NMU is among top social media schools

What's happening: Northern Michigan University was named the top social media school for colleges and universities at the NCAA Division 2 level, according to top statistics and methodology website Rival IQ. The Wildcats were ranked first overall for the 305 nationwide schools, finishing in the top 1 percent for four different social media platforms, ranking NMU fifth on Facebook, ninth on both Instagram and Twitter and 12th on TikTok. 

What is studied: Rival IQ surveyed all social media from June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022 for the report in the hopes of identifying what marketing techniques are working for attracting students, retaining positive community and alumni relations and what kind of posts performed better than others. NMU was highlighted for positive support of U.P. native Nick Baumgartner’s Olympic gold-medal victory, positive photos of nearby nature and peer-to-peer networking.

What they're saying: “I think it helps us recognize that what we’re doing is deemed effective,” said Derek Hall, NMU chief marketing officer. “Leading that many schools in these categories is impressive. We’ve been really thoughtful on how we tackle social media and it’s nice to be recognized for that.”

Marketing and education combined: Hall said that involving student employees and interns were key to setting the tone in NMU’s social media. Full-time staff educate and guide the profiles, but students were able to be directly involved in social media campaigns from inspiration to roll out. The university also works to get non-marketing students involved through platform takeovers for a day and highlighting student efforts in other aspects of life. 

UGC for the U.P.: User-generated content (UGC) often showcased nature, lifestyle, architecture and more on social media through the #ShareNMU hashtag, expanding NMU’s social media presence to include all aspects of living and learning in the Upper Peninsula. Hall said they consider NMU to be the state school of the U.P., so highlighting what makes the area home is beneficial for local pride and attracting potential students.

“The U.P. is our home. With our partners in Michigan Tech and Lake State, we’re all together showing what the U.P. has to offer,” he said. “It’s not only for students far away, but it’s for anyone that may come to the area.”
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.