About CASE

Pam Russell
Senior Director of Communications


For Immediate Release
Oct. 13, 2016

White Paper Reveals Common Practices for Social Media Success at Schools, Colleges and Universities

More institutions use pay-to-play options, other to increase social media ROI

WASHINGTON, D.C.—To cut through the growing chatter across social media channels, many educational institutions are paying to increase the visibility of their content on Facebook, Twitter and other digital platforms, according to a new white paper by CASE, Huron and mStoner, Inc.

"Paying to Play: Social Media in Advancement 2016" reports that 83 percent of surveyed respondents are boosting or promoting posts or advertising on Facebook; 16 percent are advertising or promoting tweets on Twitter and 9 percent report advertising on LinkedIn.

Schools, colleges and universities worldwide are paying to boost and promote content as the organic reach across all social channels declines, write "Paying to Play" co-authors Jennifer Mack of Huron and Michael Stoner of mStoner Inc.

"Paying to improve exposure is the single best way to ensure that a particular piece of content reaches as many fans and followers as possible, allowing them the opportunity to engage with it in some way," according to Mack and Stoner.

Surveyed institutions boosted, promoted or advertised posts to increase attendance at events, encourage more engagement with an important campaign and grow awareness of giving days, among other reasons. These institutions, however, were selective about which posts to boost as most don't yet have much, if any, budget for amplifying social content.

Beyond this growing pay-to-play trend among educational institutions, the white paper reveals common practices of institutions that are most successful with social media. According to the white paper, these institutions are:

  • More likely to boost, promote and advertise their posts
  • More likely to share content generated by their constituents on social channels
  • Likely to use social media for prospect research
  • Adept at turning their expertise in using social media into dollars for their institutions

Other findings include:

  • Nearly 90 percent of respondents agreed that social media is a much more important part of their communications and marketing efforts than three years ago.
  • When convincing senior leadership of the value of social media, 45 percent of respondents point to the opportunity to connect with new audiences while 42 percent name the ability to engage young alumni.
  • Use of Instagram rose from 54 percent in 2015 to 65 percent in 2016.
  • Use of Snapchat grew from 5 percent in 2015 to 15 percent in 2016.

"Paying to Play: Social Media in Advancement 2016" reports on findings from the seventh survey of social media in advancement, which was conducted earlier this year by Huron and mStoner in partnership with CASE. Nearly 1,200 respondents at educational institutions worldwide provided feedback on their use of social media.

About CASE

CASE believes in advancing education to transform lives and society. As a global nonprofit membership association of educational institutions, CASE helps develop the communities of professional practice that build institutional resilience and success in challenging times. The communities include staff engaged in alumni relations, fundraising, marketing, student recruitment, stakeholder engagement, crisis communications and government relations. CASE is volunteer-led and uses the intellectual capital of senior practitioners to build capacity and capability across the world.

CASE has offices in Washington, D.C., London, Singapore and Mexico City. Member institutions include more than 3,700 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 82 countries. CASE serves nearly 88,000 practitioners. For more information about CASE, please visit www.case.org.

About Huron Education

Huron Education is the premier provider serving the unique needs of the higher education industry. Our team of professionals, each with extensive knowledge and experience in the business of higher education and academic medical centers, delivers comprehensive services to the industry and partners with institutions to improve business performance across the enterprise. Our professionals draw from their experience working in the strategic, financial, operational, and regulatory aspects of higher education to develop and implement the most effective consulting and software solutions. Huron Education has helped more than 95 of the nation's top 100 research institutions improve their performance so they can continue their traditions of extraordinary achievement. Learn more at www.huronconsultinggroup.com/highereducation or follow us on Twitter: @Huron.

About mStoner

mStoner, Inc., helps clients to tell their authentic stories by clarifying their unique brand value proposition, creating a content strategy to communicate the brand effectively, and implementing compelling and dynamic communications across the web, mobile, social media, print, and other channels. We focus on research, data, and results. Since 2001, we've worked with more than 300 colleges, universities, and professional schools in the U.S. and abroad. We produce HigherEdLive.com as a free resource for professionals in education. For much more, visit our website.

Contact: Michael Stoner, president; Michael.Stoner@mStoner.com; +1.802.457.2889