media use in higher education as well as 5 steps for developing a social media crisis management system at your college or university:

Social Media Crisis Management
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  1. says

    They already have a social media crisis plan; it’s generating the content, where the students then have the ability to curate and share it amongst themselves on social networks. Students are more willing to share a tweet or post from their friend, in the form of organic notifications like ‘Omg, did everyone hear about the bomb threat on campus?’ vs. a forced message from the school ‘There has been a bomb threat. Please leave campus’. The school’s job is to notify the students via text, phone calls, or e-mails…and then the students do the talking about the emergency on Twitter and Facebook. These conversations in college naturally take place online and it allows the emergency messages to be immersed in the online conversations through the virality and connectivity of college students. There are some great recent examples of bomb crisis conversations created by students online, most recently at LSU and Texas A&M. It really was amazing to watch the college demographic spread messages so virally and quickly through out these channels; something that isn’t addressed at all in the article. So, in conclusion, I would argue the most effective way for schools to notify students is to generate the content through email, texts, and phone calls which allows the students to curate the content and spread virally online…which, the above says that 89% and 99% of colleges already do that.

  2. says

    It’s true that organic tweets and posts from the students themselves can make the colleges’ jobs easier in disseminating information. Aside from that though, colleges will have to assign someone in their ranks as social media manager.

  3. says

    Benjamin, we agree with you about colleges using email, texts and phone calls to notify students of an emergency situation. From our own experience with college students we’ve had as interns, they’re more likely to check their phones and social media before email. It would be beneficial to the college to build up an interactive social presence so that, in the case of an emergency, important updates would make their way to the top of the students’ news feeds. They should continue to notify students via mobile and email as well, so to cover all their bases. Social media is yet another fantastic outlet to share important news, and it should be utilized!

    • says

      But how many college students actually want to follow or like their school on Facebook and Twitter? Not many at all. It sounds great in theory, but college students just won’t do that. I was in college two years ago; everyone would get the same exact text and phone call in about a 5 minute span. This then effectively moved the content and conversations online between actual students and themselves, and it was something that even if you didn’t check your phone, you simply couldn’t ignore everyone talking about it on Facebook and Twitter. My point is that schools should focus on generating the content, i.e. text, phone calls, and emails vs. curating the content or even generating on social media.

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