There's been a couple of interesting posts recently about use of social networking in Universities. First one I saw was Brian Kelly's post about the institutional use of Twitter in Russell Group Universities. Some interesting metrics, and Brian suggests some good practices that Universities should adopt. There's a fairly lively discussion in the comments as well, with most people finding the data useful.
Then a couple of days later, another post about the use of Facebook in the same group of Universities and some more discussion, particularly on whether in a big University students are more likely to feel an affiliation with their department, school or course rather than the institution.
And then I spotted (via a tweet from the Registrar of the University of Nottingham), this study which looks at Twitter and Facebook use in European Universities. I'm not sure adding the number of Facebook and Twitter followers together to create a league table is good science, but it's nice to see Great Britain at the top of a table! Apparently UK Universities are by far outperforming other countries in communicating via social media with more than 60% of all university twitter followers connected to UK institutions.
There's a rather good post on whether these sort of metrics actually tell us anything here. I haven't made my mind up yet. It's great to see Universities engaging with social media, and it should be encouraged. I'm surprised that some Russell Group Universities don't have either a Facebook or Twitter account, but I wonder if it's doing them any harm in communication, reputation or marketing terms. I suppose only time and more research will tell.