5 Colleges That Lead in Social Media Marketing

Sprinklr Team

February 2, 20216 min read

Share this Article

College. The best years of our lives. They pass by quickly, but the memories they provide remain clear as day. For countless generations, graduates could only reflect on their college years through memories (and maybe some Polaroid collections) – but then social media came along.

Students in recent years have grown up communicating and sharing their experiences on social media, flaunting memorable moments on Instagram and friends’ terrible dance moves on Snapchat.

However, students are not the only socially savvy bunch. Colleges themselves have embraced social as a digital marketing tool, using the power of engaging content on multiple platforms to attract prospective students, interact with current students, and stay connected with alumni.

Here are five social media marketing colleges that score the top grades – as determined by Sprinklr Business Index® (SBI®), which measures and analyzes the breadth of public interactions between brands and consumers across social media.

Table of Contents

The University of Alabama

When you think about Alabama, football likely comes to mind. The Crimson Tide boasts one of the finest trophy cabinets in America, claiming sixteen national championships (or twelve, depending on who you ask).

The team has experienced great success under head coach Nick Saban. And in a blockbuster 2017 season opener, no. 1 ranked ‘Bama put down an impressive marker, laying waste to then no. 3 ranked Florida State.

Win the Greatest Opener of All Time! ✅ Road to 17 starts now. #RollTide

A post shared by The University of Alabama (@univofalabama) on Sep 2, 2017 at 9:40pm PDT

Alabama may be quite expert at the gritty business of football, but it also has a rather pretty side. Southern Living recently named UA as one of the most beautiful college campuses in the South. Prospective students would likely consider the campus very “Instagrammable”.

“I’ve seen pretty campuses across the country, but Alabama’s literally took my breath away.” Southern Living named UA…

Posted by The University of Alabama on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

SBI® statistics indicate that the good times (and tides) just keep on rolling for the University of Alabama. A content insights score of 9.0 contributes to an overall brand score of 8.3.

Harvard University

The oldest university in the United States is known the world over, not only as a leader in academic prowess, but also for being incredibly photogenic.

Wow! Thank you @harvard_summer student @muhammad_elarbi for sharing this incredible photo of campus!⠀ ⠀ #harvard #photography #HarvardSummer

A post shared by Harvard University (@harvard) on Jul 19, 2017 at 3:12pm PDT

Many young people harbor ambitions of attending Harvard: take Michael Medaugh as an example. Now a freshman at Harvard, Medaugh exchanged letters with Harvard’s President as early as seventh grade.

The young man from rural Pennsylvania is the first student in his school district’s history to attend Harvard, and will undoubtedly look to make more history in the coming years.

harvard social media marketing college acceptance letter

Harvard social media marketing college acceptance letter

Indeed, students like Michael Medaugh are attracted to Harvard’s historic reputation in research and academics. Since the university’s founding in 1636, the world has changed in remarkable ways. Nowhere is this more apparent than in technology.

Researchers at Harvard are harnessing technology in the field of robotics, developing soft robots that can be worn as clothing. These wearable exosuits can reinforce and support recovering stroke victims. Although still in relative infancy, one can easily imagine a not-too-distant future where robots play a prominent role in patient care.

SBI® statistics indicate that Harvard is a pioneer on social media. Over 18,000 content engagements per day contribute to an industry-leading audience insights score of 10.

Michigan State University

Another institution with strong sporting heritage, MSU Spartans are so named after the legendary Ancient Greek army. The heroic warriors were brave and undaunted in the face of battle, and these same characteristics are expected of MSU Spartan athletes today.

Go Green! 📷: @spartanjess #MSU

A post shared by Michigan State University (@michiganstateu) on Aug 8, 2017 at 9:01am PDT

A notable way that universities can increase the value of the education they provide is by showcasing the careers and achievements of alumni. Such stories not only reconnect alumni, but grow the school’s exposure to prospective students on social.

Ever been to Amore Trattoria Italiana in Grand Rapids? The award-winning restaurant, which uses locally sourced ingredients, is owned by MSU alumna and chef Jenna Arcidiacono. #MSURoadTrip

Posted by Michigan State University on Friday, August 4, 2017

Students of MSU are lucky enough to study just a few hours from Lake Michigan. A popular Spring break haven, it is the only one of the five Great Lakes located entirely within the U.S.

However, none of the Great Lakes are immune to danger. MSU researchers are doing their level best to fend off sea lamprey, parasitic creatures that once almost wiped out commercial fish in the Great Lakes. Members of the public appreciate the efforts of MSU in this case.

MSU Sea Lamprey Research

Protecting the Great Lakes from invasive sea lamprey is the goal of a team of researchers from MSU. #MSURoadTrip

Posted by Michigan State University on Monday, July 31, 2017

The Spartan efforts of MSU on social media are paying off. SBI® statistics show an impressive audience insights score of 9.4.

New York University

NYU is located between Midtown and Downtown in the beating heart of New York City. On social, the university takes full advantage of its spectacular vantage point, offering audiences some of the inspiring views from campus.

View of Bobst Library and One World Trade Center from University Place. #NYUSummer

A post shared by New York University (@nyuniversity) on Aug 23, 2017 at 9:35am PDT

However, the university does not just rely on its city center location to attract prospective students. NYU has a stellar reputation academically and, in the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities, NYU came in at number one in Finance, ranking highly in other areas including Law and Mathematics.

Congrats to the NYU schools and departments that placed atop the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities:…

Posted by New York University on Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The combination of awesome views and leading academics can urge young people to take their next steps at NYU’s iconic Washington Square center, a hub of activity culturally and socially.

Welcome home, #NYU2021!

A post shared by New York University (@nyuniversity) on Aug 28, 2017 at 9:31am PDT

NYU is giving the Big Apple an even bigger reputation on social. SBI® statistics show an audience insights score of 9.1.

Princeton University

Princeton boasts one of the most “Instagrammable” campuses of all, with architecture that wouldn’t look out of place in Hogwarts.

A castle in the woods or #PrincetonU? I #Princetagram

A post shared by Princeton University (@princeton_university) on Aug 30, 2017 at 10:41am PDT

Drones have been in the headlines recently, largely due to Amazon’s development of Prime Air, a drone delivery service.

Undergraduate researchers at Princeton have been hard at work on drone technology. Specifically, they are creating a self-charging drone system where drones will autonomously land on solar charging platforms. An error range of just thirty centimeters indicates that the students are making great strides.

Drones charge ahead

This summer, a team of undergraduate researchers under the guidance of assistant professor Minjie Chen, have been working on creating a self-charging drone system: http://ow.ly/v8mC30ejGrD

Posted by Princeton University on Thursday, August 10, 2017

Princeton’s photogenic nature and cutting-edge academics are a winner on social. SBI® statistics show a content insights score of 8.2 and an audience insights score of 9.3.

Making The Grade On Social

Leading American social media marketing colleges are using social to elevate and frame their value proposition. Whether it’s prowess in academics, research, or athletics, colleges use a mix of engaging content to highlight what they can offer to students.

When deciding on colleges, young people are likely to use their parents and older siblings as sounding boards. And with usage of social media by adults over 30 rising consistently in recent years, colleges can make a potentially decisive impression when it really matters.

With the right strategy in place, colleges can win the hearts, and especially minds, of audiences.

SBI® statistics were pulled on September 5th, 2017

Share this Article

Sprinklr Marketing
Digital Marketing Platform

Related Topics

Posting to All Social Media at Once Made Easy in 8 StepsSocial Media Promotion: Create a Unique Strategy with 7 TipsHow to Use AI in Marketing & Get Results (The Right Way)