Wednesday, February 8, 2012

As a professor, do you use Social Media?

Chances are the answer is a resounding yes! Faculty Focus has conducted a survey on social media use among higher education faculty and has some interesting results. The survey includes assessing faculty use of Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Among many, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are considered "the big three" in social media. The results of the survey follow.

Social Media Trends

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. Twitter accounts.

140 million. The average number of Tweets people sent per day (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.

Not surprisingly, Facebook is the most popular social media site for the people who participated in the faculty survey: 85 percent of participants report having a Facebook account; 67 percent report having a LinkedIn account and 50 percent report having a Twitter account. Nearly 45 percent of those who took the Faculty Focus survey said they visit Facebook daily, while those who Tweet daily was much lower (16.5 percent). LinkedIn had the fewest (6 percent) daily visits among higher education participants.

Last year’s Faculty Focus survey, found that Twitter usage represented more than a third (35.2 percent) of the 1,372 respondents said they use Twitter in some capacity. That data demonstrate an increase from 30.7 percent in 2009. It’s reasonable to conclude that Twitter usage is continuing to increase among higher education faculty. While the sample of the Faculty Focus 2011 survey is small (N=840) the findings are useful and not surprising.

Do you have a Social Media Account?




Faculty use social media accounts for both personal and professional means. LinkedIn was found to be highest for professional use only. Facebook, was found to be used for both personal and professional uses by 46 percent of the respondents and Twitter was used for professional and personal communications by 25 percent of those responding.

In many instances, especially with regards to Twitter and Facebook, faculty reported that they create separate accounts: one for friends and family, and a separate account for work-related networks or communications.

Source: September 2011, Faculty Focus Special Report: Social Media Usage Trends Among Higher Education Faculty (Magna Publications

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