StudentAdvisor.com recently named Butler University 35th in the top 100 social media-saavy colleges. To accomplish this, Butler made large strides to engage its students, faculty and alumni through social media.
The Twitter accounts of Blue II and Blue III helped Butler become a top competitor.
Along with the dogs, the men’s basketball team going to the Final Four twice helped Butler gain national attention.
Michael Kaltenmark, director of Web Marketing and Communications, tweets for Blue III and tweeted for the late Blue II.
“We have been able to establish ourselves as one of the leaders in social media amongst our peers in higher education by being intentional by our media usage,” Kaltenmark said.
Blue III is currently active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Foursquare. Blue II had 13,900 followers, and Blue III currently has 10,364 followers on Twitter. By contrast, Butler’s official Twitter account (@butleru) has 14,760 Twitter followers.
“The Twitter game began in 2008, which differentiated us from a lot of institutions. The way we went about using Twitter offered value,” Kaltenmark said. “Butler, Blue II and Blue III offer a fun informative, responsible and conversational way to relay information.”
Even though Twitter seems to be the most prominent of social media sites, Facebook rakes in 93,773 likes for Blue II, Blue III and Butler’s pages.
“It really helps to have Michael around,” said Eric Esterline, multimedia coordinator. “He has been essential in being up front and leading the university in using the Blue twitter accounts. BUPD is also very active on social media.”
“Every club and college has a Twitter account, for the most part now. Michael has led the way in the Web Marketing department. He sets a good example for faculty. (Vice President for Student Affairs Levester Johnson) also engages the students in different ways and communicating with them.”
Esterline also uses social media while teaching his Media Literacy course. He puts much of his important information on Twitter which allows for his students to engage in a non-traditional way.
“I have learned in my classes through using Twitter,” Esterline said. “Students, at first were not wanting to connect personal life to class. In letting students know this is a major resource for the class they got more used to the idea. It may become a professional outlet not just a social outlet.”
Johnson is known for his social media usage. Johnson offers free Starbucks to his followers at certain times using “Tweet Treats.”
With 5,531 followers, Johnson is known around campus for his entertaining and informational tweets. He uses technology to inform students about necessary information.
By using an outlet that students use frequently, he is able to make news easily accessible. The day after the ResCo power outage, Johnson tweeted, “ResCo students should be awake after last night’s power outage. Appropriate to have an afternoon #TweetTreat so meet me @Starbucks at 3:15 p.m.”
During Homecoming week, instead of the standard tweet reminding students to make good decisions, he added his own spin to it.
On October 11, he tweeted, “The @butleru #Community ofCare promotes personal responsibility which makes a #HealthyHomecoming for you and others.” Accompanying the tweet was a meme from Hunger Games with Katniss looking out into the crowd saying, “I immediately regret this decision.”
“It’s one thing for us to be invested in it and willing to put forth the effort, but we also have to have a campus community that is willing to engage as well. It’s one thing to broadcast and another when there is a dialogue,” Kaltenmark said.
The university’s goal for social media is to combine all of its media outlets and dominate the collegiate world of social media.
“I feel like there is potential to do more and do it better,” Kaltenmark said. “There is some risk, but I love that we did not hold back, went for it and tried it. I think with a roadmap, we can pass other colleges on this list.”