I attended a great session in December at our SACSCOC meeting by Dr. Josie Ahlquist where she provided pointers on the use of social media for presidents. As a fan of social media I was all in, and I think she gave us great reasons why we should be engaged and ways to do it.
Recently I asked her if she had any data about the percentage of college presidents that are using social media. She referred me to this 2017 report done by Hootsuite.
The report stated that 49% of higher education leaders were active on social media, which was higher than Fortune 500 CEOs at 39%. A UMass Darmouth study from 2013 indicated that 55% of college presidents had a Twitter account, and 58% were on Facebook.
In 2014 for the HBCU Digest Media Conference held here at Dillard, I did a presentation “How To Make Your President Media Minded.” I shared that in 2012 only 12 four year HBCU presidents were on Twitter (out of 88 four year HBCUs, not including those without accreditation). With presidential selections between 2012 and 2014 including some new generation presidents, that number rose to 23 (which would be 26%).
But where are we as we enter 2018?
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I maintain a list on Twitter of HBCU presidents. The list currently stands at 49, but that includes the presidents of UNCF, Thurgood Marshall and NAFEO. Without them there are 46 four-year HBCU presidents on Twitter, or 52%. So essentially HBCU presidents are on par with all presidents in use of Twitter.
This is important because Twitter is an important part of the Black experience. I mean, Black Twitter is real! And this is a dynamic space where our students, alums, media, etc. are available and interested in engagement. So on this Follow Friday (yeah, almost Saturday now), share this post and encourage people to follow their HBCU president, their favorite HBCU president, and me (I should be your favorite - HA!)
Below are the presidents. If I am missing yours let me know- tweet me @hiphopprez And if your president is NOT listed, put some pressure on them to start their Twitter account. Dr. Harry Williams began this week as president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and he launched his Twitter account too. Let’s see if we can get to 60 by the end of May!