The Daily Gamecock

Official USC social network accounts inefficient

Lack good content, interaction necessary for larger followings

The University of South Carolina does everything it can to reach its students, including social networking. Keeping up with social media is a necessity when it comes to spreading news and connecting the campus, so USC organizations have taken to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to meet their demographic. However, it seems that official university-run accounts aren’t the only USC news accounts students are following.

The other day, I woke up and checked my Twitter like any other college student, getting my news for the day and finding entertainment all in one. An interesting and humorous account caught my eye. I had a request from @uscwalkofshames.

The new account, only created Monday, featured pictures of USC students and their dreaded and humiliating walk home in the morning. One picture even showed a girl flicking the camera off, as if in protest of her public humiliation. Though their following base is small, only 759 Thursday evening, other USC accounts, none associated with the university, are booming.

To put these numbers into perspective, @UofSC, the university–run twitter account boasts 34,400 followers, an impressive number at glance, but a reasonable number when the size of the student body — more than 30,000 — is factored in, in addition to the many alumni and future students who follow to stay in the loop.

GamecockMakeouts, a twitter account designed specifically to catch and publish pictures of USC students making out, has 10,300 followers. Carolina Productions, USCCP, and USC Student Government, @UofSCSG, each has fewer than 2,500 followers, posing an interesting question in the type of news USC students are receiving, or perhaps preferring.

On the bright side, the Athletics department has no shortage of followers, with 56,500 under the name @GamecocksOnline. The most student interaction appears on accounts run and designed for them.
Retweeting and replying to students, even on seemingly risqué topics, increases follower count. Although embarrassing pictures of our peers elicits a greater response than the new university budget, the real interest lies in the accessibility and locality.
A funny “Gamecock Makeout” or a humorous “USC Crushes” post stirs talk because it was sent in by someone who knows your best friend’s roommate and went to high school with your ex-girlfriend’s brother. It connects us. It encourages audience participation and therefore, audience interest.

Though I understand the topics that official university-run social media accounts post about have to lean on the more conservative and newsworthy side, an increased focus on student voice and interest may amplify the power of their content as a result of the increased followers. Intrinsic motivation is the basis of social media.


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