Your reasons for using social media become more unique the more specific you get. While we all want to connect with others and consume media on very broad levels, who we want want to connect with and why is a little different.

Educational institutions, from school districts to universities, are no different. While they all want to sustain and grow their organizations very much as businesses, they use social media in different ways to make that happen. The following infographic explores some of these ideas, finding:

-96% use facebook to advance their goals (up 2% from two years ago–can’t improve much from 94%)

-73% use YouTube (up 14%)

-80% use twitter (up 13%)

-55% use blogging (up an impressive 19%)

And the social media channel institutions feel they are most successful at using? Facebook, of course.

The Interesting Bit

The most interesting part? How “offline metrics” are being used to measure online success, and seemingly logical but rare concept. Rather than likes and shares, event participation and actual admission increases are becoming a part of the analytics.

Dare I say, brilliant? It is all too tempting for the goal of anything online to be popularity; if it doesn’t “share,” it loses perceived value. Many of my favorite articles over the years have shared very poorly, for a variety of reasons I think. But that’s only a bad thing if your goal is to have the piece “share well.” If instead, your goal is to clarify an principle or idea whether or not it is consumed by the masses, then success has different terms.

A lesson, then, might be to clarify–and not thoughtlessly–the goals for any message you share via social media, blog, etc., as precisely as possible. Ideally, what would the ultimate impact of the “share” be, beyond the distribution mechanism itself (social media), to where people might use that information in some compelling way.

Food for thought.

Goals Behind Social Media Use
Infographic source