MSU utilizes social media to connect with the campus and community

3/17/2014
  • graphic: social media icons
Communicating online has become a daily part of people’s lives and, more and more, social media has become the go-to tool to make personal and professional connections.

As Morehead State University continues to find better ways to connect with current and prospective students, social media has become a particularly valuable tool.

“We saw that this is where students get their information,” said Jenny Frazier, online content specialist for MSU. “We utilize social media more now because it’s real time.”

The ever-increasing popularity of social media was certainly motivation enough for MSU to create the University’s first Facebook page in spring 2009. The University initially used the page primarily as a way to recruit new students while communicating with current students. It also promoted upcoming events while serving as a way for students, parents and alumni to get instant feedback.

“It’s definitely evolved to where if a student has a question and they don’t know who to ask, they go to social media to ask questions,” Frazier said.

MSU social media has become more than just a place to go to find academic information or activities. It's been a place for MSU students and supporters to congregate in times of triumph and trouble.

When Morehead State upset the University of Louisville in the NCAA basketball tournament in 2011, people from across the country went to MSU’s Facebook page to offer their congratulations. On the complete opposite end of the spectrum was the devastating tornados that hit Eastern Kentucky in 2012. MSU social media gave students, staff, faculty and those impacted by the storms a way to stay informed and also became an online destination where people offered donations and found out how to volunteer during the clean-up effort.

“We didn’t realize how valuable it would be in an emergency situation or if there was something happening on campus,” Frazier said. “It was the main form of communication for people during the storms. That may have been the only way they could connect with campus for classes.”

MSU’s social media efforts are no longer limited to just Facebook. The University now uses Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Flickr, and has its own YouTube channel. MSU’s home page features a Twitter feed called Tweagle, with Twitter accounts from various departments, athletic teams and residence halls. This has become a channel students, faculty and staff use to see what’s happening on campus and to find out important deadlines for tasks like advance registration. Even MSU President Dr. Wayne D. Andrews has his own Twitter account (@MSU_President) that he uses to reach out to the Eagle family.

With popularity of social media showing no signs of slowing down, MSU will continually stay connected. MSU is connecting the Class of 2018 (incoming freshmen) through the @MSU_2018 Twitter account. In addition to providing information, it's providing a way for incoming students to connect with one another before arriving on campus.

“It’s definitely going to grow,” Frazier said. “We’re always on the lookout for the newest trend in social media and how we can incorporate it here at MSU. We realize if we want to engage with the campus community, social media is the way to do it.”