– UMSL prevalent on social media with multiple accounts.

By: Daniel C. Hodges, Staff Writer for The Current

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has numerous social media outlets designed to engage with and inform students.  The four official UMSL outlets that are run by University Marketing and Communication are Facebook, Twitter, flickr, and Instagram.  However, this does not include the social media outlets managed by various academic and extracurricular groups on campus. The UMSL athletics department alone has 23 social media accounts.  There are even unofficial UMSL social media outlets such as UMSL Confessions.

The official UMSL social media accounts are run by University Marketing and Communication staff with “occasional help from student employees.” said Ryan Heinz, communications manager.  Heinz said the objective of these social media outlets is to “support the university’s strategic goals.”

The Facebook (facebook.com/UMSL.edu) and Twitter (twitter.com/UMSL) accounts feature an aggregation of UMSL Daily stories, outside news stories about and by UMSL faculty and staff, features on sports teams and promotion of various university programs such as the UMSL Radio.  These accounts also serve to supplement email and text messaging notifications such as inclement weather closings or construction affecting students.  Most students interviewed were either aware or expected that the university is on Facebook and Twitter, though few followed the accounts.  As of this week, the UMSL Facebook account has 12,285 likes while the Twitter account has 3,755 followers; in Fall 2013, there were 16,814 students enrolled.

During this week, the UMSL flickr (flickr.com/photos/umsl/) and Instagram (instagram.com/UMSL) accounts feature 1,800 photos of students, classes, athletic events and much more.  These accounts were mostly unknown to the students interviewed, with some unfamiliar with the platforms altogether.  The flickr account is the more updated of the two accounts, with 1,761 photos, to the Instagram account’s 39.

Students interested in a more focused social media experience can frequently follow their favorite extracurricular or academic group, typically on Facebook and Twitter.  All three Interfraternity Council members have Twitter and Facebook accounts.  Nine separate athletic teams have social media accounts (umsltritons.com/sports/2014/8/4/socialmedia.aspx), not including overarching UMSL Athletics accounts and one for our mascot, Louie.  The UMSL veterans group, the UMSL libraries and UMSL residential life can all be found on social media too.  Even The Current has both a Facebook (facebook.com/TheCurrentStudentNews) and and Twitter account (twitter.com/UMSLTheCurrent).  The odds are good that whatever group students are involved with, whether it’s academic, extracurricular, athletic or other, it probably has a social media feed that can be followed.

There are even some unofficial UMSL social media outlets out there.  UMSL Confessions, a Facebook account that aggregates anonymous statements by UMSL students is probably the most well known.  Students submit their anonymous comments, statements or confessions at http://college-confessions.com/UMSL, and those following the UMSL Confessions Facebook account (https://www.facebook.com/pages/UMSL-Confessions/437342596350781) can see those confessions on their newsfeed.  The Facebook UMSL Confessions page has 1,619 followers as of this week.

Some investigation into the various UMSL social media outlets showed that the wider the audience, the more frequent the updates.  The official University Marketing and Communication feeds are updated multiple times a day, while other accounts with a more narrow audience only updated once or fewer times a day.

© The Current 2014