With more than 300 Twitter accounts affiliated with Butler University, the school has successfully made the leap to social media.
Athletic teams, student organizations, residence halls and Greek houses use Twitter to keep their followers updated about upcoming events. Butler University Police Department uses its Twitter and Dawg Alert’s pages to keep campus safe and informed. Blue III’s account follows his life as Butler’s mascot.
Michael Kaltenmark, director of web marketing, said the university’s Twitter presence started and grew because of Blue II. In 2008, Butler Admissions and Blue II started their accounts.
“After that, it started spreading around the university,” Kaltenmark said. “It is kind of like microblogging, like to do this at a quicker, faster, more timely and immediate pace. I could just punch in 140 characters and roll.”
Kaltenmark said he values the Twitter presence on campus for the dialogue it creates with the students.
“It’s immediate, and it’s timely,” he said.“More than that, it seems to be where our student population is. We just need to make sure that we’re there too, so we can communicate with them and have a dialogue.”
Kaltenmark continues to try to get certain official Butler Twitters verified to certify the information for the followers.
“We really do need to set some guidelines and strategies and wrap our arms around it,” Kaltenmark said. “That’s a good problem to have.”
More than 14,000 people follow Butler’s official Twitter, @butleru. There are currently 4,700 students enrolled at Butler, according to the university’s website. That means almost two-thirds of Butler’s followers are from outside of the university.
Along with official Twitter pages, Butler has unofficial accounts. The accounts range from telling anonymous confessions and crushes to showing pictures of students eating bananas.
Despite the popularity of the unofficial accounts, the official accounts garner more followers. More than double the student body follows Blue III. Approximately half of the student body follows the police department, @ButlerUPolice. Only a third of students follow Butler Confessions, the anonymous page that allows students to reveal their secrets.
Students can tell the difference between the two types of accounts.
Senior Abbey MacAllister said she knows not to trust unofficial accounts.
“Most times I assume it’s made up,” said MacAllister. “They’re just funny to read.”
Junior Evan Hill follows six Butler accounts, and the split is pretty even between official and unofficial.
Sophomore Devon Lakes also follows a mixture of official and unofficial accounts.
“I’m split about three and three,” Lakes said.
MacAllister said she likes the Twitter account for Butler’s Student Government Association, @SGAatBU. Hill follows Butler Confessions for entertainment and the Butler Men’s Basketball account for information. Lakes said his favorite unofficial Butler account is Fake Brad Stevens.
Kaltenmark’s favorite Butler account is @ButlerPrez due to its tremendous potential.
“President Danko has the sense of humor and the wit to make Twitter successful for him,” Kaltenmark said. “I just want him to do it more.”
Kaltenmark called the unofficial accounts a slippery slope. Since the accounts are impossible to monitor, Butler wants to help students decide what is worth following and what isn’t.