Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty
The numbers surrounding social media are simply mind boggling.
750 million. The number of active Facebook users, which means if Facebook was a country it would be the third-largest in the world.
90. Pieces of content created each month by the average Facebook user.
175 million. The Twitter accounts opened during Twitter's history.
140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day in February 2011.
460,000. Average number of new Twitter accounts created each day during February 2011.
120 million. LinkedIn members as of August 4, 2011.
More than two per second. The average rate at which professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn as of June 30, 2011.
All of these stats, which come from the respective companies’ own websites, serve as proof points to what we already knew: social media is growing at breakneck speed. Yet the story of social media is still being written as organizations and individuals alike continue to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of social media in the workplace. When that workplace is a college or university, there’s a cacophony of opinions in terms of the most effective uses, if any.
For the past two years, Faculty Focus conducted a survey on Twitter usage in higher education, this year we expanded the survey to include Facebook and LinkedIn, while changing a number of the questions as well. Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are considered "the big three" in social media, and we thank those who recommended we take a
broader look at the landscape.
All three platforms have their strengths and weaknesses, and are better used for some things than others. But how are the three being used in higher education today? It’s our hope that these survey results provide at least some of the answers while lending new data to the discussion.